How’s your eyesight? Mine? Not so great. But, thankfully, God gave men and women in history the knowledge and wisdom to make corrective lenses for our eyes. I get up every morning and either slip a pair of glasses on my face or stick little plastic discs in my eyes. Before I put them in, everything looks fuzzy and distorted or even multiplied (thanks to my astigmatism). And all the squinting in the world won’t fix it. Only the corrective lenses make me see clear.
However, even though I am well aware of the fact that I don’t see well at all without help, still I try. I get tired of the contacts in my eyes. I despise wearing glasses. So, when I first get up, it’s not unusual to see me holding my phone close to my face and angling it to better see. I will even attempt it on the laptop. Watching me hold that up to my face is pretty amusing!
This morning, as I was looking for a news article about the Possum Drop (Don’t ask.), it occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, I could actually read the article if I would use glasses or contacts. After the contacts were in, I was once again amazed at the difference in the world once they were in. Yes, I know, after 30+ years in corrective lenses, I shouldn’t be so surprised anymore. But, as I gazed around me in surprise yet again, it made me think of life.
So often, I find myself in the midst of a situation and I simply don’t know what to do. Life is messy and the answer isn’t always the easy one and the right road can’t always be seen without help. So, we must put on our glasses….our spiritual glasses.
Things aren’t always as they seem. In the Bible, God frequently used visions to explain the unexplainable or to offer clarification or direction. We still need God’s vision. Proverbs 29:18 in the KJV says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” Note that the alternative is keeping the law – God’s law. I like the way NIV says it a little better, “Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.” Here, vision is translated to revelation and law becomes wisdom. So, God’s revelation is the equivalent of our spiritual glasses and following that wisdom will bring joy.
I have a dear friend who used to remind me to view things in the “shadow of the cross”. In other words, seek God’s place and plan in a situation. He is ever present, all knowing and ever ready to help. Hebrews 12:1-2a says it this way, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” (NIV). Ah….there it is…..”fixing our eyes on Jesus”.
But, how? How do we do that when it seems that all we can see is the situation we’re mired in? Think about Peter. In the Gospels, Matthew, Mark and John all recorded the story of Peter walking on water. The Leigh version of the story is this: After Jesus had fed the five thousand with a little boy’s lunch, He sent the disciples off in a boat while he sent the rest of the people home. Then, He climbed a mountainside to pray. The wind and waves were getting strong out on the sea and the disciples were getting a little nervous. Then, they saw someone walking towards them…on the water! “It’s a ghost!” Or….Jesus. Peter….bold, brash, outrageous, impulsive Peter…said, “if that’s you Jesus, tell me to walk out there!” Jesus did and Peter did. Then, Peter took his eyes off Jesus and down he went. He lost his vision. He looked at something besides what matters. Fortunately, Jesus fished him out of the water, but then quickly chided him about his lack of faith.
So. Where are you right now? Do you have a clear vision? Or have you allowed your glasses to be knocked off by the waves around you? It’s okay if you have. We all do it. Even Peter! And, there’s a fix for it. Look at Jesus. Quit looking at your waves – your problems, heartaches, fears, discouragements – and look at Jesus. God promises He will never leave us. Doubting that? Here are a few reminders….
Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6 ESV
It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. Deuteronomy 31:8 ESV
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9 ESV
And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. Matthew 28:20 ESV
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 ESV
No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. Joshua 1:5 ESV
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26 ESV
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. Isaiah 43:2 ESV
There. See? Open your eyes, put on your glasses, see that God hasn’t left you. Just reach out to Him and trust. He will never lead you astray! He promised. And God always keeps His promises!
Be blessed and tell someone you love them!