Eye Strain


My eyes long for your salvation and the fulfillment of your righteous promise.  Psalm 119:123

Much of my life has been spent on the road.  I’ve driven a lot of late nights, waiting for a hundred miles or so to disappear so that the exit for my hotel would bring me much needed rest.  Mile markers go down slowly when you’re fighting sleep.  Have you ever noticed that?  The window is cracked a bit for fresh air, the music is blaring, and you pray you don’t fall asleep at the wheel.  Your eyes are straining to see each sign approach, just hoping that when they focus, the exit will reveal that you’ve arrived safely.

This kind of eye strain is what David refers to when he scans the distant horizon for God’s intervention.  He’s tired, trying to make it, digging deeply for coping strategies, but wondering how he’ll go on if God takes too long to arrive on the scene.  His eyes are tired of trying to focus on what has only been a mirage.

Only hindsight will reveal that God was never late.  In the present, it can feel like God waits too long.  Eyesight fails momentarily.  Hearts faint as hope flickers and threatens to extinguish altogether.  Faith must be fought for.  We battle the devil for it and we also battle our own fear of abandonment.  The painful threads of our own stories haunt us and try to convince us that life is a cycle and the same kinds of painful events we’ve already experienced will surely come around again.  The worse-case scenario will be our companion.  This belief erodes confidence in God’s faithfulness.

God’s promises are good.  They’re made by the hundreds and they’re for every one of His children.  The only difference between a wide-eyed, joyful child and a cynical, dispassionate one is this; the first one fights for faith and lives expectantly and the second embraces lies and caves into fear.  While we all have our despondent moments, we must make sure we never stay there.  We must read the Word, dare to believe it, hug it tightly, and declare it true over our lives.  The climb out of the pit is realized as we place one foot after another on the rungs of truth.  Each one takes us higher until we step out in the spacious place of belief and joyful expectation.

There are places I’m waiting for your arrival.  I won’t drop my eyes from the horizon.  You’re planning your entrance and I don’t want to miss the joy of you.  Amen

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