The natural world offers amazing glimpses of the Creator. When God spoke the world into being, a part of His very self was represented in everything. Eyes exercised to see Him bring amazing blessings, even life itself! God is always present, omnipresent; we need to learn to see Him. When I received my first pair of eyeglasses, I was amazed at the vibrancy and detail of the world around me. Tools that correct weaknesses are valuable. But some vision problems simply require a bit of ‘eye exercise. Focus, dimensional depth and attentiveness issues diminish with a bit of intentional eye exercise. Our spiritual eyesight is improved in the same ways: corrective aids and disciplined exercise.
All things were created in Christ Jesus; His ‘stamp’ is upon all things. Yet the stuff of life, of the earth, obscures His image…that which He created covers the Creator. Jesus told us that when He is lifted up above the earth, all will desire him. The immediate revelation of that reality was the Cross; but we have the challenge and opportunity to put the truth of Jesus Christ above the earthly on a daily basis. When we do so, our hearts (and others) are drawn to the glory of the life-giving one.
History is one of my favorite places to practice eye exercises. My eyes are not distracted by fear or passion for a particular outcome; I simply look to see what God has done. The American Revolution offers amazing glimpses of God: fog that saved Washington (and his army) from sure defeat; a 16-year old girl with the moxie to rally troops by riding all night (covering more ground than Paul Revere, by the way); military leaders who sought the wisdom of God and won victories despite the odds. In the large and small events of life, the divine activity of God is clear if our eyes focus upon it.
Training our eyes to see the purposes of God in less than ideal situations is also easiest in hindsight. Nearly forty years ago today, our home burned to the ground. Thankfully, my parents had eyes trained to look for the good. The conversations I recall from that time all center on the
positives God brought about. Safety, community support, an apartment to stay in, help to build a new home…evidences of the goodness of God in the midst of a trial. Character grows especially well in trials when eyes are exercised to find God in the midst of the darkness.
Joseph is the ultimate Bible example of trained eyes: “You meant it for evil but God meant it for good.” The essence of that truth is our truth today. Nothing that comes are way is devoid of the glory of God. Lives were saved in Joseph’s trials, because of his trials. Lives are saved when we exercise our eyes to see God and declare His praises too. Look for God in our difficulties. He is there waiting to be found…the treasure in the darkness you will never lose.