I have been wearing glasses and/or contacts since the third grade. Without corrective lenses, I have trouble seeing anything that isn’t directly in front of me.
For those of you who understand prescription strengths, my contact lens prescription is now a -6.5 in my left eye and a -7.25 in my right eye. Yes, it’s bad.
Lately, I’ve been using some reading glasses along with my contact lenses because my vision has gotten progressively worse over the past year. Sometimes I remember to bring these reading glasses with me, and sometimes I don’t; so I’ve decided that I’m going to try wearing glasses instead of contacts for a while.
During my last eye exam, which was this past week, I learned that I have now reached the age where the doctor is suggesting “progressive lenses” in my glasses. This means that my glasses will now have three separate “viewing areas:” one for distance, one for mid-range, and one for reading. He wrote me a prescription for contacts, single-vision lenses, and progressive lenses.
My doctor then told me that it would take a couple of weeks for my eyes to adjust to the progressive lenses, but that this was the best option for someone “my age” (which is a phrase I thought I’d never hear).
To sum up: the bad news is that my eyesight is getting worse and I’ll always need some kind of corrective lenses; but the good news is that there are still several options that will give me near-perfect eyesight.
Can I ask a couple of obvious questions at this point?
– What if I took that prescription home with me, put it on my desk, and never actually used it to buy contacts or glasses?
– What if I bought the contacts/glasses, but I didn’t use them?
– What if I tried the progressive lenses, but I gave up because they were too difficult?
– If I did any of these things, would it be the doctor’s fault?
The bible tells us in Romans 5:1-5, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
According to this passage, there are some things that we have been given by God as a result of our faith in Jesus Christ:
1.Justification – the concept of justification means, “to render righteous; to declare, pronounce one to be just” (Thayer’s Lexicon). In other words, our faith in Jesus Christ has made us right in the sight of God.
2.Peace with God – As a natural result of this justification, we are no longer “enemies” (Rom. 5:10) of God, living in fear of certain wrath and punishment, but we are in harmony with Him.
3.Access into God’s grace – Our faith in Jesus Christ has brought us into the kind of grace that not only saves us, but also makes us “stand.” The concept of “standing” in God’s grace means that His grace CAUSES us to stand; it makes us firm, and establishes us; it keeps us intact, upholds and sustains us; it allows us to continue safe and sound, unharmed, and prepared (Thayer’s Lexicon).
4.Joy in hope of the glory of God, even in the face of suffering – Because of these gifts, we can have joy and hope – even in suffering – knowing that even suffering brings out the best in God’s people!
5.God’s love through the Holy Spirit – We are not sustained by our love for God, but by HIS love for US! The gift of the Holy Spirit, as seen in Acts 2:38, is God dwelling among us and making His home with us! What a gift!
But here are some questions for us:
– What if I read this passage and do nothing with it? What if I don’t believe it, accept it, and embrace it as truth in my own life?
– What if I believe this passage, but continue to try and justify myself in the sight of God through good works, service, “sin management,” or moral behavior?
– What if I try to “stand” on/in something other than God’s grace?
– What if I allow my sufferings to overwhelm me and steal my joy?
– If I did any of these things, would it be God’s fault?
Much like my Optometrist, God can only “write the prescription” for my sin problem; if I am going to reap the benefits of His prescription, I must believe it, obey it, adopt it, embrace it, and do whatever it takes to put it into practice in my life!
Let’s make sure that we don’t allow Satan to rob us of the many gifts that God has given us in Christ Jesus, our Lord! Take some time this week and allow God’s Word to “pierce,” “divide,” and “discern” the intentions of your heart (Heb. 4:12), and to perform “surgery” on your soul and spirit!
“Having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which He has called you, what are the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His great might.” – Eph. 1:18-19