A Call to Prayer for Our Men

1413873_25257163

{my apologies that my subscribers are receiving this post twice. I actually had to restore my site and re-post this.}

My daughter and I met some friends for lunch on Friday. The hour and a half drive there took us through a section of road that has adult stores dotting the roadside for several miles. Usually these stores have cars in front of them that are very obviously parked so that no one can see their license plates. A sure sign of embarrassment and shame.

As we drove back home on Friday, I happened to see a man get out of his work truck in front of one of these stores. He went around the side of his truck to fix or rearrange something. I stared at him as we went by. I wanted to see just what kind of men frequent such places.

And guess what? He looked like an ordinary guy that we’d hire to fix our car or stand and talk to at a sports game. He certainly didn’t look like an evil monster.

Now, truthfully, I didn’t expect him to look like a monster. So what’s my point? I believe that we women have done a great disservice to our men if we are not praying for their sexual purity.

It makes us so uncomfortable to even talk about this. Even now, some of you will be appalled that I would be writing about such a thing. But, honestly– unless you are living in blind ignorance–you must realize that pornography has become a problem of epidemic proportions in the American family. Even in Christian families. So many face the consequences of this deadly, secret sin in one way or another.

I’m not going to speak to the men since I obviously can’t understand how that temptation works for them. However, I am going to challenge the women reading this– wives, mothers, aunts, grandmothers– to pray for the men in their lives regarding sexual purity. Pray for your husbands, sons, nephews, grandsons. Ask the Lord to protect them from this particular temptation.

We can’t just turn our heads and pretend this problem doesn’t exist. Because that doesn’t keep it from existing.

Will you join me in praying for the sexual purity of our husbands and sons? Our nephews and grandsons? Our brothers and brothers-in-law? And even our pastors and spiritual leaders? God will use our prayers to help them to resist the temptation of this secret sin that destroys so many marriages and families. We must never underestimate the power of prayer!

Obviously, this is not my typical kind of post. But when I saw that normal-looking man walk into that store, my heart broke for him and his family because I know that they have a serious problem that will only grow worse unless he seeks help. And it reminded me to pray hard for the men in my life in this particular area. I thought I would share this with you, in case you, too, would like to ask God to strengthen and protect the men in your life.

 

When You Can’t Fix It

toolboxAll of us are faced, at one time or another, with a situation we just can’t fix-

 

-Someone who won’t forgive us

-A child who has chosen to rebel against God

-A church situation that is beyond our control

-A health crisis

-A strained or broken relationship

-A political leader who systematically destroys a country

The list could go on and on…and on. Life is so full of “unfixable” situations.

The older I get the more I realize that there are so few happy endings in real life. For the life we live here on earth is full of strife and sin and sorrow.

We all handle these situations differently, don’t we? Some of grow angry and explosive when we lose all control over our circumstances. Others of us grow withdrawn and depressed. And still others of us worry and fret and complain.

But how should we face the uncertainty and frustration of a life we can’t control?

But before we talk about how we should respond, I just have to mention this–I think the thing I find almost comical (if it weren’t so sad) in my own life is that I have actually spent many days thinking I can control my life–until God makes it very clear that I can’t. When things are going smoothly we often forget to be thankful for the ordinary, don’t we?

Okay, back to how we should respond to these situations we can’t control. As I have grown older, I have learned (and am still learning) some things about this–

1. I have zero control over the events in my life. Let me write that one more time– ZERO control. Our uneventful lives hang delicately by a thread. At any moment they can be disrupted by any number of events. And I have no control over these events.

2. God has full control over these events. He knows exactly what He is doing. He is good and loving and merciful. We can rely on Him. If we are a genuine child of His, born again through the blood of Jesus Christ, He offers us peace and strength in the midst of every trial. We are not alone.

