Bev and I played a little game often when we walked outdoors or sat on our deck. She would point at the clouds in the sky and ‘see’ some form or shape in them. “Hon, can you see that?” I usually did not for whatever reason. But, with a little coaching, “Look at that side, there is the head, now move a bit to right. See the body? And, there is the tail.” Sometimes my mind was able to ‘catch the vision’ and, when I did, we would laugh together about how differently our brains are wired. Truthfully, there were times when I saw what she saw but made her go into detail describing the shape just to hear her imagination come to life!
What we do or don’t ‘see’ in the clouds has next to no importance in life, but our vision is of paramount importance! Jesus taught us this: “Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light. But when your eye is bad, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!” (Matthew 6:22-23, NLT) His words are not about our actual eyes, though good eyesight is a critical thing and I realize that on those mornings when I have misplaced my eyeglasses. Jesus is talking about perspective, the framework we develop that forms our perceptions about the world we live and the meaning of our lives.
In several recent discussions I have realized anew that sight is not exactly as we think it is. Experience and our choice of our sources of information creates the lens through which we begin to see. I am convinced that most of our political divide results from the myopia (nearsightedness) that keeps people from seeing the ‘other side’ as anything but greedy, evil people bent on destroying America. Those embittered by life ‘see’ all of life through a lens of cynical distrust. Jeremiah mourned that his mission was to preach to people “with eyes that see but don’t really look, and ears that hear but don’t really listen.” (Jeremiah 5:21, The Message)
Can you see clearly? Are you seeing things as they are or through eyes that are clouded by fear, doubt, bitterness, unforgiveness, greed, hatred, or faithlessness? One of the great wonders of coming to Christ is the healing of our vision. He promises to restore our ability to see clearly, past the deceptions that make us crave fool’s gold, deeper than the lie that real joy can be found when we ‘eat, drink, and are merry.’ Jesus urges us to “So I advise you to buy … ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see.” (Revelation 3:18, NLT)
Newton’s hymn praises the power of God’s grace, “I once was blind but now I see!” In His mission statement He said that He would “restore sight to the blind.” (Luke 4:18) Jesus heals our spiritual vision, restoring a God-centered perspective on life, letting us ‘see’ a future that includes eternity. God gives us the ability to see, by faith, what does not yet exist. That godly vision is the ‘why’ that informs the ‘what.’
Pray for clear sight! Ask God to renew your vision. Habakkuk was told to keep God’s revelation always in mind. May this word from the Word remind us to hold onto what He shows us – in His Word and by His Spirit – with eyes that see. ” Then the Lord replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.” (Habakkuk 2:2-3, NIV)
Father, give me spiritual eyes that see
the promise, the possible, not just the probable.
Renew Your vision in me, causing me to see the Promised Land.
When I start to love my food, my TV, my comfort –
more than I love You, Your callings –
forgive me and send me messengers that renew the vision.
Pour out the Spirit on me, like a refreshing rain that causes
new life to burst out.
In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen.