Our Amazing Eyes and Seeing Through a Glass Darkly
Today, I visited the eye doctor to find out if I needed new glasses. This was my first visit to this particular eye doctor so I felt certain he was going to dilate my pupils. Always fun.
During the course of my time there, I asked him to verify three things for me:
- the things we see are actually upside down and our brains turn them right side up
- we don’t see true 3-D, but that each eye sees its own thing and our brains “construct” an image that we call 3-D
- we don’t see all the colors that exist
To each one, the doctor verified that my understanding was correct. We not only see things upside down, but also from left to right/right to left, or reversed. Our brains do the work of making sense out of what we see.
We also do not see what might be considered true 3-D. This is often why artificial 3-D (with 3-D glasses) as seen in a movie, print image, or television, appears different to us from the “3-D” we normally see in everyday life. It’s a different type of construct.
We also do not see all the colors that exist and there are light waves and patterns that we completely miss as well even for those with 20/20 vision, the best vision that exists.
After the doctor verified these things for me, I wondered aloud, “I wonder why God did it that way.” The doctor smiled, but said he didn’t know. I went further saying, “I guess that confirms the Psalmist when he said, ‘I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well’.”
The doctor again smiled and agreed with me. I then went even further than that. I said, “You know, I’m wondering if that is what Paul may have meant when he made the statement regarding the limitations of our vision, in 1 Corinthians 13:12.”
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
I fully realize that Paul is speaking primarily of our spiritual sight. We cannot fully appreciate the spiritual things we cannot see right now, which is why we live by faith. We believe God and it is counted as righteousness to us. Our righteousness is imputed to us through our faith.
We cannot physically see heaven, but we surely know it exists. We believe it and our faith – our believing – confirms to us its reality because of the Holy Spirit within us. We look forward to it because of that confirmation.
However, I cannot help but also believe that Paul referred to our physical ability to see the things which are beyond our ability to physical see. Certainly, he also clearly meant that as well.
Heaven exists and we actually “see” it by faith. The fact that we cannot now see it physically does not diminish our faith. But imagine what we will be able to see when we actually get there. It will become immediately obvious to us how much we were physically unable to see in this life and not just where heaven is concerned, but the total amount of information that goes past us on a daily basis that we are unable to process because ever since the fall of humanity, we have lost the ability to process certain information, but the information continues to exist!
Imagine what we are unable to hear in this life because our hearing changed after the fall. Imagine the colors that we cannot appreciate now because of the fall and the way our eyes and senses have changed. We cannot see or hear specific information that Adam and Eve (and possibly even those up to several generations after Adam and Eve had fallen), were blessed to behold. After the fall, those senses began to die and while they probably lasted a while, we do not have them today because they are dead to us.
However, I also believe this is part of what the occult pretends to help humanity achieve. Demons promise to give us sight and insight, to show us things that are now forbidden because the door has been fully and firmly closed. Christians should always avoid those temptations, while many in the world seek it. We will regain what we lost, but it will be done in God’s way and on His timetable.
So today, even with eyes that see at 20/20, we cannot see everything. Information is all around us, data is available, but our senses are no longer able to capture and process that information. It is lost to us…for now.
But one day, according to Paul, the things we cannot now see, but surely exist, will be seen. This will occur after we leave our “tents,” our physical bodies behind, exchanging them for new ones that will no longer be affected by sin. Those bodies will be free of the sin nature and the ravages of sin itself. There will not only be no death, no sickness, no fatigue, no need to sleep (though I imagine that if we choose to sleep then, it would be sleep like we’ve never experienced here!), no real limitations on us. We will literally see and hear what we’ve been missing!
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him, (1 Corinthians 2:9)
I’m starting to understand as I have never understood before. I’m beginning to realize just how limited we are in this realm due to the fact that we – as a human race – fell from God through Adam and Eve. Because of that, certain things died and among those are the natural God-given ability to see all colors and spectrums, to hear things that we cannot even imagine, and to do things that only Adam and Eve knew about.
Are you living with limitations today? We all are living that way, it’s just that we think we’re not because we compare ourselves to one another, when in reality we should be comparing ourselves to Adam and Eve before the fall or what we will be like after this physical life.
Do you have illnesses that have conquered the medical community? Do you suffer from blindness, deafness, or any number of debilitating, but not necessarily life-threatening diseases? There are things that are killing all of us. We are all in dying bodies and that is on us. It is our fault. It is also our fault that animals by nature are afraid of us and they die as well. It is our fault that God’s Creation was literally destroyed when both Adam and Eve embraced sin by rebelling against God.
But of course, we know the end of the story, don’t we? We know that God has redeemed us, but we also know “…that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now,” (Romans 8:22). Amazing, isn’t it?
Satan has been defeated, yet he is still allowed to rule this world as though he had not been defeated. We Christians still live in dying bodies and do our best to submit to God and resist sin even though we know that God is Victor in and through us. Many of us live as though His death and resurrection has no impact on us.
We are alive in Christ, yet even in our best times here, we fall woefully short of apprehending the truth of redemption. God’s Creation will also be fully redeemed and the same cross that saves us will save it.
We can only rise to a certain level in this life. We will never be able to live here and now as we will live then, after our physical deaths. Certainly, we should aim for it, but we should also understand the reality that exists, which is limited by the fall.
One day, we will be free of whatever ails us, whatever keeps us from seeing and hearing all that God wants us to see and hear! Though my body ages, I still feel as though I am emotionally in my late 20s or early 30s. Age, illness, and eventually death all keep me from the reality that I am in Christ Jesus.
However, once my death occurs, I will know and live a life that will never be subject to pain, sickness, loss of sight or hearing, and given a body that will allow me to fully benefit from and appreciate all of God’s Creation.
Wow. I am in awe and what I cannot fully appreciate now.
God is good. In spite of our evil, God is so good. He has given and created so much for us to see, hear, and experience that words fail. Words fail because our ability to grasp what we cannot see fails as well.
Hang on. Hold tight to Jesus. Take your eyes off of the snares in this life. Live for God, in whatever role (job, career, avocation, etc.), He has placed you within. Use every opportunity to spread the Gospel. Bring Him glory. Trust in what He has prepared for us.