I know now I'm really getting older because the ability of my eyes to adapt going from light to darkness is deteriorating. I became aware of it even more a few weeks ago when we went to Sea World. My grandson loved the turtle exhibition, most likely because it had a video game! Regardless, we went there three times (or was it four?)
The problem was, the exhibit is like a cave. You walk through a wide opening into total darkness—at least it seemed like total darkness. I couldn't understand why other people were walking quickly into the darkness with no concern whether there might be stairs or some little kid walking slowly in front of them. I walked into the darkness and felt like I wanted to inch along. The meager light from the aquarium just didn't do the job. I was actually frightened.
But by the time we'd gone into the display several times, I knew what to expect and I could tell myself, "There are no steps. There's nothing to fear. My eyes will adjust. Just keep walking."
I thought of that experience when I was read Matthew 6. Remember Jesus' words?
The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! (verses 22-23).
One commentator writes,
The bodily eye is taken as the symbol of the outlooking power of the soul... As the body is illuminated by the eye, i.e. as by the eye the bodily constitution learns its environment, and...tends to accommodate itself to it, so is it with the gaze of the soul. If this be upon the things of this world, the soul perceives, and tends to accommodate itself to the things of this world; if upon things in heaven, it perceives, and tends to accommodate itself to, the things in heaven. (Gill's Exposition)
I love that explanation because we need to help our soul adapt its perception of it's "environment." When we're going through "darkness," representing a trial, we can have trouble "adapting" ourselves with faith. And certainly because we're human, that may take time.
But as our human eye can "adapt" itself, as designed by God, our soul can learn to "adapt" itself to the truth of Scripture. Tweet That!
When I walked into that dark exhibition, I needed to rehearse what I knew. I'd been there before. There weren't steps and it was safe to walk forward into the dark, trusting that my eyes would adjust.
Our soul can do the same thing: Tell ourselves the truth of Scripture and remind ourselves by faith of what we know. The darkness—trials—feels overwhelming and it feels dangerous. There seem to be hidden dangers. But we've been there before, trusting God. He was faithful before and He'll be faithful again. It may not have seemed like He was faithful but He was.
- God is sovereign and He knows what He's doing. (Jeremiah 29:11)
- His love only allows that which He'll use for good. (Romans 8:28)
- He knows everything that is happening and He is working more than we realize. (Philippians 4:19)
- He has a loving plan. (Psalm 138:8)
How is your soul adaptation right now? Are you facing some sort of darkness? Tweet That! Does it seem dangerous like walking into a dark turtle exhibition? Trust God. Your faith will become adapted into trust.