Seeing Clearly

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 “I can see clearly now, the rain is gone,

     I can see all obstacles in my way. 
     Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind 
     It’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright) 
     Sun Shinny day.”

     I think I can make it now, the pain is gone
     All of the bad feelings have disappeared
     Here is that rainbow I’ve been prayin’ for
     It’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright)
     Sun Shinny day.”
Written by Johnny Nash, released 1972
     When I first became a Christian, this was one of my favorite secular songs. Woven through the lyrics, I could express what Jesus had done for me. He had made everything clear in my spiritual vision. He had lifted my spirits like no one or anything before that time. The tangled web of depressed feelings were washed away and in their place was the most beautiful rainbow painted across crystal-like, celestial blue skies.
     I wanted to sing forever of the pure joy I was experiencing. Everywhere I looked, life was brighter. Creation sparkled. And everyone around me knew of the beauty surrounding us.
     Well, just recently I had cataract surgery in one eye. When my vision cleared up in a couple of days, I immediately remembered these lyrics and the sacred place they held in my heart. I hummed the tune, noticing how vibrant colors had become after surgery. The burnt orange in our autumn garland popped with hues in High Definition. Life was a brighter white. Lines were more defined. And I was astounded at how clearly I could see distant objects. I even commented to my husband how I could see the stubble of the actor’s beard on TV. Images were so clear, they almost seemed artificial.
    
      Unfortunately, I started noticing a dark crescent-shaped line appearing in my peripheral vision. The technicians whom I spoke to over the phone explained it away as reflections that would disappear in a couple of weeks as my brain adjusted. Their explanation did not sit well with either my husband or myself so I dug a little further on the web and discovered that this condition could last up to a year.
     My disappointment was serious. Yes, I could still see brilliant colors and crystal-clear objects but this obstacle in my eye was diminishing the gift of clear vision I had received.
     Over the years in my journey with the Lord, my once crystal-clear spiritual vision has also suffered from obstacles. My heart had stopped singing this song as I focused on the black crescent-shaped line that was intruding on the beautiful rainbow and the bright blue skies. I guess my brain needed to adjust its focus.
Yet, stubbornly I clung to that black line until I was guaranteed “nothing but blue skies” again.
     There are no guarantees like that in Scripture or from the Lord. As a matter of fact, He says that we can expect to have tribulations in this world  but that He has overcome the world (John 16:31-33).  That has always been hard for me to accept. I have wanted to keep my “bright, bright Sun Shinny day” forever–in this world. 
     So I stumble through trials as if I am still wearing the cloudy brown out-of-focus vision I had before Jesus filled me with a new vision and a new life. My brain needs to refocus. On Him. On His Word.
     “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind (brain). Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2 NIV parenthesis mine
     I liked the depth of The Message, so I have included its translation of Romans 12:2 as well.
     “Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”

     With the help of the Lord, I think I can make it now–even though “all the bad feelings” have not disappeared. The rainbow I need to take hold of is Jesus, Himself, and His Word. That’s what I’ve really been praying for~though I may not have know it.
     Enjoy the song.

    

From My Heart to Yours,

Tell Me a Story

essentialthingdevotions.com

Missional Women

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10 thoughts on “Seeing Clearly

  1. Janis, there is a great deal of truth in what you say here. We should pray regularly to see clearly because there are so many things that can distort our perspective and vision.

    I pray that your surgery heals quickly and you don’t suffer from these nasty side effects for long.

    Thanks for linking up at Essential Fridays.
    Blessings
    Mel from Essential Thing Devotions & Connect With God

  2. Janis, you must return and request a specialist if only to bring you comfort. I am glad you are viewing colors better and that your spiritual vision is also focused on Jesus. I go back to my specialist in two weeks, as my second eye is taking longer to heal, but is getting better daily.
    Thank you for sharing with us here at “Tell Me a Story.”

  3. Hi Janis! Wow, you have been through a lot lately. I am so glad you went through surgery so well, but sorry for that dark spot? I have not heard of that before; but I was in the OR for those surgeries, not post op stuff. The good news is that it will go away.

    Loved the segue into the life in faith. Beautiful writing. Right down to the ‘refocus’. So true, I need to do that almost daily! But like your vision, I need to stress what is good, not what is less than I expect. God will bring it all to fullness in his time. We wait for his healing. So I will pray for your patience and joy in the new colors you see 🙂
    Ceil

  4. I like that song too. And yes, we have our trials going through this world. Being able to see clearly is something we all long for. I’m sorry the vision isn’t what you hoped for.

    blessings and love,
    Debbie

  5. Hi Janis, Great blog, related to much of it. Sorry your eye op was not as good as you had first hoped. In that and all things, what a blessing that Our Lord is with us in the dark places and vallies as well as the bright mountain tops. I like Sharon’s reference to Shadowlands and like her and you I tend to focus on the dark and forget to look at the colours. Like that song too.

  6. I’m hoping that your *dark crescent* will clear up sooner than a year, my friend. But what a great lesson you have taught through this experience. I immediately thought of this verse:

    “Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.” (1 Corinthians 13:12, NLT)

    C. S. Lewis called this life the Shadowlands – and I think that he’s absolutely right. Everything is diminished by the dark crescent of sin. And yes, I am like you – I all too often focus on the dark, and forget to look at the colors.

    GOD BLESS!

    (And, such a fun *blast from the past* with the song!! I love friends from my generation – LOL!)

  7. This is an apt analogy, Janis. I’m sorry for the shadow in your crisp, new vision. I’m taking your advice to heart–holding onto the rainbow of Jesus.

  8. Janis – Praying that our God brings healing & removes the obstacle – both physically & spiritually 🙂 May He give your eyes clear vision. Eyesight truly is a precious gift. Praying today that He restores sight to your eyes. He has a good track record of doing that so I truly believe He is able!!!!
    Blessings,
    Joanne

  9. So true Janis; God doesn’t promise the absence of pain or even failure, however He is always watching over us because He does not slumber or sleep! 🙂 Our God never grows weak or weary, but rather He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. He is always awake, always aware, and always watching over His children.

    Praying He continues to watch over you and give you strength through your recovery,
    Denise

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