How's Your Vision?
Recently, after a lifetime of perfect vision, I began wearing reading glasses. I have no problem seeing distances; it's the little details that are hazy for me.
Our spiritual eyes are like our natural eyes in many ways. They both can suffer from a number of vision problems.
1. Spiritual farsightedness. According to my optometrist, I am farsighted. On a spiritual level, people can be farsighted too.
Those with this vision problem can see the big picture—the ministry, the calling, the sphere of influence God wants to give them—but they struggle with little details such as truthfulness, integrity, patience and so on. They see the landscape of future fulfillments and promises, but they stumble on the simple, close-up, day-to-day things that are necessary for success.
I know a number of wonderful, anointed ministers who will never see their visions come to pass because they suffer from spiritual farsightedness. I call these men and women empty dreamers.
Such people are always dreaming of the great possibilities ahead. But they fail to practice the unexciting, daily disciplines that bring about the fulfillment of those possibilities.
When we get a word of promise from the Lord, we are right to receive it with joy! But then we must begin to fine-tune that vision and walk out the process that is required to fulfill it.
2. Spiritual nearsightedness. The opposite of farsightedness is nearsightedness—the ability to see only the objects closest to you. The big, beautiful, panoramic views are lost on those who can't see more than 10 feet in front of their noses!
People who are spiritually nearsighted focus on every tiny detail of life and ministry. Unable to look upward and outward, they miss the grand scope of all that God is doing and all that He wants to do in their lives.
When we allow the temporal details of daily living to dominate our attention, we fail to see the wonderful future God has planned for us. The result is that we become discouraged and lose hope. Yes, we must attend to the little things—but we must never lose sight of the big picture.
3. Spiritual astigmatism. For some time my husband was almost legally blind due to a condition known as astigmatism. Light did not refract properly through his eyes, making it difficult for him to see even with glasses. He was miserable.
But last year he underwent laser surgery. A very precise laser was used to surgically correct the structure and alignment of his eyes.
Now his eyes work the way they were meant to work. He has never seen better!
Astigmatism can be a problem on a spiritual level, too. When God reveals something to a person with spiritual astigmatism, they may not "get it" right away. They may need someone from outside their set of circumstances to bring alignment and clarity.
Sometimes spiritual astigmatism is caused by old hurts or wounds that act as filters through which every new vision passes. Because the spiritual light is refracted improperly, sight and understanding are hindered.
I know a woman who was raised in an abusive home. She often saw her father physically hurt her mother. Then she'd see him sober up, bring flowers to her mother and beg for forgiveness.
This woman survived her difficult childhood and grew up to marry a wonderful, godly man. Her husband would often bring her a bouquet to show his love. But every time she saw the flowers, she could see only a manipulating man trying to appease her.
She was suffering with a vision problem! Thankfully, with God's help, she received healing, and she and her husband are happily married today.
4. Spiritually weak or lazy eyes. As a young child, my oldest daughter, Stephanie, loved to read. She was actually reading by kindergarten!
But a problem surfaced when she was in first grade. Her teacher called us one day and said that Stephanie had failed a sight test that had been given to all the students that afternoon.
Stephanie had a lazy eye, we were told. Unless something drastic was done to correct it, she would grow up to be blind in one eye. So for some time she had to wear a patch, like a pirate, to force the lazy eye to work.
You see, Stephanie could read, play, learn and do everything the other children were doing. But when she was faced with a test, she failed.