3. Trying to manipulate situations and people usually makes it much worse. I have found this to be true on many occasions. When I try to “fix” someone else or manipulate circumstances, I usually just fall flat on my face or end up in an argument. I have found the best response to be prayer and a concentrated study of my own heart– How can I change? What should I learn through this? How should I respond as a believer?

4. God is all-powerful, but sometimes He chooses to say no. We know that God can do anything.  And many of us have seen the evidence of a miraculously transformed life. We have heard of the extraordinarily disappearing tumor or health issue. He is Big and sometimes we see that in a supernatural way. But sometimes we don’t. And that’s okay. I like to think of our lives as this big tapestry, in which we can’t see the design of our lives but God, the master weaver, knows each and every thread — whether it be dark or light. We are just the canvas.

5. I need to submit to the sovereign will of God. And so we come back to this lesson I have been learning all of my life and continue to learn. I find that this lesson is a hard one whether I am suffering from an event that changes life permanently or just a small trial that is inconsequential in the scope of life. God knows best and He is good. I will only experience the peace and love and joy He has to offer if I submit my will to His.

Amy Carmicheal, a missionary in India long ago (if you don’t know her story, you should look it up- it’s amazing!) was a beautiful poet. I want to leave you with this short verse, written by her–

“And shall I pray Thee change Thy will, my Father,
Until it be according unto mine?
But, no, Lord, no, that never shall be, rather
I pray Thee blend my human will with Thine.

I pray Thee hush the hurrying, eager longing,
I pray Thee soothe the pangs of keen desire—
See in my quiet places, wishes thronging—
Forbid them, Lord, purge, though it be with fire.”

When Life Feels Impossible

DSC05675rev

So the other night I was at a Tough Truck competition. This would not tend to be my usual choice for a Friday night. But this was different because my son had entered the contest sponsored by our local fair. Of course, I wanted to support him. It’s his third year participating and, honestly, it’s kind of a fun night.

But it can get a little monotonous watching these beat-up cars and trucks take the same track again and again. So when a very lifted truck–is there another term for this that I don’t know? “very lifted” just doesn’t sound like I know what I am talking about! Anyway— when this truck pulled up to the starting line, we were growing a little bored. I heard a few comments around me wondering how the truck would survive the course. It looked like it would topple over as it took the various jumps and turns. I had to agree.

But, lo and behold, it stayed upright. The driver was able to keep his truck under control as he quickly maneuvered his way through the course from his high perch. As he took the last hill and landed on the dirt in front of him, he gunned it towards the finish line. For some unknown reason, a giant hill of dirt sat at the end of the course this year. The driver was going so fast that he had to swerve to miss this pile. As he swerved, he finally did what all of us had been expecting all along. He tipped his truck over on its side. There he lay, helpless, as men started running towards him.

They gathered around him and started trying to push the truck back over. More and more men ran to the truck and added their strength. But the truck wasn’t budging. Which is actually a good thing for the fellow who was trying to pull it back down and stood on the other side of the truck (what exactly was he thinking?!?)

After a few moments of pushing, they finally got a tractor and hooked it up. With this machine, they were able to quickly pull the truck back over onto its four wheels. The truck driver was just fine and drove off the field. The competition continued.

As I watched this whole thing, I just had the thought come to me that all that manpower really did nothing. Now could they have, with enough men, rolled that truck over? Probably.

But, oh, how that tractor had made easy work of the whole thing.

Made me think…

Sometimes we have a personal problem. It’s a giant problem (or in most cases, a giant sin issue)–whether it be an addiction, a bad marriage, anger issues, needing to lose weight, or whatever. You fill in the blank.

And we start gathering our resources — books on the subject, websites, support groups, seminars, conferences, and counselors. We gather our family and friends for support and encouragement. And all of these things gather to push us back over to where we need to be. And sometimes it works.

The show Biggest Loser (is that even on anymore?) shows us that it can work. All that pushing does help the contestants get to healthy weights (although I think many of them end up where they started — but, hey, that’s another subject for another day).

I can’t help but think, though, that as believer we have a better way to go about it.

