Monday, March 25, 2013

Impaired Vision

I sat there, staring at the page, trying desperately to focus on the book in front of me. The uncomfortable conversation I’d just had with a loved one left me seething with anger. I needed to focus on something else but anger filled me to the brim to the extent that it had impaired my vision. No matter how much I tried to focus on my book, the only thing on the page that I could see clearly was the word:
Everything else on the page was blurry, but that one word seemed to glare at me -  and I stared back at it as if we were in a standoff. In the moment, I wanted that word out of my way. But it wouldn’t move.
With my selfishness exposed and my vision impaired, I wasn't going anywhere good with that stance. I lost my reading battle and I was later convicted to offer an apology. I know the Lord was speaking to me in that instance, using the word “grace” as a reminder of what he gives to me even though I don’t deserve it. I was so full of myself that I couldn’t see anything but me - my pain, my struggles and what I felt I deserved. 

I am ashamed to say that the last thing on my mind was serving my loved one that day. Grace should have been the obvious way because I know I have been given so much. I also failed to remember that grace is never deserved. I should have known better! But then again, we are never more blinded than when we are the center of our own universe.

Remember Peter? He promised Jesus that he would stay by his side. But Jesus revealed what He already knew about Peter’s heart before it manifested. Jesus told Peter that he would deny Jesus three times before the rooster crows. Peter’s response was one of denial. I can imagine that he was thinking something like, “Lord, you have me pegged all wrong. I’m not like that!”

Isn’t that how we humans are? We don't really see our hearts for that they really are. And when we are blinded by who and what we are, our relationships suffer (especially the one with God). We may see bits and pieces of what’s in our heart but rarely do we see it very clearly - partly because we don't want to and partly because of our fallen nature. Let's face it, it totally crushes any sense of self esteem to see how helpless and wretched we are deep down.
I didn't write this to guilt you about your condition - whatever that may be. I wrote it, hoping that you will think about how much you really know about your own heart. Because it isn't until we are willing to see and accept our condition that we realize how desperate we are for an ongoing relationship with Jesus Christ. And even then, seeing our own heart is an on-going process.

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