When our daughter was about 9, we took her to an optometrist. Chris was squinting a lot, which should have been a clue that she was not seeing well. Her exam showed that she needed corrective lens. When we got her glasses and walked outside, her delight in her newly expanded sight was something of an embarrassment to us, making us feel like parents who had neglected our child. “Oh, look,” she excitedly shouted, “at all those beautiful mountains and trees. Wow, I can see the words on that sign.” She was near-sighted and never knew how big the world out there really was because she could not see to the horizons!
Sometimes people who know about the sorrows in my life ask me how I remain hopeful. It’s not a just a strong character or lack of emotions. Sometimes the loneliness of my life without Bev is almost crushing in spite of a wonderful cadre of friends. “Life ain’t easy,” a friend texted me a couple of days ago. And, he’s right. We all have things with which we struggle. I deal with grief; another lives with profound disappointment. Others find themselves in a time of financial insecurity. Some wake up each day to face chronic illness and/or pain anew. This is the nature of life on this planet marred by sin. That’s why we need vision that is ‘corrected’ by FAITH.
In the ‘faith chapter’ we read about many who dealt with hardship and yet remained true to God. “Each one of these people of faith died not yet having in hand what was promised, but still believing. How did they do it? They saw it way off in the distance, waved their greeting, and accepted the fact that they were transients in this world. People who live this way make it plain that they are looking for their true home. If they were homesick for the old country, they could have gone back any time they wanted. But they were after a far better country than that—heaven country. You can see why God is so proud of them, and has a City waiting for them.” (Heb 11:13-16, The Message)
They saw the City of God and stayed on course.
The longer I live the more I realize that all the so-called ‘answers’ are partial, offering limited solace for an aching heart. Paul says it like this: “Now we see things imperfectly as in a cloudy mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.” (1 Corinthians 13:12, NLT) If we insist that God explain Himself we will likely exist in a discontent state. We trust His love, His promise, and hold onto hope.
We are heading Home, dear Christian, and we are not there yet while we are alive in this present world. Thankfully, by the gift of the Spirit, we get a taste of heaven in our worship, when we experience authentic love, in the joyous experience of the exquisite beauty found in a sunrise, when we look into the face of a smiling child. But, “I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.” (Frost)
How’s your sight? Need to put on the corrective lens of faith so you can see to the horizon of eternity?
Here’s a word from the Word. “The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see.” (Hebrews 11:1) “Once you had no identity as a people; now you are God’s people. Once you received no mercy; now you have received God’s mercy.” Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls.” (1 Peter 2:10-11, NLT)