20/20 Vision: Cataracts

For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light. Psalm 36:9

A few years back a sudden eye emergency landed me at the retina specialist’s office. Everything turned out well after a few visits over the following 6 moths, however, he made a comment as I was about to leave on my last visit that shocked me. He told me, an early 50-something that I had cataracts forming. What?! Was I getting old? I still felt young! Wasn’t cataracts a condition for my grandmother, not me? I immediately came home and read up on cataracts. Isn’t that what we all do in the 21st centry? Find out too much health info on the internet and scare ourselves silly?

As it turns out, cataracts are a quite common result of living. As we age the lenses in our eyes become thicker, less pliable, and cloudy. That cloudy lens is the cataract. It doesn’t come on overnight like catching a cold and waking up with a sore throat. Instead, the lens clouds slowly, imperceptibly over time as we age, not causing any problems at first until we begin to notice our night vision going, or we experience dim, blurry vision at any time of day.

Isn’t it the same way with our spiritual vision? We are going along fine and dandy walking with the Lord through life. As we mature we begin to see spiritual truths more and more clearly most times. But occasionally our spiritual vision may become cloudy. We slowly drift along not even knowing until one day an emergency situation causes us to suddenly realize we don’t have God’s perspective on things anymore.

It’s sad. We’re shocked.

Maybe you’ve seen this in others. Godly people, serving the Lord faithfully. Then they start doing something not really wrong, but different. Maybe they miss church more or hang out with a different crowd or develop habits you internally know aren’t good for them, but you are hesitant to speak up to them about. They drift on, getting further and further down the stream away from the people of God, until one day a couple of years later you run into them in the grocery store or somewhere and say “Hey! Where have you been? I’ve missed you!” only to find they have moved on to another lifestyle totally away from from the heart of God. Their lens has gotten cloudy and they have lost their way.

It’s sad. We’re surprised.

Or perhaps you’ve seen this in yourself. You wake up one morning and say, “Where am I, and how did I get here?” You find yourself in a spiritual morass, stuck in the muck of sin and rebellion, when just a couple of years ago you were on fire for the Lord, maybe even leading a Bible study group. How did this happen?! Your lens grew cloudy. Spiritual blindness set in.

How do we handle spiritual cataracts?

First, just like with physical cataracts, we want to stop them before they start if we can. How do we do that? My eye doctor pushed me to wear dark lenses whenever I am out in the sun. It seems there is a connection between sun damage to the eye and the development of cataracts. So everywhere I go I wear sunglasses now. What do we know to do spiritually that will keep our sight healthy? Read God’s Word, study God’s Word, memorize God’s Word. Obey God’s Word. Pray and listen for His still, small voice. Share in community with the family of God. Be discipled – have someone who holds you accountable. It is much too easy to be a blind, wandering sheep when we are not in contact with others to help offer words of direction and correction.

Second. If you wake up with the “Where am I, and how did I get here?” feeling, drop to your knees and cry out in repentance. Repentance is doing a 180 degree turn around to get back on the right path. What is the right path? Ask God’s forgiveness and for Him to get you back on track and restore your soul. And follow through with just what we said in point one.

Third. Don’t depend on yourself and trying to be perfect. Go to the expert – your Creator. The Life in Christ is not lived in our own strength. We are empowered by the Holy Spirit to live a God-focused life that can see clearly and avoid or be healed from cataracts. How are we empowered? By just what we said in point one. The Life in Christ is very simple: Stay in The Word. Prayer. Obedience. Community. The Holy Spirit will equip us and empower us. Scripture will instruct us, convict us, correct us, and train us in righteousness. (2 Timothy 3:16)

We may stumble in sin and be temporarily blinded, but Jesus is capable of making the blind see! Our spiritual eyes may have developed cataracts that have clouded our vision, but our Master Surgeon can restore us to full sight. Come to Him and allow Him to treat your blindness.

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