Several years ago, I worked full-time as an assistant for a local optometrist. I learned many things, but one of the most interesting was a fact about children’s vision. Although my own childhood was full of eye doctor visits, glasses, and therapy for my eyesight, this was something I never had never known.
Because children who are born with visual difficulty are unaware of the deficits in their sight, they do not understand the world around them is even more clear and beautiful than what they can see. Often the inability to see things clearly will manifest as attention disorders or unruly behavior. Doctors and teachers alike have testified of the changes seen when a child receives treatment for their vision; this may be through a pair of glasses or understanding the need to sit closer to the front of the classroom to see better.
Once a patient told me about their own experience by recalling how they never knew there were multiple, single leaves on a tree until the eye doctor prescribed glasses. Suddenly, the details of the world became crystal clear.
I had never considered this before. My own love-hate relationship with optometry began at age 2 and included glasses plus eventually wearing a patch over one eye for a time. One eye has always been very fuzzy, but overall my vision has never made me question what things really look like.
Now, let’s think about this in a spiritual sense.
Those of us who were saved at a young age, who grew up in Christian homes, heard the gospel preached and taught — we have never really had a reason to question the goodness and faithfulness of God. For me, even in the trials and difficulties of life, He has always been present, His Word a constant promise of hope and peace.
For those who have not had this background, who have never heard a sermon preached, who have never heard the truth of God’s love for them —they are like the little children who have no idea their vision is bad. Life is just the way it is, the way they have always seen it.
Until someone shows them what life can be like with Jesus.
It is like putting a pair of glasses on them when the Holy Spirit starts to work in the heart. This is not to say the problems of life go away. After all, my vision is still bad; the glasses just change my perspective. The conviction of the Holy Spirit helps us see where we fall short and where the grace of God is needed. It help us see God’s great love and the awesome sacrifice of Christ. It opens our eyes to the truths of God’s Word.
It changes our perspective.
Now here’s where the rubber meets the road: Just like a child needs a doctor to show them their vision could be better and diagnose their problem, sinners need someone to tell them about Jesus and the problem of sin.
”How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe on him in whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” Romans 10:14, KJV
Sinners cannot understand they need a savior if no one tells them about the Savior. I think we often find ourselves shaking our heads and saying, ”They should know better!” or ”I can’t believe they feel that way.” This should not surprise us, because most of the time, they don’t know any better; they don’t know to feel differently.
So who is going to tell them?
Instead of just shaking our heads and lamenting, we need to remember our commission:
”Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you;”Matthew 28:19a,20a, NASB
The things we have learned, we are to go out and teach those who do not know. And where are we to go?
”…you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”Acts 1:8b, NASB
Notice Jesus does not send us all to Africa or Ecuador. He starts with the people around us; (Jerusalem was home plate for the apostles.) Then as word spreads, it will reach the world.
Whose vision will you help today? Or maybe you and I need a check-up on our own ’vision’ before we can reach and help others.
”Thou wilt show me the path of life; in thy presence is fulness of joy, at thy right hand are pleasures forevermore.”Psalm 16:11, KJV
”Be Thou, my Vision, O Lord of my heart; Nought be all else to me, save that Thou art— Thou my best thought, by day or by night, Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.” - Irish Hymn (8th century), translated by Mary Elizabeth Byrne (1880-1931)