We have the Word of God to teach and to change us (Hebrews 4:12, 2 Timothy 3:16-17). We are told in scripture that the Holy Spirit is here to strengthen us in our inner man (Colossians 3:16). And that the Holy Spirit will help us to keep the pattern of good works that was committed to us (2 Timothy 1:13-14).

All of the extra resources are okay (if they are from a biblical viewpoint) but they are just that –extra.

I know this isn’t a popular viewpoint, but the bottom line here remains that all we need for a life lived for Jesus is God’s Word. All we need to get to the bottom of any problem is God’s Word. We need to read it, study it, know it, and obey it.

Does that seem too simple for you? It may be. But that doesn’t make it any less true.

This does not mean we will have a problem-free life. However, what it does mean is that we will have the strength, courage, and guidance necessary to face our sin issues and problems. The Bible will show us the best way to get back on all four wheels and, if we obey, we will get there. It may be slow and hard, but we will get there.

I think that is really where the rubber meets the road– what the Bible tells us to do isn’t really what we want to hear.

We don’t want to hear that we need to be selfless (in a bad marriage or unpleasant work situation) or have self-control (losing weight, addictions, anger issues). We want to blame it on someone else or something else. Funny thing is, though, that God’s Word never gives blame as an option. Instead, it always hits us right where we are in our sinful hearts.

And so we wriggle uncomfortably and turn towards other options, following after the wisdom of man instead of the wisdom of God. We push and sometimes even unwisely pull without much success.

Oh, how foolish we are.

Let’s turn our hearts back to God’s Word today. I love how Psalm 119: 9-11 puts it —

How can a young man cleanse his way?
By taking heed according to Your word.
With my whole heart I have sought You;
Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!
Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against You.

 

Mixing It Up Right

Wartime Hair Dresser REVYesterday I finally made time to color my hair. Yes, I color my hair. If I didn’t, it would be three {very unattractive} shades darker and streaked with gray. I’ll go gray…eventually. Just not quite ready for that yet. ANYWAY…

As I sat there on the floor in the bathroom waiting the set amount of time for the color to process (45 minutes to cover gray) I couldn’t help but have some time to think. I remembered the time, probably at least seven or eight years ago now, when I really messed up this process. That was when I bought the boxed kits at Wal-Mart–before I discovered that you could buy much better hair color at Sally Beauty Supply.

In the kits were three tubes–color, developer, and conditioner. The key was to mix the color and developer together and, after the set amount of processing time, to use the conditioner after it was rinsed out. Well, this time, I wasn’t paying very close attention (didn’t spend much time on me, homeschooling young kids) and I accidentally mixed the color with the conditioner. This wouldn’t have been a big deal if I would have caught it. I could have just went to the store and bought another box. But I didn’t catch it. Not until it had sat on my head for thirty minutes (didn’t have much gray back then) and I had rinsed it out and went to grab the conditioner.

Oh, no! Now what?

Well, I had no choice now, did I? I rinsed my hair out as best I could and proceeded to style it. Oh, my word! I had helmet hair in the very worst sense of the phrase. My hair lay, in all its lackluster and vapid glory, completely flat against my head. Hair full of body has never been my best feature, but that was…well, awful. For weeks afterwards, I had the flattest, dullest hair around. It was embarrassing. To say the least.

So why this incident came to mind yesterday, I have no idea. But for some reason I did think about how parenting is so much like this.

The color is God’s Word, the developer is living by God’s Word and a robust prayer life, and the conditioner is love and discipline. So follow along with my thinking here–

If we mix God’s Word with only love and discipline, but don’t have the life to match, we will raise kids who don’t see God making any difference in our own daily lives. If our kids are hearing God’s commandments in church or even from our own mouths, but then, in our daily lives, they are hearing us scream at each other or they are hearing offensive music on the car radio or they see the seething romance novel on our bedside table, no matter how much love and discipline we meter out, our parenting will fall flat.

