As I write this article, I’m in Mexico with a group of students doing mission work. Forty-nine of us are jammed together in a church, living, eating and serving God together.
The difference between my age and the students’ is getting increasingly wide. One of them asked me how old I was, and I told her “62.”
“Wow! You’re older than my grandparents!” she said, then caught herself and added, “Oh! But you look and act younger than they do.”
Good try, but a little late.
I realize I’m not as young as I used to be. The eye doctor tells me I have the beginning of cataracts, and the gleam in my eyes now comes from the sun hitting my bifocals. When I see a quarter on the floor, it isn’t worth the effort to bend over and pick it up. My wife complains that I keep the volume on the television uncomfortably loud. But I’m not sure how she knows. She’s getting as deaf as I am.
Still, I don’t mind getting older. I’ve learned there are a number of perks. Your supply of brain cells is finally down to a manageable size. Your secrets are safe with your friends because they can’t remember them either. You can sing along with elevator music. You don’t need a 20-year guarantee for the things you buy. Your joints are more accurate at predicting the weather than the local meteorologist. You can eat dinner out and still be home for the five o’clock news, and there is nothing left to learn the hard way.
But this morning, I had a scare. I got up at 6 a.m. to do my quiet time, reading my Bible and meditating upon its meaning. I didn’t want to disturb the students, so I reached over in the dark, put on my glasses and opened up my Kindle (which is lit) to read the Scriptures. Sometimes my eyes take a few minutes to adjust first thing in the morning. But today, nothing looked right. I squinted, hoping that would help, but the blurriness only got worse.
I held the Kindle farther away from my face. Sometimes that helps, but this time, it didn’t work. I finally adjusted the font size to the largest setting, the size of a Volkswagen Beetle. It was so large the person in the next county could read it. But even at that size, the type was blurry. I kept reading, figuring sooner or later my sight would snap back into focus. I spent an hour trying to make out the big fuzzy letters and as my eyes got tired, I lay back down on my cot, covered my eyes with my arm and started praying.
There are several kinds of prayers. There is the one that comes off the top of your head when you are asked to bless the meal at Uncle Albert’s house, and then there is the one that comes from somewhere deep inside as you cry out to God. This prayer was the latter; I needed God to heal my eyes. How could I make it through the day or even drive in Mexico if everything was out of focus? As I lay there for some time praying I heard one of our leaders ask, “Has anybody seen my glasses?”
I didn’t want to stop praying, but a thought popped into my mind. “Could it be?”
Interrupting one of the greatest prayers for healing ever, I slowly raised my arm and pulled off my glasses. Upon close examination, I realized they weren’t mine. Somehow in the darkness, I had reached over and picked up the wrong glasses, thinking they were mine. I gave them back, put on my own glasses and my vision was instantly healed.
But I am not the only who has put on the wrong glasses. When it comes to spiritual things, many people have a hard time seeing the hand of God. You look at life through television, magazines or circumstances and even through the eyes of others. You’re convinced God doesn’t care and has forsaken you.
I suggest you change your glasses. Look at your life through the lens that will give you clarity: the Word of God. As you search His Word, ask God to give you wisdom. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom (understanding the bigger picture) you should ask God, Who gives generously to all.” Next, be prepared for Him to help you see clearly: “Now then, stand still and see this great thing the Lord is about to do before your eyes!” (1 Sam. 12:16)
In this New Year, and always, reading the Bible is a great way to bring things into focus . . . as long as you wear the right glasses.