drusen \ ˈdrü-zən \ – small yellowish deposits of cellular debris that accumulate between the retina and the inner layer of the eyeball, that are typically associated with aging, and that may be a sign of age-related macular degeneration
You may know the word: drusen. We did not, until a recent visit to the eye doctor. Suddenly this word came on our radar as a harbinger of possible bad things to come. If we’d never seen a doctor we would’ve never known there was a problem in the eyes.
When these drusen were discovered in my husband’s eyes, he was met with concern and a scheduled recheck in just a few short months. It is something to keep watch on and to pray never develops into its full potential – macular degeneration.
We understand harbingers of disaster in the world: the signs of approaching foul weather, physical signs that indicate disease in our body, the overdraft notice from our bank that signals financial issues. But do we see the harbingers of approaching spiritual disaster?
There can be drusen forming in man’s spiritual eyes of which we are not aware. Dangerous build-ups of debris (things that ought not be there, debris means trash you know), things that will lead to spiritual blindness and spiritual failure in our lives. What are some of these drusen? Scripture reveals to us many of these signs of impending spiritual failure.
1. Romans 1 lists a few. Verses 21-23 records these: not glorifying God, not being thankful, futile thinking, being wise in our own eyes, idolatry.
“For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.”
2. Romans 1:25 adds this – exchanging the truth about God for a lie, and worshipping and serving the created rather than the Creator.
“They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised.”
3. And Romans 1:28 heaps on one we all overlook at times – not acknowledging God. How often do we not even acknowledge with a word of thanks what God is doing around us, in us, and through us.
“…they did not see fit to acknowledge God…”
Paul starts a long, laundry list of the consequences of the accumulation of these spiritual drusen in Romans 1:29 where it begins “…they were filled with all manner of unrighteousness…”. It is a slow build-up of this spiritual debris. Verses 29-32 paint a bleak picture of what our lives may come to look like if we allow this trash, these “little things” like not glorifying God, thanklessness, and simply not acknowledging God, to build up and damage our spiritual vision.
4. The book of Proverbs has even more of these signs, too many to even list them all. Here are just a few: not heeding parental instruction, pride, giving in to enticement to sin, greed, foolishness, lack of fear of the Lord, and not listening to the Lords’s counsel and reproof. And those are just in the first chapter! (Prov. 1:8-9, 1:10-18, 1:19, 1:20-27, 1:28-29, 1:30-33.)
The deposits may be building in our spiritual eyes. Our spiritual sight may be in jeopardy. How will we know? By letting the Great Physician examine our hearts. We must bring ourselves into His presence, take in His whole counsel of His Word, and allow His Spirit to find the drusen, heal our spiritual sight, and get us back to health and clear vision.