” The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, 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 that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! (Matthew 6:22-23)
In my last blog I talked about the “but not’s”, entitled: But Not – clever huh? So please have a read of that one if you have not yet read it. In the last blog I was speaking of the place where genuine faith is lived out or worked out. Today I want to talk about the distraction of “yeah but”.
Recently I was part of a really nice situation. The specifics are not important, but it was an enjoyable connection and encounter with enjoyable folks. However, there was one wrinkle, or, as the Australians say a “niggle”, a little irritant. Not a big deal, but it bugged me. I noticed later when thinking about this, my pleasant thoughts were overshadowed by the “yeah but”. Someone asked me later, “Ray, did you enjoy yourself?” I heard myself answer, “yeah, but I didn’t care for such-n-such.” A little later in prayer my words came rushing back to me.
Even as a person who considers himself positive and optimistic, I realized how easy it is for my eye to focus on the flaw. Or, what I perceive as a flaw. I’m fairly certain I am not the only one who has this eye problem.
I have always been intrigued by the above scriptures. Here is how I interpret those words:
If your eye (your perception of life) is clear (healthy and whole, able to discern truth) your body (your life) will be full of light (life-giving, soul-transforming, freedom-imparting Truth). If your eye (your perception of life) is bad (unhealthy, fault finding, filled with ingratitude, unable to recognize God in your life) your body (your life) will be filled with darkness (confusion, deception, unfreedom). If then the light (what you wrongly perceive to be true and accurate) is darkness (not really truth, but undiscerned deception) how great is the darkness (you are doubly deceived with confusion, bondage, struggle, pain and you do not know why).
The solution? Once again I come to the scriptures of how to use our eyes: 2 Cor 4:18
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
We must choose to focus on the Unseen Eternal One. In every circumstance He is there. And I believe He takes each opportunity of our lives to express Himself, to reveal Himself, or, and this is the tough one – to reveal something about ourselves to us. But always and only for the purpose to bring to freedom to our lives. To expose darkness that we thought was light. To touch our hearts and reveal His heart. To express His extravagant love for us. To wash us with His Word to reveal the beauty that He sees.
So what did the Lord show me in my scenario I mentioned above? He kindly and gently showed me I too often define life by a perceived lack – versus the abundance of His love and provision. And doing so diminishes my joy and peace. Looking at the deeper Truth of life and circumstances draws my attention to HIM. I may not necessarily like the circumstance – but I can know that He is with me and has the ability and the desire to somehow transform difficulty into good (Romans 8:28). That brings peace! May the Lord’s peace be yours!