We have to be who we want our kids to be.

Unfortunately, that is the way that works best. Oh, sure, sometimes, God is in His grace rescues a child from becoming like their parent–and we thank Him for that. But as I observe the world around me and the many hurting families, I wonder if our examples at home aren’t messing up our testimony in front of our own kids. Every time our kids hear us lie, every time we watch or listen to something that doesn’t glorify God, every time we treat our spouse with disrespect, every time we react in pure and unadulterated anger to our son or daughter’s childish mistakes, we destroy our testimony.

Parenting is such a wonderful privilege but it is no easy task. Remaining genuine and transparent in our own homes isn’t that difficult. But setting a godly example and pleasing the Lord with our choices and actions in our own homes–now that’s hard.

I don’t know if it’s always been like this, but I know I have to fight against my own selfish desires every day. This culture, where instant and complete gratification of any and all desires, reigns supreme, has crept into even the lives of us sincere Christians. I really have to work to keep God number one in my life instead of myself.

But, just like that hair color, if I mix it up wrong, it will not end well. And the big–the tremendous–difference is that, while my constantly growing hair provides me with second chances, we don’t have that second chance with our kids. We have to do it right the first time.

And that’s where the robust prayer life comes in, which is also a part of the very critical developer.

And then the conditioner, comprised of both love and discipline, makes this parenting thing go so much more smoothly.

Okay, so my analogy may not be all that great. Who knows where I come up with some of these things? But, at any rate, I hope I gave you a little something to think about on this day.

 

 

It Will Be Worth It All.

IMG_5697rev

I derive comfort from these words and thought I would share them with you, as I will find it difficult to write today.  This is a beautiful old hymn that gives hope in the midst of discouragement and darkness.

IT WILL BE WORTH IT ALL

Sometimes the day seems long,
Our trials hard to bear.
We´re tempted to complain,
to murmur and despair.
But Christ will soon appear
to catch his bride away!
All tears forever over
in God’s eternal day!

CHORUS:
It will be worth it all
when we see Jesus!
Life’s trials will seem so small
when we see Christ.
One glimpse of his dear face,
all sorrow will erase.
So, bravely run the race
till we see Christ.

At times the sky seems dark,
with not a ray of light;
We’re tossed and driven on,
no human help in sight.
But there is One in heaven,
Who knows our deepest care;
Let Jesus solve your problems,
just go to Him in prayer.

Life’s day will soon be o’re,
all storms forever past;
We’ll cross the great divide
to Glory, safe at last!
We’ll share the joys of heaven:
a harp, a home, a crown;
The tempter will be banished,
We’ll lay our burdens down.

IMG_5649rev

Wednesday Wisdom: God, You are Faithful

1407136_40870804rev

There are so many beautiful words that describe God: Loving, Kind, Good, Just, Perfect, Omnipotent, to name a few. But I am not sure any is more comforting than the word FAITHFUL.  Lamentations 3:22-23 tells us about this: Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not.  They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.

About five years ago now, Christian music artist Steven Curtis Chapman found out about God’s faithfulness the hard way. He and his family experienced a tragedy that none of us would wish on our worst enemy. I heard him say in an interview that he had to figure out if all of the stuff he had sung about for so many years was actually true. Through it all, he grew to understand God’s faithfulness in a way that only those who experience anguished and heart-breaking adversity can. I love this song so much. It is honest and raw and oh, so hopeful. God is faithful!  

FAITHFUL by Steven Curtis Chapman
I am broken, I am bleeding,
I’m scared and I’m confused,
but You are faithful.
Yes You are faithful.
I am weary, unbelieving.
God please help my unbelief!
‘Cause You are faithful.
Yes, You are faithful.

I will proclaim it to the world.
I will declare it to my heart
And sing it when the sun is shining.
I will scream it in the dark.

You are faithful!
You are faithful!
When you give and when You take away,
even then still Your name
is faithful!
You are faithful!
And with everything inside of me,
I am choosing to believe
You are faithful.

