When I was 15 years old, I sat in the dark office of an ophthalmologist after having finished a series of vision tests. The room had only one light on, over the Doctor’s desk, and I had no idea what I was about to be told. I didn’t think anything was wrong with my eyes. I could see just fine; my vision wasn’t blurry, I didn’t have to squint to focus or wear glasses to read. I wasn’t aware that I had any problem seeing.
When the ophthalmologist came in, he spoke in a serous voice and began to tell me that I was legally blind. I had tunnel vision and it was so severe that I would never drive, and might be completely blind before I graduated from high school. I was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa. Yes, I could see, but only a restricted portion of my central vision. There is no peripheral vision, in fact I have only about 5% field of vision.
How could I not know this? As a 15 year old, I wasn’t aware of what I couldn’t see. I thought I was fine. I thought I was getting along okay. I was oblivious to so much in the physical world but I didn’t know it. I thought I was seeing the same as everyone else around me.
I have spent much of my spiritual life the same way, unaware of the fullness of God around me and thinking I was getting along fine… There isn’t anything wrong with me. I’m a good person. I follow the rules. I don’t hurt people. I volunteer/help others/etc. The truth is, I was blind to the condition that my heart was truly in. I didn’t “see” what God sees.
I have often been oblivious to what I was missing spiritually. Things that God wanted to show me. My eyes closed to the hope to which God has called me. At such times I don’t see the riches of my glorious inheritance in Him. I don’t see His incomparably great power.
When I close the eyes of my heart to block out the spiritual, it leaves me stumbling or tripping, hiding in the darkness. No one in their right mind would close their eyes while walking beside a busy road – so why would I want to walk through life with my spiritual eyes blinded or shut?
Sometimes we find ourselves in a condition of spiritual blindness, because we don’t yet know the Lord, but sin can also keep us in the dark, things like pride, disobedience, disappointment, bitterness, and jealousy. The list is long. Praise be to God that we don’t need to remain in the darkness. He desires that the eyes of our hearts be opened. He has so much to show us… His extravagant love, endless grace and mercy, heart for the brokenhearted, gift of salvation for all who believe… His perfect Love for us!
There are tools for the visually impaired to help them navigate this world with limited vision. In recent years, I have finally laid down my pride and started to use a white cane. To lay down my independence and my pride was painful. I didn’t want to need that white cane!
Yet an amazing thing happened. I realized that I actually do need it. I don’t bump into things as much, knock over “Wet floor” signs, trip over little obstacles. That white cane is quite useful and gives me a lot more information that I am not capable of getting on my own.
In the same way, the Holy Spirit does this when He opens the eyes of my heart. I “see” more clearly. I have more “information”. I see who’s in need, I see the way to go, I see how much I need Him, I see the Hope to which He has called me… I see what He wants to show me.
“Open the eyes of my heart, Lord, I want to see You.”
This line from a popular worship song echoes the desire of my heart: to have eyes that see the Lord’s power at work here on earth. To see His truths, recognize His handiwork, see what He sees and, ultimately, to see Him.
There are so many things in this world that catch my attention. Things I see “out of the corner of my eye” that distract my focus and blur my vision of what’s in front of me. I find I am truly well when the Lord opens the eyes of my heart and, with His help, I block out the distractions and turn my attention to Him.
I pray that the eyes of your heart my be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints and His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of His mighty strength. – Ephesians 1:18,19