Sunday, January 7, 2018

eyes

In the spiritual life, where we fix our eyes is everything.  If we allow our eyes—and thus, our hearts—to be consumed by our own surroundings and struggles and circumstances, we are in for one wild ride.  But if we are able, by God’s grace and strength, to fix our eyes on the bigger picture, and not on whatever trouble we may be experiencing at the moment—if we are able to take out eyes off of ourselves and fix them on Jesus—then everything changes.  Oh, the circumstances themselves may not change much, but the spirit we have in the midst of those circumstances, and our quality of life as a result, will change immensely.  I guess that’s why the scriptures talk so much about it:  I lift my eyes to you, to you whose throne is in heaven. (Psalm 123:1)  So we fix our eyes not on what is see, but on what is unseen.  For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:18)  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrew 12:2-3)

It is really not that complicated—in theory at least.  But it is a little more difficult in practice.  For when my eyes are consumed with myself, and my little life and my little world, I find that I am filled with insecurity, anxiety, and fear.  It is a downward spiral that is incredibly difficult to break free from.  I don’t know about you, but I have the tendency get stuck inside myself at times.  But when I am finally able to fix my eyes on God instead, something beautiful happens within me.  Somehow he gives me the ability to climb out of the dark pit of self and come into the light of love.  It is an invitation that is always open to me.  Look at me,” says my God, “and you will be able to experience the joy and the life and the peace that I desire for you, rather than trying so hard to provide it for yourself.”  I pray that he will give us all the grace to do that more and more.


O God, sometimes I get stuck inside myself, consumed with my own life.  When I do this my life is filled with insecurity, anxiety, and fear.  But you want more for me.  Fix my eyes on you, O Lord.  Let love conquer insecurity, let peace replace anxiety, and let trust overcome fear.  In the name of Jesus I pray.  Amen.

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