An Object Lesson. The Eyes Have it!!
Read: 2 Corinthians 4:3-6; 1 Corinthians 2:14; Acts 16:11-15
A message popped up as I was sending out e-mails. It announced that there was an e-mail error. Even so, the messages that I was sending appeared to have gone out; so, I didn't think anything about it until I discovered that a few people hadn't received what had been sent out to them. What to do? After several futile attempts to rectify the problem, which always includes my stand-by of turning off the computer, I decided that it was necessary to call for technical help. From the get go, I let the very pleasant gentleman know that I wasn't able to see the screen. I wanted him to know that we would have to use other means than what he likely relied on to help others solve their PC problems. It didn't begin well when we couldn't get into the remote access page which would have allowed him to see what was on our screen. A very helpful thing. He tried to direct me, and I attempted to do what he suggested; however, that option simply wasn't working. No matter how he tried to be of assistance, it was so very difficult not to revert to helping me by directing me to something visual on the screen. Not to be deterred, we next tried the more difficult option. He was going to try to direct me through the maze of e-mail set up in order to find what might be the problem. No chance. I was lost, and even his attempt to call for assistance from his senior technician was to no avail. Oh, if only I could see the screen from his focus or he could see it from mine; however, that simply wasn't possible. So much for that old adage that has spurred people on for years. If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Sometimes, a barrier gets in the way of even a good effort. Even so, I appreciated that the technician tried to help and didn't become agitated when nothing came of his efforts. A reminder to me not to become weary when my outreach to others seems fruitless. May I connect the dots?
As I thought of that little incident, I remembered the scripture from 1 Corinthians 2:14 where Paul the apostle reminds us that the wondrous news of the gospel is foolishness to those who don't yet belong to Jesus. They can't understand the joy and wonder we have because of what the Savior has done. In 2 Corinthians 4:3-6, we see why. Our eyes which were formerly unable to see Jesus' glory have now been enlightened. The Holy Spirit has opened them. They are no longer closed to the beauty of God's truth.
With that in mind, how thankful should we be to God Who miraculously made Himself known to us, and how patient we should be with those who are unable to see what we now can.
Back to the technician who was trying to assist me. He really wanted me to find an answer to our computer problem, and he never made me feel bad because I wasn't able to see the things on the screen he wanted me to find. In Matthew 13:4, we are reminded that we are dealing with a tougher enemy than blindness on the physical level when we introduce Jesus to others. The evil one likes nothing more than snatching away the truth of Jesus' love before the seed of that truth can even take root, Matthew 13:18-19. What are we to do? Continue to pray and continue to sow the seeds of truth. In 1 Corinthians 3, Paul reminds us that we might plant or we might water; yet, it is the Lord Who makes things grow.
Let's learn a lesson from that patient technician and not become frustrated when the barrier of blinded hearts continues to look daunting. Let's be faithful and wait for God to do the work of opening eyes that are presently unable to see. For encouragement, let's briefly stand in awe as we read about the seeking Savior's sweet work on behalf of Lydia and her household. In Acts 16:11-15, we meet this lady. She was by the river with other women. There were evidently not a sufficient number of men for a synagogue to be there in Philippi; so, the women were worshiping God by the water. We don't know Paul's exact words, but we see that lives were changed through God's message and His awesome power as he spoke about Jesus. I love verse 14 of chapter 16. The simple statement which speaks of a miracle is there for us. God opened Lydia's heart. She believed and was, in that moment changed, John 3:3. Paul faithfully spoke the truth, and the Lord gave the increase. It was His time for Lydia's conversion, and Paul and Timothy were there at harvest time.
Father, help us remember that only You open hearts. Help us to be faithful in what You have called us to do. Help us not to become frustrated as we wait for Your timing in the lives of people whom we love, and help us remember that at one time, we too were unable to see the beauty of Your love.