- Keri Taylor
My youngest son is a little on the stubborn side. (I have no idea where this personality trait comes from - wink wink!) He just doesn’t like being told what to do, which is a very common human trait, isn’t it? I took him to the eye doctor years ago for a routine check-up, and he was diagnosed with very slight near-sightedness. The doctor prescribed corrective lenses, and I told my son that he could get contact lenses instead of glasses so he could wear them more easily during sports.
Well, the drama began when he tried to put the lenses in. He has inherited my dad’s uncontrollable tendency for his eyes to literally slam shut whenever anything approaches, especially a finger with a lens on it! I tried to help him, and I’ll admit I can see why he became frustrated. We struggled for over an hour to get them in. But, because he could see well enough without them, he couldn’t see the point in struggling so hard every day. He couldn’t see that it would probably get easier in the future.
So, I didn’t push it. At that time, he decided to just wear his glasses when he needed them…at school to see the board, when watching TV, etc. I figured, over time, and as he got older, he would realize that he could see more clearly with his glasses and would re-attempt his contact lenses at some point.
Then it came time for him to get his driver’s license, and I thought, “This is it! Now he will have to wear them.” Yeah, I was wrong because his visual deficiency is so slight that he passed the vision test without them. Sigh. Consequently, his contact lenses sit in a drawer in the bathroom unused. And now he is a freshman in college and living his life, apparently just fine, with a very slight visual deficiency.
But, as a mother, we all want what’s best for our kids. It crossed my mind again recently when I saw him squint slightly to see something. I became frustrated in my mind with his continual refusal to learn how to put his contact lenses in. In exasperation, I thought to myself, “This is so dumb! He’s getting by, but he doesn’t realize it could be better. He’ll never know what it’s like to see the world clearly!”
And BAM…God hit me with a revelation. The sentence “he’ll never know what it’s like to see the world clearly” just kept resonating in my head. God was using my frustration over something relatively trivial in my life to show me something important in my life with Him. He said, much to my chagrin, “Keri, this applies to you too.”
It’s so amazing how God works in my life. I can be obsessing about something that seems so important at the time, not even thinking about Him at all, and then He just knocks me upside the head with these profound revelations. In this case, He wanted me to stop worrying about something I can’t control and focus on Him. And it worked. I started thinking about how I may not be seeing things clearly myself and maybe I don’t even realize my “view” could be better.
I’ve been memorizing scripture lately. My memory verse that week was Hebrews 12:2 which says, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God”(NIV). Hmmm, coincidence that this verse came up at this time? I don’t think so!
Once again, God was confirming what He wanted me to focus on right then. Let me fix my eyes on Jesus! I need to direct my attention to Jesus who is the source of my faith. I can only see my life clearly when I’m focused on Him. When I’m stubbornly focused on the world and refusing to listen, things can become blurry, like a fog descending over my eyes. I can’t see clearly through the fog.
But what if I learn to see the world by looking at it through God’s corrective lenses? What if I see my problems by putting God in front of them instead of trying to see God through the fog of my perceived issues? When I put my problem first, all I see is the problem which can lead me to false assumptions and poor responses. But if I put God in front and then look at my problem through Him, I can see it more clearly according to His Truth and my path through it becomes more obvious.
I love the Message version of 1 Corinthians 13:12: “We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears, and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us.”
If we aren’t putting Jesus first in our lives, our vision will be cloudy. We’ll see the world and our lives in it through the mist of sin and deceit. But through the gift of Jesus, we have the opportunity for the fog to lift and to see clearly because the Son shines bright! I don’t want to peer through a fog of confusion, unable to discern the path, experiencing doubt and uncertainty. I want to see the world and my place in it through the crystal-clear lens of God’s Truth! If I put in God’s contact lenses, I can see my way clearly and God can reveal things to me, giving me confidence that I’m on the right path.
So, what began as an everyday frustration with my son’s lack of effort became a big revelation for myself instead. I’ve realized that it’s my son’s choice whether to struggle with putting his contact lenses in so he can see clearly…or not. And it’s my choice whether to put God first in my life so I can see things clearly through Him… or not.
“Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law” Psalm 119:18, NIV