Picture a child in a crowded market that has become separated from her father. There is a swirl of people about, moving in every direction. Her vantage point is made all the more difficult because of her comparative size. What is the first thing that she does?
She starts looking for her father. Head moving in fast motions in every direction. Eyes darting about. Everything in her little life has changed because she cannot see her father.
And then, she lays eyes on him. And in an instant, everything in her little life has changed because she CAN see her father.
There is power in vision.
I contemplate this picture because of what I observed in the Psalms this morning. In two verses, the Psalmist mentions “eyes” four times:
Psa. 123.1 To you I lift up my eyes,
O you who are enthroned in the heavens!
2 Behold, as the eyes of servants
look to the hand of their master,
as the eyes of a maidservant
to the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes look to the LORD our God,
till he has mercy upon us.
There is a simple but profound truth in this Psalm for us today, one that has fed my soul since reading and meditating on this morning. As a child of God, I must set my eyes upon God. In good times and bad, I must direct my eyes toward him.
This takes effort, does it not? Other things will attract our gaze. They will distract us from looking where we should. But the Psalmist reminds us – using two analogies – set your eyes (look!) upon the One who can (and will) help us.
And here is more Biblical comfort – we are not the only ones looking.
2Chr. 16.9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him.
Do you know the context of this verse? It is at the time of King Asa. He has already been delivered from his enemies one time by the LORD, when vastly outnumbered, no less. But this time, as he faces an enemy at the gates again, he turns to the king of Syria for help.
What has he done? He has taken his eyes off of the LORD, revealing a lack of trust. He begins to look elsewhere for someone he can rely on. And Hanani reminds him that his reliance should have been on God, and verse 9 is the reason why.
This is amazing truth for us! At the same time we are setting our eyes toward him, looking for him, his eyes are searching us out, aware of our circumstances, longing to provide the very thing we are hoping for – strong support, or as the Psalmist cries for here, mercy.
The power of vision is not found only in the first testament, but the second one as well. Maybe you are already thinking of the illustration that I am thinking of: Peter walking on the water.
As his eyes were set on Christ, he was fine. He could walk on water! Don’t let the familiarity of the story remove the ridiculous nature of that reality. As I sit here on the shore of Lake Superior it is hard for me to imagine walking upon its rolling waves. But Peter got that shot. And it was when he turned his eyes away from Jesus (which revealed an inner trust that was shaken), he slipped down into the waves.
Beloved, “turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace.”
Growing in the grace of seeing Jesus with you…