Friday, March 21, 2008

Things Unseen

I don’t like what I am reading today. Everything I have turned to in my quiet time has struck me too hard. I say I want to hear from God, and then I don’t want to hear what He has to say.

It’s about my eyesight. This whole neurological episode/journey of the last month has pretty much cleared up except for the visual disturbance. I am glad for that, really and truly, but at the same time I am distraught about the loss of peripheral vision and the inability of my brain to process light when it comes in at certain angles. It’s like seeing a glare on a computer or TV screen except that it is inside my eye. I am (not so patiently) waiting for word from my eye doctor about the optic nerve tests I took on Wednesday.

So here I am this morning, opening God’s word, seeking Him. It’s what I am supposed to do, what I want to do, what I am driven to my knees to do. I open the book I’ve been studying in my quiet time (He Speaks to Me, by Priscilla Shirer). The chapter has been talking about being submissive to the Lord’s assignment for our lives. Priscilla references II Corinthians 5:1-9. Curious about what caught her attention in that passage, I look it up.

What I find is certainly timely: it is Paul’s exhortation to remember that our bodies are just a temporary tent. We’re supposed to long for our permanent, heavenly home. We’re not supposed to feel at home, satisfied, in this body. As long as we are at home in this body, we are away from the Lord. Then verse 7, the kicker: “We live by faith, not by sight.”

That’s a hard verse for someone struggling with the prospect of blindness. My eyes flood with tears and I sob. I am exposed, brought into touch with another Achilles heel, another weakness. I want my sight. How else will I be able to function? How will I be able to see the beauty around me?

And God says, “Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t there.”

Not what I want to hear. So I run. I head for the little Open Windows devotional I keep over by the computer. I turn to today’s entry. The story is about blindness and darkness. This is more than I can handle. God, what are you saying to me?

So then, I hear God. He says, “Lisa, can you see me?”

Of course I can’t see You.

“Am I important to you?”

You’re the most important thing in my life! I live for you!

“OK, then, what are you worried about? If you can’t physically see me and yet you live for me, how important can it really be to see anything else?”

I am silent. He’s got me there. I am quiet, but my eyes fill again. It’s Good Friday. We all know Jesus’ example. But it’s really, really hard to say, “Not my will, but thine.”