“I see things so much more clearly now than I did years ago,” she stated matter of factly to the rest of us in the group. What a bold claim coming from someone who is – well – advanced in years, shall we say? Everyone knows our eyesight weakens with age, becoming less sharp, less clear. That’s why glasses were invented. So her claim to be seeing more clearly now, would appear preposterous if taken literally.
However, she was referring more metaphorically to the lens through which she viewed life and its events becoming more focused and less blurry as life experience informed her age. So her mind’s vision, or heart’s vision or her spiritual vision was improving with age. Some call that wisdom. Some call it the gift of experience. That’s probably why they say hindsight is 20/20 – we see clearly when we look back that which was not clear to us when we were in the midst of it.
It was Mark Twain who said, “Youth is wasted on the young.” Now that I am no longer “the young”, I couldn’t agree more with his wise words. Perfect vision is one of those attributes of youth, that atrophies with age. But, as this wise woman observed, though our physical eyesight grows weaker over time, we nonetheless began to see things more clearly as time passes. In fact, the end result will be perfect vision one day. I don’t know about you, but I am looking forward to that day when my vision is restored, so that I can see perfectly.
“Now I see through a glass darkly; but then I shall see face to face.” (1 Corinthians 13:12) Or the NLT translation says it this way –
“Now we/I see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we/I will see everything with perfect clarity.”
Perfect vision – perhaps if I saw more clearly, I would make fewer mistakes. I wouldn’t misjudge, or misstep or misspeak so often. I want to ask God the same thing King David asked of Him in Psalm 119:18,
“Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in Your law.”
It is my Heavenly Father who gives me vision in the first place.
“the Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous.” (Psalm 146:8)
Even as my physical eyesight grows dimmer, God is already at work improving the vision He wants to give me. And Jesus gives a really good tip for improving my eyesight in Matthew chapter seven. It has to do with how I view other people and Jesus has this to say,
“You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:5)
Good advice for improving my eyesight – get all the planks out. The world, including other people, will look quite different once I am seeing more clearly. When I am viewing the world and others with the vision God gives me, I doubt I will be concerned with any possible specks in the eyes of others. Seeing people as God sees them is a view full of compassion, empathy and care that my cloudy vision never shows me. I need to see things as God sees them, with the sight He gives me.
This happened to Elisha’s servant in 2 Kings 6:17, when Elisha wanted him to see what he couldn’t see on his own –
“Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”
Heavenly Father, thank You that You are making my vision clearer, not dimmer, with age, because You continue to walk with me, teaching me, that I might gain knowledge and understanding from Your living Word, giving me an ever clearer perspective. And on that day when “my faith shall be sight,” I shall have that promised perfect vision at last! And then –
“I myself will see Him with my own eyes – I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!” (Job 19:27)
sincerely, Grace Day