Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Bright Eyes

“And the light of my eyes, even that has gone from me." (Psalm 38:10 NAS95)
I would like to think that my mind rules over my moods. But personal experience argues against this. Our minds are often clouded by the crush of emotions which are reactions to experiences, and there is a mental and spiritual "dimming of the eyes." The psalmist describes this condition. We understand.
Let's be clear. This condition does not imply that the sun has stopped shining or that God has abdicated His throne or that His promises have failed. Rather, there is in us an obstruction that shields us from that light, or a resistance that pushes it away. There is something in our hearts that does not want the light to shine, that does not want the truth to re-form, that does not want the heavenly vision to reign. 
Sin will bring about a dimming of the eyes. Suffering can lower one's gaze, so that we see only ourselves. Disappointment and failure can lead us to focus on what is wrong with us, and it can lead to an unwillingness to look up, to look forward. We find ourselves bereft of courage and imagination. Again, let's be clear. My sins are mine. I lower my gaze out of self-consciousness, consumed with my situation. I can really enjoy a little self-pity. This is me. This is my heart. We may indeed be victims, but we are most definitely sinners.
And sinners need to be reminded again and again of the Gospel which refreshes and renews, and which paints a picture of a heavenly future toward which we journey as saints who trust in a God who makes good promises. Yes, suffering and disappointment and rejection and pain are all facts of life. But the Gospel and a heavenly vision brighten my eyes.
Let's give Isaiah 30 a chance to help us with a dash of heavenly hope and vision. The people are off on a wrong foot once again. They are seeking help in all the wrong places. They are looking for someone to trust, someone on whom they can depend. But they don't look up. They veer sideways. In spite of this, God offers a word of hope. Yes, there will be trouble. Good times will be postponed. But God's hope comes shining through, nonetheless.
 “The light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be seven times brighter, like the light of seven days, on the day the LORD binds up the fracture of His people and heals the bruise He has inflicted.” (Isaiah 30:25–26 NAS95)
There are so many other themes in this section of hope, but notice the light! Every color shines brighter, every detail clearer. What was murky has now become plain, and what was confusing is now obvious. We see the truth about ourselves, and we are cleansed of our deception. We see the truth about God, and He is glorious.
And then we add in some of the other elements noted in Isaiah 30: "weep no longer;" "your Teacher will no longer hide himself;" "He will give you rain;" "rich and plenteous;" "streams running with water;" "songs in the night; gladness of heart." A new day is dawning. It will be bright.
"Lord, give me bright eyes, that is, eyes to see Your brightness."

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