I am waiting for the rescue
that I know is sure to come,
‘Cause You are faithful.
Yes, You are faithful.
And I’ve dropped anchor in Your promises,
and I am holding on,
‘Cause You are faithful.
God, You are faithful.

I will proclaim it to the world.
I will declare it to my heart
And sing it when the sun is shining.
I will scream it in the dark.

You are faithful!
You are faithful!
When you give and when You take away,
even then still Your name
is faithful!
You are faithful!
And with everything inside of me,
I am choosing to believe You’re faithful.

So faithful…

Though I cannot have the answer
that I’m wanting to demand,
I’ll remember You are God
and everything is in Your hand.
With Your hands You put the sun, the moon,
the stars up in the sky,
for the sake of love, You hung Your own Son
on the cross…to die…

You are faithful…
Yes, You are faithful…
When you give and when You take away,
even then, great is Your faithfulness!
Great is Your faithfulness!

And with everything inside of me,
I am choosing to believe You’re faithful!
Oh, oh, oh…
Oh, oh, oh…
When you give and when You take away,
even then still Your name
is faithful!
You are faithful!
And with everything inside of me,
I am choosing to believe…

…You’re faithful…

**If you are not familiar with the tragedy that beset this family, you can read about it here.

**You can listen to this beautiful song on YouTube here.

Fill ‘Er Up

676547_20773970

I heard a little ding. My eyes went to the dash. Great. I was on empty. Really empty. I had just left the house to pick up my daughter from basketball practice and remembered that this low fuel light had been on for quite awhile. I was probably not going to even make it to the school.

Does God care about that stuff? I am pretty sure He does, as I have had so many “inconsequential” prayers answered that it defies coincidence. But, at any rate, I pictured that precious gas station just a few blocks away from the school and put in my petition, “Lord, if there is any way I can just make it to that gas station…but, of course, if I don’t, it’s not the end of the world…”

This was the closest I had come to running out of gas in a long time. I don’t like to cut things that close.  I grabbed on to the steering wheel and coaxed the car along, “you can make it!” Yes, I think…if I remember correctly…I was talking to my car. Good thing I was alone.

Imagine my delight when I pulled up by that gas pump. I sighed with relief. I had made it. I reached for my purse…

You have got to be kidding me.

It wasn’t there. In my hurry to leave, I had forgotten my purse and all forms of payment. All forms. “Okay, stop, breathe. You can figure this out. Check your emergency money fund.”

Normally, I keep at least a few dollars in emergency money. But, alas, (and of course!) it was empty. The time I need it most, the only thing available to me was a handful of change.

So now what?

I called my son, “can you bring me my purse?”

“Aw, mom. Go to the school and see if you can borrow ten bucks from someone. If you can’t, I’ll come rescue you.”

I had doubts I would even make it to the school, much less back to the gas station. But, what choice did I have? And, at least by this point, I had a back-up plan in place, thanks to my son. That made me feel a whole lot better.

And so I tentatively set off for the school. There I found a Good Samaritan in the form of one of my daughter’s friend’s Dad. He graciously lent me a twenty with a smile. I gathered my daughter and headed off for my third uncertain journey of the day.

As I pulled up beside that pump for the second time that day and filled the car with the precious liquid it needs to get me anywhere, I slumped in the driver’s seat, thanking the Lord.

This wasn’t do or die. I had a rescuer if I needed it. It was just one of those annoying things in life. And the worst thing about it: it was totally my fault. I had let it get too close to empty. I had left the house without my purse. My emergency fund was dry.

I was reminded of this incident a few weeks ago, when I heard one of my dear friends talk about remaining godly during illness. She has suffered greatly this past year with a strange illness that came by surprise and continues to hold a grip on her life.  She gave a wonderful presentation, but one thing she said especially stuck with me.

Be prepared.

Before anything rocks your world to its core, make sure you are prepared.

