“A friend of mine from the old town called yesterday,” Stan commented one morning. “Haven’t talked to her for quite some time.”
“Everything okay?” I asked.
“Generally, yes,” he replied, “but she said she’s going to have cataract surgery in a couple of weeks. It seems that she has developed some cataracts over the past few years and her vision has become quite cloudy. She’s tired of not being able to see clearly and is looking forward to the surgery.”
“A neighbor of mine had cataracts,” I responded. “He had cataract surgery and it really helped him to see better. Almost as good as new!”
“I’ve been blessed with good physical vision,” Stan said, “and currently have no need for cataract surgery, but you never know what might be coming down the road.”
“However,” he continued, “I’ve found that I need spiritual cataract surgery on a regular basis, and that every day seems to work best.”
“Spiritual cataract surgery?” I said. “Every day? How so?”
“It’s to keep my vision of God clear and to keep it from getting cloudy,” Stan replied. “I’ve learned from way too much personal experience that if I go too long without having my spiritual vision cleared up, pretty soon I can’t see anything the way God wants me to see.”
“How does a person remove spiritual cataracts?” I asked.
“Choose,” was Stan’s one-word response. “I have to make the choice to allow the only one who can clear up my cloudy vision to do so.”
“In many respects,” he added, “it’s just another way of looking at discipleship.”
“Discipleship?” I said. “How so?”
“Well,” Stan said, “the first step in fixing the cloudy vision is like getting rid of what is causing the cloudiness, which is usually me and my self-focus.”
“So, deny self is the first step. What’s second?”
“Taking up what God has for me to take up would be like allowing God to place His vision in me so I clearly see Him and what He has for me see and to take up.”
“Then I suppose,” I responded with a smile, “that the third step of following Him would be like following Him in what you have been shown.”
“Wherever, however, and whenever He wants,” Stan replied. “And remember the whenever is always.”
“And the spiritual cataracts will disappear?” I asked.
“They will, indeed,” Stan said, “but we have to remember that they can and will come back unless we are careful to stay in contact with the Holy Spirit who is in us to help keep our vision clear so we will see just as God intends.”
Bible verses to consider:
And lifting up their eyes, they saw no one, except Jesus Himself alone. Matthew 17:8.
And all at once they looked around and saw no one with them any more, except Jesus only. Mark 9:8
And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for opening my eyes to see you so I could accept your free and gracious provision of life eternally with you when my time here is completed. Thank you, too, for the clear vision of being able to see you and Jesus before then. You know how very cloudy my vision of you can become when I focus not on you, but on myself, the world, the flesh, and the devil. Please forgive the foolishness of not seeking to see you and all you have for me. Please help me in following every step of your lead into the clearest vision possible, without any hint of cloudiness, so I can and will see you and what you have for me to be and to do as long as you keep me here. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Have you seen God clearly in the sense that you have accepted His free and gracious provision of life eternally with Him when your time here is completed? If no, why do you want to keep cloudy vision and not see Him clearly? If you are a Christian, how are you doing in seeing God clearly in all aspects of your life? If you sense you are not seeing Him as clearly as He and/or you would like, and you want to make changes, how are those changes going to happen?