Why Is the World So Blurred?
A Word of Encouragement from Elizabeth Rice Handford
Sitting in the dentist’s chair, years ago, I heard my dentist say, “Libby, you have three new cavities.”
I wailed, “Why? I haven’t had a cavity in years! I’ve had to get trifocals and I just got new hearing aids. What in the world is happening to me?”
Dr. Wagner gently asked, “Libby, how old are you?”
Oh! Yeah. Of course. I had just celebrated my fiftieth birthday.
I remembered that conversation the other morning when I opened the newspaper. I could read the headlines, but the articles were an absolute blur. I had recently gotten new lenses, so I knew it wasn’t that I needed a new prescription. So I jumped to a silly conclusion. I had just celebrated my ninety-fourth birthday. “Oh, dear, oh dear, I got old! I’m going blind!”
Yes, I had gotten old. Very old. And yes, my eyesight had deteriorated badly. But it wasn’t age that dimmed my eyes that morning. It was my glasses. I’d forgotten to clean them that morning. They were opaque with hair spray and pollen and sweat and whatever else I’d blundered into the day before. If your glasses are dirty, no matter how good your vision, the whole world will be blurred, and nothing will make sense.
That’s especially true when I look at this poor world with my own human reasoning. It so hard to make sense of the terrible things going on in this poor world. I see only chaos and bitterness and conflict. So I need a new pair of glasses, a fresh vision from God. God created this world, and He has a wonderful plan for it. He is working His plan even with the wickedness and godlessness I see all around me that I don’t understand.
When the nation Israel asked God for a king, the prophet Samuel thought he’d found the man God had chosen. But God says, in 1 Samuel 16:7, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
Jesus said, in John 7:24, “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”
That’s a good thing to remember, not only when I’m trying to figure out this world, but also when I’m judging a fellow human being without knowing his heart!
The Apostle Paul reminds us that “we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:17,18).
Serious events are happening all around us. May God help us not to evaluate them with our human, faulty vision, but see them as the Almighty, Wise Creator views them. And that means we must listen faithfully and carefully to His Word. That’s why King David prayed, in Psalm 119:18:
Open my eyes to see
the wonderful truths in your law.
No, not until God gives me the clarity of His Word will I be able to make sense of the blurred and seemingly out-of-control world in which I live. But what joy it is to see it through God’s heart and mind. He is in control. We can trust Him when we cannot see our way.