A few months ago my left eye became clouded, a blurry spot in the center of my field of vision. It was a frustrating thing. When I visited the retina specialist fearing a diagnosis of something being seriously wrong with my eye, he examined me thoroughly and told me that the fluid that filled my eyeball had little ribbons of matter floating in it which were causing the issue. He told me that in all likelihood it would clear up without further intervention. It did, but the weeks in which I had to deal with reduced vision gave me a new appreciation of the gift of sight.
So, how’s your vision, not your eyesight,
though I hope that it is sharp and clear,
but rather your outlook on life?
Do you see the situations of life as they are
or through the clouded lens of self interest or wishful thinking?
Do you grasp the opportunities that are coming your way
or is your vision so limited that you are just plodding along?
Are you connecting the reality of the Spirit with your daily walk?
There is a tiny phrase tucked into the Chronicles of the people of God. The sons of Issachar were commended as those “who understood the times and knew what Israel should do.” (1 Chronicles 12:32, NIV) They were leaders because they had clear vision of reality and a grasp on real solutions. “Vision” is not just an issue for Presidents, CEO’s, or those in leadership positions. We need to see life clearly, know the possibilities and problems with which we are dealing, and ‘see’ the way forward. We do not have to stumble along, confused, just trying to cope with the things of life as they come at us seeming ‘out of nowhere.’
God, the Holy Spirit, offers us the gift of vision!
However, we will suffer from impaired vision if we fail to worship faithfully, regularly, and from the heart. We will have a clouded view of life unless we learn to meditate on the things of the Lord, praying often and sincerely. We will wander without real purpose if we see only this day and give our best energies to trying to find momentary happiness.
Pastor Kris Vallotton offers this provocative word about three aspects of vision. “True Godly vision consists of
that come from His sight.
Foresight is like looking at life through a telescope. This outlook allows us to know what is ahead as it connects us to our future. It is the element of vision that helps life make sense and gives us motivation …
Insight is like viewing life through a microscope. This perception gives us an understanding of why things happen in life. It also helps determine the underlying motivations of the heart.
Oversight puts life into context. It is like flying over our house in a helicopter.”
Even good and devout people sometimes lose sight of what’s best, content to simply let life happen, living just to get to the next weekend. Are you without vision, just existing? One great choice you can make to break that cycle is to take some time to retreat, to pray. A long conversation with someone who loves you enough to ask the hard questions, to help clarify your vision can be of great worth.
Seek clear vision! Like the sons of Issachar apply yourself to one “who understands the times and knows what you should do.” You can be equipped by the Spirit to accept the blessings and deal with the challenges. You do not have to be brilliant to know the wisdom of the Spirit. The Word tells us that “God has actually given us his Spirit (not the world’s spirit) so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.” (1 Corinthians 2:12, NLT)
The word from the Word invites us to clear vision for life. May the Spirit make these words alive for you and me.
“When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild. But, whoever obeys the law is joyful.” (Proverbs 29:18, NLT)
And, then these words of Jesus, given to His disciples about the opportunities for spiritual harvest in what they only saw as barren fields. “Do you think the work of harvesting will not begin until the summer ends four months from now? Look around you! Vast fields are ripening all around us and are ready now for the harvest. The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike! You know the saying, ‘One person plants and someone else harvests.’ And it’s true.” (John 4:35-37, NLT) \
(Video of this blog at this link)
Abba, as we make our way through life clear our vision.
Stir us to take in the opportunities that come our way –
to care lovingly for others,
to bring Your Presence and peace to difficult and dark places.
Keep us from plodding along, defeated and discouraged,
seeing only the stones that lie on our pathway.
Call us, gently and persistently, to see You at work,
to become people who “who understand the times and know what we should do.”
In this may we make Your praises great,
Your radiance bright,
and live in the peace of Christ. Amen
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