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Our spiritual eyesight

I recently received a reminder that my eye exam is due and was surprised that the arrival of that little postcard triggered a series of sixth-grade memories.

Our class was slated for a vision screening, and we were being dismissed alphabetically to form a line in the hallway. My turn finally came, and a parent volunteer positioned me with my forehead pressed against the frame of a small black machine. As the test progressed, I was surprised to discover I could only read the largest rows of black letters. The rest were blurry and indistinguishable.

I walked slowly back to my classroom, grappling with the realization that I may have failed the exam. Sure enough, my parents were soon notified that I required an eye doctor’s evaluation, so an appointment was scheduled with Dr. Riker.

After completing a thorough examination, Dr. Riker explained that I did, indeed, need corrective lenses, and probably had for quite some time. He went on to tell me that the new glasses would help me immensely with classroom participation, as he doubted I had been able to read the chalkboard very well. That came as a surprise to me, for, from my perspective, my vision seemed completely normal.

With my mom’s help, and after much contemplation, I chose some brown cat-eye frames, which we were assured would be ready in a week. As the days went slowly by, I wondered how glasses would change my life. It was hard to imagine what wearing them would be like, but I remembered that, when the doctor held the corrective lenses in front of my eyes, I had been able to read the chart all the way to the 20-20 vision line without squinting.

The following week, Dad took me to pick up my new glasses. Dr. Riker put them in place and carefully adjusted them until they fit comfortably. As I left the office, I immediately noticed how sharply focused the furniture in the waiting room was and that the colors were much brighter than I remembered.

But it was when we were in the car, driving along the street, that I was almost speechless with what I now saw on display. I discovered that what had always seemed a fuzzy green haze of tree tops was actually made up of clearly distinguishable individual leaves!

As we sped along the roadway, I marveled over intricate details all around me that I had never noticed before. I was shocked over what I had been missing — I was now seeing things that had been there all the time, but I simply had not had the ability to see them.

How many things do we miss in life because the vision of our soul is hindered? How many times do we think we know something, only later to realize we were blinded, and important matters were overlooked because of our lack of spiritual sight?

The Apostle Paul wrote that “no eye has seen, nor ear heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him — but God has revealed it to us by His Spirit.” He went on to explain that “the man without the Spirit does not accept the things of God for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot discern them because they are spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2:9-10).”

In Ephesians 1:18, he says this: “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened.” What an excellent prayer. We can ask God to flood our spiritual eyes with His spiritual light, that we may see and comprehend His spiritual truths.

In the last portion of the Bible, known as The Revelation, the Apostle John was brought into the heavenly realm to receive visions from God.

In a message meant to strengthen the faith of believers and inspire them to remain faithful, Jesus spoke these words of both warning and invitation: “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm — neither hot or cold — I am about to spit you out of my mouth. I counsel you to buy from me … salve to put on your eyes, so you can see (Revelation 3:15-16, 18).”

His words reveal that, even when we feel confident with our church participation and religious activity, we can easily become lukewarm in our relationship with God, and our spiritual vision can become blurry.

A promise is included with Jesus’ warning: If we ask God for His forgiveness and help, He will anoint our spiritual eyes so that we can truly see.

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18).”

Michelle Smith serves alongside her husband, Gary, as part of the leadership team of New Life Christian Fellowship. She founded Purely Women Ministries with the purpose of helping women of all ages discover their true identity as women of God. She can be reached at michelle@newlifealpena.org.

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