When I was five years old, my first-grade teacher sent a troubling note home to my mother. Back then, I was a shy, little, brown-skinned girl who loved wearing colorful barrettes in her hair and played kickball with the boys at recess. However, I squirmed in my chair a lot and wasn’t doing well in my classwork. My teacher, Mrs. Inama, was kind. She didn’t yell when I got the answers wrong. Eventually, she figured out my problem: I couldn’t see.
I don’t remember now what the optometrist looked like, but I remember being scared and gripping the armrests as he leaned in and shined bright lights into my eyes. Later, my little heart raced as he slid a large round metal plate in front of my eyes. There were two holes in the plate and the optometrist snapped different round chips of glass into each hole. He kept sliding the chips in and out while asking, “Which one is clearer? This one? That one?” I couldn’t always see a big difference. After the exam, he told my mom that I badly needed glasses.
A few weeks later, a nice woman in the optometrist’s office slipped a pair of large plastic frames over my nose. Once I saw the world through my new glass pop-bottle thick lenses, the fuzzy world I had been living in instantly became clearer. Not only could I see, but I could finally tell the difference between the shapes and letters. Once I could see, I fell in love with reading and never turned back!
At an early age, I learned the value of sharper vision. There’s a clarity and confidence that comes with being able to see. But our vision isn’t just physical. We need to have a clear spiritual vision as well. Today’s question: How clear is your spiritual vision?
Unfortunately, we’re all born with poor spiritual vision. As a result of sin, our past, or our individual struggles, we don’t naturally see ourselves or our world as God sees it. No matter the root cause, we experience the same result: a fuzzy, fearful, or frantic way of life that lacks God’s hope and peace.
Clear spiritual vision is seeing your circumstances, purpose, and future through God’s eternal perspective. Gaining a clear spiritual vision will get you unstuck, lead you to freedom from sin, and fuel you with eternal hope in your earthly struggles. How do you get clear spiritual vision? This is the good part! God’s clarifying tools include His love, grace, and peace.
God longs to give a clearer spiritual vision to you.
However, God’s invitation requires your courage and willingness to let Him get up close and reveal where you need His corrective expertise and power. I’ve been wearing corrective lenses my entire life. During my eye examinations, I still need to allow the optometrist to lean in close to assess my vision. The same applies to your spirituality. Even if you’ve allowed God to get close at one point in your life, you need to keep inviting Him in!
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.
James 4:8 CSB
Anytime is the right time to draw near to God again! Drawing near to God isn’t just good wisdom and isn’t just for the desperate times in your faith; it’s also for the times in life when you realize that you’re looking at the good things in your life, but not looking at God. The rest of James 4:8 is a warning to those who think they can live well by splitting their spiritual lives between their own desires and God’s plan. That’s like wearing a corrective lens on one eye and not the other, which can result in a painful headache for most of us!
The beauty of drawing near to God is the promise that He will come near, bringing His peace, grace, and the clarity that you need to live confidently in Him. If life has felt confusing for you, drawing near to God isn’t like hitting a magic “fix it” button. Yet, nearness to God moves you into the flow of His peace, hope, and joy that you need to get through what you’re going through.
Just as I must make time to schedule the appointment and sit in the optometrist’s chair for the health of my physical vision, so you are invited today to create some space in your life to address your spiritual vision. That space can begin with a simple prayer adapted from Romans 12:2, which is all about God’s desire to transform you with the blessing of His very best. Pray with me today:
God, give me Your spiritual vision. It’s so hard to see what I should be thinking or doing at times. So, I‘m coming near to You. I invite You to transform my heart and mind by changing the way that I think. I want to see the world through Your hope and eternal perspective. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Ruth Mills says
I too had the coke bottle glasses journey in elementary school. In recent years due to glaucoma I’ve lost some sight that has made me more dependent on others for driving in the rain or after dark. I appreciate the being less independent points me more to being dependent on God as well. I love your connection even deeper to our need for close examination for our physical sight & spiritual sight! Thank you for this insight, Barb! Blessings!
Barb Roose says
Hi Ruth, thank you for sharing your journey with your vision and the lessons on how your eyesight changes have impacted your faith. Such words of wisdom. Thank you for stopping by today!
Thank you for this, Barb!
Barb Roose says
Hi Courtney, thanks for stopping by the (in)courage blog today! I’m glad that this post spoke to your heart.
Janet Williams says
Thank you Barb. I loved your words today. I was praying this morning and asking God to help me keep my eyes on Him and His plan. Perfect timing. Just what I needed
Our fuzzy world really does become clearer when we realize…”God longs to give a clearer spiritual vision to you”
Have a blessed day \0/
Barb Roose says
Hi Janet! Isn’t it so good how God knows what we need to hear and when we need to hear it?! Thank you for sharing your comment with us today.
Dawn Ferguson-Little says
Barb thank you for this post. God is good all the time and all the time God is good. How true this is. Don Moen sings this song. You get it on YouTube. It reminds us no matter what our circumstances are God is always there. We can go God in prayer if we don’t see light at the end of the tunnel and trust the promises in his word. Especially if we are between a rock and hard place in our lives. God will help us through them and tell us what to do by speaking to us through his Holy Spirit. I say Amen to that. Love Dawn Ferguson-Little Xx
Barb Roose says
Hi Dawn! Thank you for stopping by (in)courage – and for sharing your encouraging words and wisdom with us today. Blessings to you!
Pearl Allard says
I love the analogy of corrective lenses because it takes the fear out of letting God come close and assessing where we need help with our perspective. I’ve worn corrective lenses since 4th grade so that resonates! Thank you!
Barb Roose says
Hi Pearl, looks like we’ve both been wearing corrective lenses for a long time! I’m glad that the analogy and today’s devotional connected with you!
Beth Williams says
I say this pray often “search me, O God, & know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Also ask God to change my heart, make it ever true, may I be like you. We all need clear spiritual vision. A perspective that sees our daily trials & tribulations through the lens of Jesus. Look at the big picture & measure life by eternity standards.