“How can I pray for you?” I asked that question of three different young women on the same evening. To my surprise, they all gave basically the same answer.
“That my eyes would be opened.”
“That my vision of Christ would be clearer.”
“That I would see Jesus.”
They were groaning with the darkness of the soul, the waywardness of the heart, the distractedness of the eyes.
Should I tell them, “But God said no one would ever see Him in this life, so don’t hope for that.” Be content at your low level of Christian experience. Settle for a life that’s shrouded in the mist of confusion and uncertainty. It may not be great, but it’s normal. Hoping for more, well, that’s just pie-in-the-sky Christianity. And you don’t want to be so heavenly minded that you’re no earthly good. Heavens no.
The language of light and sight fills the New Testament. “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light!” Matthew proclaimed about his countrymen. Jesus healed a blind man and then said that those who rejected Him were the ones who truly could not see. Paul told us that God, who commanded light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
I could go on and on.
So what can we do, those of us who are longing, aching to see Him more clearly? Longing for our spiritual vision to be, if it could be possible, even more clear than our physical vision? Because truly, in the deepest heart, we know that He is more lovely, glorious, desirable, fulfilling, worthy of praise than all the hundred distractions that are calling for our time and energy and attention.
We seek Him through His written Word, the great Magnifying Glass of God. We beg Him to turn on the light in our souls. We cry out to Him to open the eyes of our understanding. We band together in desperately dependent prayer. There is a world of darkness, and the light of God is as narrow as a laser beam.
Maybe you see the light . . . a little. But your vision is blurry. “I see men like trees walking.” He is your only Hope. Believe that. Seize the hem of His robe and don’t let go. Cry out to Him for vision correction, read His Word, and believe what you read.
But you have to look in the right direction. There is one narrow laser beam of light. Turn toward that, with your new eyes. Don’t keep avoiding Him, claiming you can’t see Him. He has told you how to seek Him. Turn toward Him and seek Him alone, with your hungry heart.
But get obstructions out of the way. Forcefully turn from the things that would pull you away, and run, run after Him, with all the energy He gives you. Then trust Him for more, to keep running.
O man of God, Paul wrote to Timothy, as fast as you can, run from those things that would pull your eyes away—that seeking after riches that has led so many astray. Instead, chase after the one true thing so valuable, so precious, so beautiful, that He will take your breath away when you catch sight of Him. With all your energy press forward toward the righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness that is found in Jesus Christ. Don’t give up. Keep pursuing. Pursue through desperate dependence. Believe with confident assurance that as you pursue, you will see. This is active faith.
Keep seeking. Keep longing. Keep trusting. Keep asking. Keep chasing. And know that your efforts are not in vain. As your gaze becomes more direct, as your vision becomes more clear, as the distractions fade away, the sight of Jesus Christ will take your breath away.
~originally published September 2010