“Lord, let our eyes be opened.”
Over coffee this afternoon, a dear brother taught me something I failed to see. He is most astute and insightful, something so evident, discernable and noticeable. He said we can suffer from Spiritual Cataracts.
(from Allaboutvision) – Cataracts are the most common cause of vision loss in people over age 40 and is the principal cause of blindness in the world. In fact, there are more cases of cataracts worldwide than there are of glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy combined……
(from Wiki) A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye leading to a decrease in vision. It can affect one or both eyes. Often it develops slowly. Symptoms may include faded colors, blurry vision, halos around light, trouble with bright lights, and trouble seeing at night. This may result in trouble driving, reading, or recognizing faces. Poor vision may also result in an increased risk of falling and depression. Cataracts are the cause of half of blindness and 33% of impairment worldwide ……
So cataract affects those who are aging. “When Isaac was old and his eyes were dim so that he could not see” (Gen 27:1). But it is a bigger problem if I fail to recognize and acknowledge that I have this problem. I didn’t know. It took an external ophthalmologist to tell me so.
It seemed that I was unware, or rather really blind to the deterioration in my vision, and would have not been aware of my plight if not for a visit to the Eye Center for a problem with persistent discharge in one eye. The ophthalmologist detected a more serious problem – both my eyes had cataract. The deterioration had been so nondescript, innocuous and gradual that I thought I was having normal excellent vision all along.
Scriptures warned of a greater dilemma than physical sight or vision. It is spiritual vision. And it is the gradual clouding of our sight of spiritual realities. It is so gradual; and like the proverbial frog, could not sense the pain and pangs, by the gradual process of heating in a pot of water, that comes from losing our sensitivity – not aware, not awake and not alert.
Like the process of aging, I did not realise that I my vision was failing. And as I “advance” in my spiritual life through the decades, my spiritual vision could be failing. The problem is compounded when I reason that with the years, and increasingly attending more church services, read and studied more of the bible, participated regulary in cell groups, I should be matured or maturing. Instead of seeing that which is eternal, I can lapse into thinking that I am growing, and getting more matured and experienced, am right and correct – in my views and convictions. In reality, I could be getting blind when I see that which are temporal and according to secular reasoning and satanic reckonings (as in James) that come with experience, and age.
After the patch was removed from the first eye (they told me that it is best to perform the second cataract surgery a fortnight later), I saw a lady with a brown tee-shirt with my un-operated eye – in front of me. To my amazement, with the corrected eye, the tee-shirt was actually bright yellow! My vision was truly ‘clouded’ and corrupted.
And how could I miss the biblical warnings on being sightless or shortsighted –
“…. and look, you blind, that you may see! Who is blind but my servant,
or deaf as my messenger whom I send? Who is blind as my dedicated one, or blind as the servant of the Lord? He sees many things, but does not observe them;” (Isa 42:18-20)
“And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. (Matt 26:43)
“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” (Matt 6:22)
“For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’ (Matt 13:15)
…. blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. (Matt 13:16)
And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire. (Matt 18:9)
”When he entered the house, the blind men came to him, and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to him, “Yes, Lord.” Then he touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith be it done to you.” And their eyes were opened.” (Matt 9:28-30)
“And stopping, Jesus called them and said, “What do you want me to do for you?” They said to him,
“Lord, let our eyes be opened.” And Jesus in pity touched their eyes, and immediately they recovered their sight and followed him. (Matt 20:32-34)
P/S (03Nov2015 Edit)
“‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; …” (Ac 2:17)
Peter, filled with the Spirit began to preach. Why did he reverse the order of the young men and the old men first prophesied in Joel? I can’t guess. Can I bank on the years of accumulated experience and presume the eminence of nobility of age that my vision has not dimmed?
My vision is also hampered by the epochs of the last days! The NT speaks much of the nights.
“But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, ….” (Jn 11:10)
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Ps 119:105)
““Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’” Matt 25:1-8
We do have the lamp of the Words of life. But the light is failing and dimming. We need the oil to energize the lamp to continue to light up that which is true, spiritual and eternal.
A fortnight ago, my granddaughter (not yet 2) wanted some potato chips. So I put a few pieces onto her personal bowl. But she retorted in her limited vocabulary – and said “pour, pour” (Tit 3:5,6). Yes, the flesh needs the Spirit. I need the Holy Spirit every moment to fill me, and be poured onto me to renew my entire being, lest I lose my vision and my hearing.
I need to have my eyes checked often – 2 Cor 13:5. To test whether my vision and sight is on things that are above this world of secular and conventional reasonings and rationale, or of Spiritual eternal values.