Enlightened and Hopeful Hearts

The Lord opens the eyes of the blind. – Psalm 146:8

The eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you. – Ephesians 1:18 (NIV)

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These lights are typical of many public Christmas displays. They say nothing about the hope we have in the birth of a Savior, while seeking to express a sense of joy during the holiday season.

Some time ago I was sitting at the kitchen table, reading the newspaper, when something started to happen to my vision. I recall the emotional response more than I do the physical details. It was an odd mixture of panic and gratefulness. I was panicked about the possible devastating loss of my vision – how would I get on with life; so much depends on being able to see. At the same time, I was so grateful and awed that God designed our human bodies to be able to see – to take in light, process those light rays, hues, tones, intensities, and colors in such a way that we can see a flower, a bird flitting from branch to branch in the tree outside, the clouds scudding across the sky, and the newspaper or novel we take up and read. I was also grateful that the incident passed quickly, and has not repeated itself since.

The same holds true spiritually; though I’m not certain that the potential loss of spiritual vision is as frightening. Perhaps the loss of spiritual vision is more depressing than frightening. It is likely less sudden and more gradual than my fleeting incident. The absence of spiritual vision is perhaps so normal for many people today that they are more likely to think of those who see hope in Christ as deluded rather than enlightened. Spiritually-blind people quite often think of themselves as the enlightened ones. They see things as they are.

It takes a miracle of God’s Holy Spirit to open the eyes of the blind. It takes God’s intervention – showing a person his blindness, darkening her hope – to awaken someone to the need for new eyes, and a pure hope.

Just last week, we had the opportunity to point people to the Savior of the world, the one in whom all hope and vision is to be found. I am confident that some who were present at one of the five Christmas Eve services were blind to the realities of the Word made flesh, and our true hope in Jesus. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to have done that. I pray that the Holy Spirit will have opened their eyes through the message of Jesus’ birth. I thank God for the measure of spiritual vision he has afforded me and all who put their hope in Jesus.

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