Monday, August 3, 2020

Strangely Dim

I've worn glasses since I was 12, and I've had a love-hate relationship with them for most of my life. I convinced myself that I needed glasses because I watched our little old black and white TV too closely. That's what the old folks said, and that's what I believed. Turns out, I was near-sighted, I could see near but not far, and as I got older, I'm not sure my television habits had anything to do with my need for wearing glasses.

Love or hate, being able to see clearly, is an eye-opener. In my late 40s, my vision started to deteriorate to where I could no longer read the ingredients on labels. Up to this point, I wore
contacts most of the time, but now I was in a pickle because my then-current prescription did not help. It was then I discovered reading glasses and voila, I was never so happy to read the fine print. But now I had to decide my visual configuration - progressive glasses, single prescription lenses combined with reading glasses, single-lens contacts with reading glasses, progressive contacts - there were so many options. I eventually opted for progressive contacts the equivalent of progressives in a contact lens form. I can read books and I can see distances when driving. But it's not perfect.

So when the songwriter sings of the things of earth growing strangely dim, I understand. There is a strangeness to limited vision. Physically our eyes do more work when our vision is not clear, yet in a spiritual sense that's where we need to be - strangely dim to the things of this world with our eyes totally focused on Jesus, becoming myopic while drawing closer to Him. As we focus on Him, we see clearly. We're not distracted by the cares of this world; we're not weighed down; our thoughts aren't cluttered.

Paradoxically, our purpose becomes clear because we're myopic. The only time I want to be myopic is when I've turned my eyes upon Jesus, looking full into His wonderful face; where the things of earth grow strangely dim; in the light of His Glory and grace.

As is true of so many popular hymns, this hymn holds out a promise of Jesus' help for us while we look to Him.

O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There's light for a look at the Savior
And life more abundant and free.

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.

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2 KJV

Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. Colossians 3:1,2

Are the things of this earth strangely dim to you?


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  1. I used to think I'd never need glasses. But my 40s changed my mind. Now I can hardly read without a pair of readers. I'm thankful we can focus on God without having to wear spectacles!

  2. This resonated with me. My distance vision went first and now I’m struggling to read some small print. I’ve got glasses for distance but need bifocals and it is a reminder that these bodies are not eternal and will need replacing. Thankful for a redeemer who has prepared a place for me.

  3. I wore one contact for the longest, could not wear two. They eye doctor told me when I turned forty that everybody got bifocals,me, you Saddam Hussein, to quote him. I started getting dizzy, could not get on an escalator or bend over. Thankfully I can blow up my font now. Focused on Jesus, the world is dim.

  4. A great post Nylse!
    Bless you,

  5. Good morning .what a wonderful way to wake up to your morning prayer

  6. We so need the things of this world to grow strangely dim!!!

  7. Glasses has always been a tough sport for me, but I bless God for always encouraging me to live life without them...thanks for this post, it was an amazing one

  8. Thank you. Nylse. I, too, am finding that the "light of his glory and grace" brings everything into focus.

  9. You just brought back wonderful memories of my Papa leading the congregation in this song in worship. Thank you for reminding me of it.

  10. I too have had vision problems most my life, wearing glasses since second grade. After age 40, I was diagnosed with Fuchs Corneal Dystrophy and just last year had corneal transplants. I know what dim vision is. Mine is still not clear due to cataracts. Oh that my spiritual vision will be strengthen so that I can control where I look and stay focused on Jesus.

  11. They become dimmer every single day.

  12. This was such a beautiful and needed reminder to me.

  13. As someone who is very nearsighted (I've been wearing glasses since my teens), your post really resonates with me. Thank you for this reminder to focus on God and look away from the distractions and worries of this world.

  14. Loved this, and the quote of a favourite old song (love the Lauren Daigle version!) to simply fix our eyes on Jesus! Thank you for the reminder.

  15. Good to see that you are still writing. Thank you for your post.


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