A cataract is the clouding of the lens of an eye that leads to a decrease in vision. The only cure for cataracts is surgery. If you’ve had a cataract surgery in the last twenty-five years or so, you can probably thank Dr. Patricia Bath for making life a lot easier. Before her invention, doctors used a grinding, drill like device to remove cataracts. She developed a procedure using a laser that vaporized cataracts quickly and painlessly. In 1988, the device she developed became patented making it the first patent ever given to a female African-American physician. When you think of the many people who have been helped by this procedure you cannot help but marvel at the awesome impact of this invention.
Spiritual cataracts are a clouding of our spiritual vision. We can’t see God working in our world because our “eyes” are clouded with a lack of faith or complete disbelief. I don’t know about you, but I can tell you that my faith isn’t perfect and I suffer from spiritual cataracts quite often. I get so busy doing things my way that I forget to look for God’s activity in my life. When I do look, my plans and my activities cloud my spiritual vision and I still can’t see God working in my world. I need a cure for my spiritual cataracts; I need Jesus to break through my spiritual blindness. His disciples had that problem too. After His resurrection, the disciples were confused. All they could think was that someone had stolen the body of Jesus. Jesus appeared to two disciples and after talking with them, removed their spiritual cataracts. “When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.” (Luke 24:30-31)
It’s easy to pick on those early disciples and wonder why they didn’t realize that Jesus warned them about His death and His resurrection. They all had their own ideas of what the Messiah would be like. I’m sure that many of them thought those dreams were being fulfilled when Jesus rode into Jerusalem. It was time for the Messiah. They’re mighty military victory was at hand. Then, their dreams were shattered by the crucifixion. They met for a while, wondering what their next steps were going to be, and then the body was missing from the tomb. Even though Jesus told them explicitly what would happen, they all had spiritual cataracts and couldn’t see the truth. Their vision was clouded by their expectations. For the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, it was a direct encounter with Jesus that cleared the cataracts. As soon as they realized who Jesus was, though, He disappeared. The disciples, though tired from their walk and ready to settle in at home were renewed and ran back to Jerusalem to share the news that Jesus was alive. Then they obeyed Jesus in waiting for the Holy Spirit to empower them and give them guidance for the ministry ahead.
We get our spiritual cataracts when we view life through our expectations instead of looking for God’s work in this world. We expect God to act in a certain way, usually with us as one of His heroes or making that other person look bad, and when He acts according to His plan, we’re blindsided. The key to preventing the growth of spiritual cataracts is allowing God to work in His way, in His time.
Lord, let me seek You each day. Don’t let me force my ideas onto Your plan, Give me wisdom to see how You’re working and then the courage and strength to get involved in Your work.
Daily Devotion by Bob James