After turning thirty, my eyes seemed to instantly go downhill. I remember squinting at an ibuprofen bottle and realizing with dismay that I needed to purchase a pair of reading glasses. I deeply loathed the idea of wearing glasses, and I prayed that God would heal my eyes. But a bit like Paul in the Bible, this thorn in my side would not go away.
In 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 (NLT) Paul says, “So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’”
My eye sight continued to spiral downhill year after year. I got to the point where I would often wear two pairs of reading glasses on top of one other. After years of living in denial, I finally broke down and went to the eye doctor. I wasn’t too pleased when I left his office, after ordering a pair of glasses.
Meanwhile, Thanksgiving (a national holiday in the United States) was approaching, and I was expecting to have some family members stay with us for the week. So, I diligently cleaned every square inch of my home. I crawled around the kitchen floor, scrubbing the cabinets. I had sore knees after cleaning the baseboards. I cleaned windows, blinds, and ceiling fans. In the end, my house was sparkling and shiny… Or so I thought.
About a week and a half later, I received a call stating that my glasses were in. By this time, my sister and brother-in-law had already been at my house for a couple of days. When I came home with my new pair of glasses, I couldn’t believe all the things I noticed.
There was a coffee cup that I used most days. I always thought it was just a white travel cup with a red band around it. But I discovered that the red band had writing on it: “Fill Drink Wash Repeat.” And this writing wasn’t small either. I couldn’t believe how I had missed it day after day. I continued to discover similar things, feeling as though I could see for the first time.
But I was shocked when I found areas in my home that I neglected to clean, such as my refrigerator. It looked spotless just hours ago. But now it appeared grimy. I was completely embarrassed knowing that the loved ones staying in my home saw my house in such a state.
So I started scrubbing my house some more. As I did so, I felt the Lord speaking to my heart. And the worst discovery of all was how the state of my home was a reflection of my spiritual life. For years, I said that I wanted to draw close to the Lord. But day after day, I lived in denial of the fact that my vision was failing. I would fly through my Bible reading in a few minutes each day, believing this sloppy task was enough. But much like the reading glasses I wore, this was a poor substitute for what I really needed. My walk with God didn’t seem to improve, even though it was something I deeply wanted.
I felt God gently prompting me towards a renewed vision. He showed me how I needed to make my time with Him a priority. I began to make small attempts at increasing my time with God. However, my efforts still fell short. I knew the Lord was telling me to get up earlier and start my day off right, but I wrestled with this idea for a time before finally resigning myself to actually do so.
Then the most amazing thing happened. When I finally took time to make improving my relationship with God my number one goal, I saw everything in a whole new light. I began learning so much more through God’s Word, which also helped me learn more about the Father and His heart. This caused the shape of my heart to miraculously change and I suddenly had a better outlook on life.
In 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NLT), Paul goes on to say, “So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Like Paul, I am now thankful for the glasses that I have to wear because it has helped me become stronger in my walk with God.
If this story rings true in your heart as well, take some time today to sit quietly with the Lord. Ask Him if there is something in your life that isn’t where He would like for it to be. And perhaps, like me, you will walk away with a new focus.