On a recent visit to my eye doctor, as the doctor was checking my eyesight, she inserted various combinations of lenses in the machine and asked which was better.
“Which is better? One…,” she asked before flipping to the next lens, “…or two?”
“Well,” I responded, “two is better, but I’m seeing double.”
“Okay,” she said. “How about three… or four.”
“Three is definitely better. But I’m still seeing double.”
After a few more combinations of lenses, with the same result, the doctor looked at me and said, “I think you have cataracts.” She then proceeded to examine my eyes and determined that the lenses of my eyes had become significantly clouded by cataracts, enough to require corrective surgery. The cataracts were clouding my vision, and I was not seeing as well as I should have been. And so, I was scheduled for cataract surgery in both eyes.
In Ephesians 5:8, Paul begins by telling us that we were once in darkness. That darkness was the result of sin, and since all of us have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), we all walked in that darkness. But Jesus is the Light of the World, and when we choose to follow him, we no longer walk in darkness but have the light of life. Through Jesus, God has rescued us from the darkness we were in, and as Paul continues to say in Ephesians 5:8, we are now light in the Lord and need to live as children of light.
We can live as children of light when we choose to be obedient and walk in the way that Jesus taught us to walk, when we follow the two greatest commandments: love God and love each other. Scripture is very clear that we cannot have one without the other. 1 John 2:9-11 says, “Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.”
We can choose to live in light, to reflect the light of Jesus, or we can choose darkness. We can choose to see things clearly or to be blinded, not by the light, but to the light. We can choose to see the path we are walking perfectly through healthy eyes, or stumble in the darkness through blind eyes. We need to have our eyes fixed on God and not on the world. If we allow our eyes to be focused on the world, rather than on God, the light will turn to darkness.
I had my second cataract surgery this past week. The difference between how I saw the things around me before the surgery and how I see them now is drastic. Things are brighter. Why? Because the new lenses implanted in my eyes are allowing more light into the eyes. As I look around now, Jesus’ words in Luke 11:34-36 have taken on new meaning:
“Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are healthy, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are unhealthy, your body also is full of darkness. See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you.”
Scripture quotations taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. The New International Version, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011).