How do we do that?

Know God (Philippians 3:10); Fill our minds with the right things (Philippians 4:8); Study His Word (2 Timothy 3:16); Memorize passages of Scripture (Psalm 119:11); Walk with Him daily (John 15:4).  Grow as a believer (I Corinthians 3:2); Care for those in need and hate the world (James 1:27).

Sometimes I think we get so caught up in this busy and very warped world, that we forget what is really important…until it is too late.

But I see very threatening clouds on the horizon of this country. I don’t mean to sound like I am predicting doom, but I guess you would have to have your head buried in the sand to not realize that it is probably going to get a lot tougher for us Christians. Are you going to be ready? Will you be able to stand boldly for Christ? Will I?

What about just the normal stuff? Will we be ready for the inevitable trials and tragedies that come at one time or later to all of us?

Only time will tell. But I want to be ready! I don’t want to be stuck with an empty tank of gas beside a gas pump without any form of payment. Now that would be stupid.

 

My journey with CQTS

mobile

It all started over a year ago.  Maybe it even goes further back than that. When you find out you have a condition, it is hard to know when it really started.

I think it started when I purchased my iPhone and downloaded a dictionary.

Suddenly, my iPhone seemed a necessary study tool to have by me during quiet time.

And then my iPhone was joined by the very helpful iPad with all of its wonderful Bible Study tools.  How amazing to have maps and commentaries and Bible dictionaries at my finger tips all for a few dollars.

And, so, I settled into a nice little pattern of having these tools beside me.

Until one day I realized: I had a classic case of CQTS:

Compromised Quiet Time Syndrome

While these two little gadgets did help me with Bible study, the disadvantages were many. You see, each time I would hear a little ding that I had a text, I would click it…immediately. If I saw a little notification number, I would feel the need to check it…immediately. Until one day, I realized that these helpful little gadgets had become very large hindrances in my walk with God.

Basically, I was telling God to hold because I had something more important to do.

I had spent at least the last five years telling my kids not to text while studying –it’s too distracting. I knew the danger of having a phone nearby. And, yet, here I was, doing what I had told my kids not to do. But instead of studying science or math, I was studying God’s Word. How pathetic was that??

And so I knew I had to find the cure for this condition. And guess what? The cure is quite simple, really–

Leave my iPhone and iPad on silent and far away from me during quiet time.

That’s it.

And so my healing from this syndrome continues. Some days, I forget to put my phone on silent and I can’t resist checking it. And some days, it is more difficult than others not to compulsively check what’s going on in the rest of the world and I fail. But I am definitely moving the right direction.

I know there are many who can’t relate AT ALL to this, but I am quite certain there are at least a few out there who CAN. I have seen the phones that barely leave the hand or the pocket, even in forty-somethings. We have become a culture that has put our texting and internet life before face-to-face relationships. I had become a person who had put those things even before God.  I am quite ashamed to admit that.

But, thankfully, my God forgives me (over and over and over again) and I am healing. I am glad to say I am better today than I was a few months ago.

And I realize: iPhones and iPads can be wonderful tools–but they are tools, not gods. It’s time many of us stop idolizing our gadgets and start making our relationships with God and people our top priority.

 

My Compass in Uncharted Territory

954282_65316292 (1)After a busy, busy weekend, I was completely exhausted. I decided to turn on the TV. One of my favorite shows from the 90s was on. It was almost over, but I made myself comfortable and started to watch. I laughed at the family dynamics that are so part of any household.

One of the boys, on the cusp of teenager-hood, had done something really stupid. As the credits rolled, the parents joked about how their moms had wanted them to have kids just like them and now it had happened. It was funny and everyone was laughing.

But then the Dad said, “Seriously, what are we going to do?” He was wondering how they were going to handle this boy as he grew into an adult. The Mom put her arm around Dad and said, “Well, we just be the best parents we can be.”

