If you’ve had one of these tests, you know that the patient focuses on a central orange light while white lights of various sizes and brightness blink in different places around the bowl. In spite of my optic nerve being over half destroyed, I still see light in most areas. For me it is more about how large the lights are and how bright. Most of what I miss are small and faint. The damage from nearly two dozen surgeries of various kinds with bright lights shining down over the operating table for hours, chronic follicular conjunctivitis caused by strong medication, and pressure spikes makes those things difficult.
We must be careful not to damage our spiritual vision in a similar way. When you’ve been hurt, especially more than once by people you have been taught to trust, it’s easy to view the world with something we call “a jaundiced eye.” Innocence gives way to cynicism, but instead of fighting it we call it “maturity” or “hard-won wisdom.” That makes it okay to expect the worst, assume the worst, and judge the worst. It gives us permission to snap with sarcasm, snort with disdain, and view with contempt. It makes a lack of trust not only justifiable but preferable. After all, who wants to be called a fool for trusting the wrong person?
Certainly God does not want us to be “children tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine,” Eph 4:14. He doesn’t want us to lack common sense, 1 Cor 14:20. He expects us to “grow up in all things,” Eph 4:15. He expects us to be “wise as serpents,” Matt 10:16. But none of that means he wants a people who are skeptical, suspicious and misanthropic by nature. Does any of that describe the Savior we follow? Like him, we are also to be “harmless as doves.”
Do a field vision test on yourself this morning. Do some situations raise your hackles? Do certain topics push your buttons? Do you find yourself unable to see anything good in certain people? Maybe your vision has been damaged in those areas.
I cannot regain any of my lost vision—once it’s gone, it’s gone. But all of us can regain our spiritual vision. If you are blind when you view certain people and issues around you, you are probably blind to other more important things as well. A man once said of Jesus, Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind, John 9:32. That blind man had his eyes opened to more than just the world around him. Suddenly he knew even better than his religious superiors that this man was truly the Messiah. Why here is the amazing thing, he said to those men, you don’t know where he came from yet he opened my eyes, v 30.
If you believe in him, as you have so often said you do, he can open your eyes too, no matter how many times you have been hurt, no matter how many times you have closed them against the light of his word. All you have to do is let him.
Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever; who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets the prisoners free; the LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down; the LORD loves the righteous. Psa 146:5-8