Open My Eyes

elisha eyes sight spiritual sight Sep 05, 2023

I will never forget the day I found out I needed glasses. I literally had no idea!

I was in fifth grade, and I'd always done well academically. So there were no bad grades or reading difficulties to indicate there was a problem. In our little rural school, though, the area health department was tasked with checking the eyes of the children in my grade. So one by one, each kid stood on a line in the back of the classroom, looked to the front, and read the eye chart.

It wasn't different letters like the charts for adults at the optometrist's office. It was a series of the letter E, but the letter was turned different directions. "Is the big E on its back, or turned backward, of facing forward, or turned so it looks like a table?" The nurse would hold a plastic eye cover over one eye, and the kid in the hot spot would read the chart.

When it was my turn, I went to the line and looked toward the front of the classroom. The nurse pressed the eye cover to one eye and asked the question. "Which direction is the Big E turned?" I squinted, shuffled my feet, hesitated, and she asked the question again. "Which direction is the Big E turned?"

I remember feeling so dumb, my first true humiliation. I spoke softly, "What Big E?" The class burst out in laughter. And I went home with a note from the teacher and the nurse indicating that I needed glasses. Badly. So badly, in fact, it was a miracle I'd done as well in school as I had. I was nearsighted, meaning I could see up close (so reading was easy!), but beyond a few feet, I couldn't see anything clearly. The blackboard was too far away, and I was missing pieces of assignments, information about various subjects, and class announcements. 

I think we walk around spiritually with the same myopia. We see what is directly in front of us, but don't have a clue what's beyond, how God is working and moving.

In 2 Kings 6, the king of Syria was making war against Israel and thought there must be a spy because he kept getting routed. He was told it was Elisha the prophet who was to blame, and the king sent horses, chariots, and a powerful army to capture Elisha.

Elisha's servant got up early and saw the massive Syrian army encircling the city. I can imagine Elisha shaking his head and saying, "All this for little ol' me!?" His servant wasn't so sanguine, though. "Oh no, my master! What are we to do?" Elisha answered, "Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them."

Then Elisha prayed. "Lord, please open his eyes that he may see." And Scripture says that the Lord opened the servant's eyes and he saw the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire surrounding Elisha. (2 Kings 6:1-17)

Too often we are paralyzed by fear like Elisha's servants, wringing out hands and worrying. "What are we to do." We try to solve problems in our own strength not realizing that we can't see what God is up to and there is a whole blackboard full of His help available to us in His word, through prayer, and by seeking His perspective.

Spiritual sight isn't something we can "muster up." Our eyes are opened when the Great Physician opens them, much like the eye physician opened mine when we set glasses on my nose and adjusted them so I could see. How my world changed, when I could see!

Ask God to open your eyes to see where He is working, and how He has surrounded you with His power, strength and provision.

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