I was immediately struck by what was missing. There was no God there. No power higher than themselves as they struggled through this journey of raising kids. They were relying on themselves alone.  It made me feel empty….for them.

Oh, I know it was just a television show.  But millions of parents around the world approach parenting this same way. They have no lifeline, no Helper, no power outside themselves.

I guess before seeing that little clip on TV, I had never thought about just how precious prayer is in the raising of our kids.

I mean I mess up–all the time. I am growing every day, but I still have such a long way to go. I can’t imagine approaching raising kids without a Heavenly Father to go to for comfort, for answers, and for grace.

Anything my kids are or will be is because of His grace.

We love our kids and we work so hard to raise them right. But, inevitably, we make mistakes and run into problems outside of our control.

But God is so faithful to answer prayer. Sometimes, it is not on our timetable. Sometimes, it hurts as we go through difficult days and nights of pain watching our kids make mistakes and paying the consequences of those mistakes.  But we never stop praying for them and trusting God for their spiritual growth.

Because there is a Power outside of ourselves. The world will tell you that you are the power. That you can do anything, including raising your kids. You can do it alone and without help.

Well, I am here to tell you – even if that is true (and it’s not) – I wouldn’t want to.

How thankful I am that I don’t have to. I serve a God who cares about the smallest thing. I serve a God whom I can talk to when it looks like my child is moving away from Him. I serve a God who comforts me. I serve a God who is my compass when I am utterly and totally lost. My help comes from the Lord!

Psalm 33:20 Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield.

Psalm 60:11 Give us help from trouble, For the help of man is useless.

Psalm 121:1-2 I will lift up my eyes to the hills, from whence comes my help?  My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.
.

I once was blind, but now I see!

693495_77038354Since my mother was a little girl she has been almost blind. She was quite unable to see or do much of anything without the aid of her eyeglasses. Somewhere during my childhood she got contact lenses and that made it more convenient. But the bottom line was that, unless she had some correction for her eyes, she only saw dark, undefined shapes.

But then a few months ago, she had the opportunity to get Lasik surgery. And I had the privilege of taking her to the appointment for her first eye. My daughter and I went for breakfast together while we waited for the surgeon to work his miracle in about an hour. When we returned we only waited for a few minutes before I was called back to see my mom in recovery.

As I entered the room I saw her sitting there with a clear bubble placed over her eye. She just kept saying, “This is amazing! This is amazing!”

Even with the bubble on, she could see incredibly clearly. She had gone from seeing only a dark, undefined, muddled world to seeing the whole world clearly!

What a great picture of what happens when we get saved. When we repent of our sins and are transformed by His glorious grace–only then are we given “spiritual sight”.

Matthew 13:16-17 puts it this way: “But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

While some things remain a mystery, we are given the gift of spiritual insight when we turn our lives over to Jesus Christ. Sure, it is not always an instant gift. But God gradually opens our eyes to the treasure of His Word and it becomes a bottomless well of wisdom and an incredible help for life.

But our unbelieving friends don’t understand. They mock us and they make decisions that destroy their lives and we just don’t understand why.

But if we stop and think for a moment, we do know why. They see darkly, unclearly. They don’t know what we do. And that means that, instead of harshly judging them, we should pray for them.

They are not living by the same rule book as you and I are. It seems so basic and yet we Christians seem to have a hard time understanding this.

If you got saved as an adult, you probably understand this so much better than me. You truly experienced a transformation. You know exactly what it means to live in blindness and then have your spiritual eyes opened upon your salvation.  While I experienced a transformation as a child, it was much less dramatic.

This is why we should not point fingers of judgment at the world. They don’t get it. They really don’t. That is because they can’t SEE. They have not had spiritual surgery.

Today, let’s mourn–and pray– for our lost family and friends who are honestly unable to see the Truth. And let’s express our humble thanks to the Lord for this undeserved gift of spiritual sight. Only when we are saved can we understand these amazing words:

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound!
that saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now am found
Was blind, but now I see!