So it was time for another eye test. I had been aware for some time that I probably needed some new reading glasses with a stronger prescription. "Not too bad" I thought "Some bog standard frames and new lenses shouldn't be too expensive."
During the examination, it became clear that there was a bigger issue. The woman doing the tests starting asking me questions about how my eyes are when I'm driving or watching TV. Then she dropped the bombshell. " Mr Gibbs, your eyesight is borderline for driving. Do you have to drive very much?"
I needed varifocals. This meant far more money and permanent frames on my face and I was not happy.
Now, having worn these glasses for three months, I've noticed a remarkable change: I can see! Well, I can see an awful lot better than before and I'm no longer a danger to other road users as I crisis cross the UK.
I've been aware in recent times that my spiritual vision needs improving as well. Actually our spiritual vision will only be perfected on that day when we see Jesus face to face. But in the interim, we need to be asking the Lord to help us see more clearly here on Earth.
Here are three areas I've been thinking about:
Fresh Vision of Lost People
Matthew 9:36 tells us that "when Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion on them..." I'm asking the Lord to give me eyes to see like him, otherwise when I see people I don't automatically feel that deep love for them which flows from the heart of Jesus.
We can so often be guilty of simply making judgements about others because of what we see with our natural eye, but God looks at the heart and he knows each person's story. I believe the Spirit of Jesus Christ can help us to view those we meet in a different way which will cause compassion for them to rise up within us, the end result of which will be proactive reaching out to them in order to connect them with the One who loves them more than words can say!
Fresh Vision of Ourselves
Be honest - what did you think when you looked at yourself in the bathroom mirror this morning? Now there could be a whole spectrum of responses from you dear readers to that question! Anything from viewing yourself as a bit of a letdown or failure to regarding the one in the mirror as God's great gift to the human race!
If your response was very negative, could I gently suggest that God doesn't view you in those terms? He is the perfect dad who not only loves you, but likes you as well. He's for you, not against you. He's kind and generous to us, his kids. Some of us need to ask God to help us to have a new regard for ourselves so that, slowly but surely, our view of ourselves comes into line with what he says about us rather than what we have historically thought.
By the way, if you are the one who looks in the mirror and kisses your own image...well, let's just say you might need a slight reality check; but you are wonderfully put together and amazingly loved (Psalm 139), but humble yourself - God did it!
The bottom line is that you are an adopted, chosen child of God. You are royalty. You have been valued through the death of the Lord Jesus. Ask God to give you the gift of faith to see yourself as you really are in Christ.
Fresh Vision of Jesus
How big is your Jesus? We have a tendency to shrink him down to the level of our present experience of him. In our heads, doctrinally, we know he is all knowing, all powerful and present everywhere at once. But day to day, we live as if he doesn't know what's going on, he can't sort out a particular situation and quite frankly we're not quite sure he's there at any given moment!
Actually we're in good company. I think Isaiah had a much reduced idea of who the Lord was until that day when he went to work (admittedly in the temple) and he saw the Lord in all his glory and magnificence.
Some of us have had those remarkable moments when the Lord Jesus has broken in on our lives and blown away our existing myopic view of him. Alongside this, we need to continue on a journey of having our eyes opened gradually to more of him.
The bigger he becomes in our experience, the more we'll trust him.
So to finish, two prayers taken from two songs we sing:
"Be thou my vision oh Lord of my heart. Nought be all else to me save that thou art!"
"Open the eyes of my heart Lord, I want to see you!" Amen and amen!