From Cross-eyed to Satisfied

I sat at the stoplight on a dreary, cold January day. Two days into 2020, and I was already failing. Every year I ask God for a word, just like many other people do. I had prayed for weeks, but nothing had come to me yet. Just like in every other aspect of my life, waiting seems to be par for the course. Everyone else's words for the year were motivating, inspiring, and challenging. But as I sat at the stoplight, only silence reverberated in my heart.


"Please, God, give me a word! Show me your heart," I begged.


God spoke through the silence. But instead of giving me a word, he gave me a question.


Melissa, what do you want me to do for you?


For me? Is this a trick? Hmmm, the options should have seemed endless. Maybe a little less stress? A little more money (or a lot, if you're really asking). How about success? Well-behaved children? I could really use some wisdom, come to think of it.


But none of those answers came to my mind. As I squinted through the fog on my windshield, I remembered Jesus asking someone else this question. A man. A beggar. He was blind. Lost in darkness -- pleading for mercy. Maybe you remember the story. He was sitting on the roadside, begging for food. Begging for hope. He heard the clamor of the crowd. Something was interrupting his daily routine. Something was disrupting his chance at getting a bite to eat. I can imagine his frustration -- his desperation.


"What's going on?" he asked the people.


"It's Jesus of Nazareth," they responded.


Jesus. Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus was passing by.


He couldn't contain himself. "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"


"Shhh. Be quiet," they rebuked. Don't disturb him. He doesn't have time for you. He doesn't want you. He can't help you. Their voices must have echoed against the dark canvas of his eyes.


He didn't care what they said, what they thought. Desperation drew him to the light.

"Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"


Jesus stopped. He turned. He drew him near, and he asked the question that, if we're listening, he asks us, too.


"What do you want me to do for you?"


"Lord, I want to see."


This man was poor. This man was alone, homeless, friendless, and hopeless. He was probably hungry, afraid, and tired. But he knew that those were merely symptoms, not the root of his problem. Even with darkness covering his eyes, his heart could already see the light.


Isn't that true for us? We want relief from whatever suffering we're facing. We want God to intervene and save us from our circumstances. We want glory, success, and comfort. We want peace, joy, and healing. We want a rescue, and we wanted it yesterday.


But the root our desperate plight is the same as this man's.


We are hopelessly blind, desperate for Jesus to open our eyes.


"Melissa, what do you want me to do for you?"


Lord, I want to see.


And there it was. A word. A commissioning. A hope that far outweighed my circumstances.


Sight.


I remember another man who longed to see. A battle raged before his people. The odds were stacked against them. Failure seemed certain. But rather than succumb to the darkness around him, he chose to ask for eyes to see beyond his circumstances.


Oh, Lord. We do not know what to do. But our eyes are on you. 2 Chronicles 20:12


When bushfires rage across a continent, and people's homes and lives are destroyed.

Oh, Lord. We do not know what to do. But our eyes are on you.


When political unrest divides a country, and the world feels like it's coming unhinged.

Oh, Lord. We do not know what to do. But our eyes are on you.


When the bills loom higher than you can see, and there's no relief in sight.

Oh, Lord. We do not know what to do. But our eyes are on you.


When anxiety eats away your heart, and you're certain another catastrophe lurks just around the corner.

Oh, Lord. We do not know what to do. But our eyes are on you.


When you're drowning in your failures, and you can't catch your breath or catch a break.

Oh, Lord. We do not know what to do. But our eyes are on you.


When your children fight, your marriage crumbles, your hopes shatter, and there's nothing you can do to fix anyone or anything in your life.

Oh, Lord. We do not know what to do. But our eyes are on you.


What do you want me to do for you?

Oh, Lord, we want to see!!


Eyesight. Insight. Hindsight. Foresight.



Eyesight. To see beyond our circumstances and ourselves. To see the people around us To be awake and present to what God is doing right now. In us. Around us. Through us. There might very well be an army surrounding you right now, but maybe what you can't see is that there's a bigger army on your side.


We can fix our eyes on our circumstances until we're cross-eyed and red-eyed, but it will only make us more blurry-eyed.


Or we can fix our eyes on Jesus.



Insight. To see beyond the here and now and look through the eyes of eternity. To hear God speak through his word, through his people, and through his voice. To see beneath the surface and fight for more than the temporary things this world has to offer. To realize that there is more going on than our human eyes can see, and God is up to something bigger than we can even imagine.


We can fix our eyes on this moment and what we want out of it until we're rheumy-eyed and closed-eyed, but it will only make our lives more cockeyed.


Or we can fix our eyes on Jesus.



Hindsight. To look back and see the past through an un-warped lens. To see all that God has done. His mercies, faithfulness, and wonders. To see the trail of regrets through his eyes. To see the trail of hurt and disappointments through his eyes. To see the people who've hurt us through his eyes. To see the past with the depth-perception only he can give.


We can fix our eyes on our past until we're blood-shot and hollow-eyed, but we'll only end up stupefied.


Or we can fix our eyes on Jesus.



Foresight. To look ahead without fear. To look ahead and see God's kingdom and our part in it. To take our eyes off of our tight-fisted grip on what we think we deserve and instead fix them on the One who gave us what we will never deserve. To have a vision for our families that we chase after, regardless of the winds of change around us. Regardless of the the current the culture is swept up in.


We can fix our eyes on "what-if" and "if-only" until we're bug-eyed and starry-eyed, but it will only leave us petrified.


Or we can fix our eyes on Jesus.



When we fix our eyes on Jesus, we can see beyond the army surrounding us, the storm within us, the pain behind us, and the uncertainty before us.


Wide-eyed, clear-eyed, and bright-eyed. Fortified, sanctified, and satisfied.


And as our vision clears, through our lives, God is glorified.


He's asking us today the same question he asked that sweet blind man on the side of the road so many years ago. Right now, in whatever threatens around, storms within, trails behind, or looms ahead. He's calling you close. He's whispering deep.


What do you want me to do for you, sweet one?

I want to see!


Oh, Lord. We do not know what to do. But our eyes are on you.



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