What Have You Got Your Eyes On?
By Steve Hearts
I’ve been blind since shortly after birth. So when I hear people say that their eyes play tricks on them, I can’t quite grasp what they’re saying. But when it comes to my spiritual eyes, I know exactly what this means.
Recently my faith was at an all-time low. I worried and fretted constantly. I easily lost patience and became irritated. My mind seemed impossible to tame or discipline. My prayers were no longer ones of faith and trust in Jesus. Instead they took on an insecure, excuse-me-for-living, sorry-to-bother-you-Lord attitude. The joy I derived from loving and serving Jesus had flickered considerably low.
At this time, the opportunity arose for me to do some traveling. This afforded me some much-needed time away from the day-to-day grind, enabling me to recharge my low battery. I savored and enjoyed every moment of it.
As the time approached for me to return home and resume my normal life, I felt apprehensive—like a soldier who was about to return to the battlefield before his wounds had completely healed. I honestly told the Lord, “I do not feel ready to get back in the saddle again. If it’s truly Your time for me to do so, then You’re going to have to do it through me—’cause I just can’t.”
I then quieted my heart and waited to see if He had anything to say in response.
His answer came in the form of a question. “What have you got your eyes on? Are they focused on Me and My power to override your weaknesses and frailties? Or are you looking at yourself and your condition?”
There was no covering up or denying the fact that I had been looking at myself and my condition. My spiritual eyes were “playing tricks on me” because I had allowed them to.
All at once, a song echoed through my mind which I’d known ever since I was a child. Only this time it sounded in my heart so sweet, as though a choir of angels were singing it. Not only could I hear them as they sang, I sensed their presence with me. They sang more directly to me than any other ever had.
Oh, 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.1
So this was all I needed to do? Turn my eyes upon Jesus? I had allowed myself to become so troubled and confused, I could hardly see any light. This was because I had ceased to focus on the source of calm, clarity, and light. Like Peter, I was looking at the waves of my own weakness, the conditions around me, instead of focusing on the one who is always leading and who I was meant to follow.
Now, through the sweet song of His heavenly messengers, He was calling me to “come to Him on the water,” just as with the apostle Peter.2 As long as I focused on Him and did as the heavenly song told, I would be more than just “okay.” I would find supernatural strength, power, and determination to weather any storm that presented itself on life’s ocean.
Having derived new courage from this experience, I “stepped out on the water” and returned home. Yes, there were storms to be weathered, but this time my eyes did not lose sight of Jesus. As I continued to “look full in His wonderful face,” not only did “the things of earth grow strangely dim,” but His heavenly light shone much brighter, and I saw my way with a greater clarity than I had known in quite some time.
Now, in moments when I feel that my faith and courage is at a low ebb, I simply ask myself the same question the Lord asked me that day: “What have you got your eyes on?”