“We don’t see the world as it is. We see the world as we are.”
How’s the world looking to you today? How are the struggles of work, relationships, and rest coloring your sight?
Years ago, I underwent surgery to remove a cataract that had clouded my vision since the earliest days of my life. I was excited to finally see clearly—but after several complications and follow-up surgeries, an uncomfortable reality began to set in. Though the doctors had removed my clouded lens, my vision was still blurred. Turns out, my brain had become so used to seeing through a fog that it now projected the haze onto my vision.
My fogged vision is a daily reminder that I don’t see the world as it is. I see the world as I am.
Yet even now, though, I’m tempted to boast that my “sight” is the ultimate authority of reality: “If I see it, then I’ll believe it.” But living under that banner is a good way for me to see only more of what I’ve seen.
Jesus once said, “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” (Matthew 6:22–23 ESV)
For Jesus, light and darkness aren’t so much about what’s happening out “there,” rather they reflect what’s happening within. When our eye is healthy, the light, however dim or faint it may seem, will find its way to us, illuminating our whole being.
Perhaps you’re struggling to see the light. Maybe all you see is failure, disappointment, and purposelessness. It’s in these moments that we’re called to do the brave work of repentance—to close our eyes to what we see, acknowledge that we often get it wrong, turn to the One who dwells in perfect light, and trust that when we open our eyes again, by God’s grace and power, we will see something that we couldn’t see before.
Prayer and sight are inescapably intertwined. Prayer is how the eyes of our heart are enlightened so that we may know the hope of life (Ephesians 1:18). The darkness that gives form to depression, fear, loneliness, loss, death, pain, hopelessness, lust, sickness, selfishness . . . is real, and it can feel all-consuming. But as we embrace prayer as a way of life, the Spirit helps us in our weaknesses, giving us eyes to see that Jesus—and all that he represents—is indeed the light of humanity. He is the light that shines in our darkness, the light the darkness has not and will never overcome.
Praying with you,
P.S. I’m excited to tell y’all that I helped write a few songs for a new album that was just released by Integrity Music (it’s called The Mystery of Christ). You’ll find songs from Leeland, Mitch Wong, Phil Thompson, May Angeles, Dwan Hill, Carrington Gaines, and many others. Here’s a link if you want to check it out here.