What to Do When You Can’t See Straight

Some mornings when I wake up I can’t see straight. This doesn’t have anything to do with my glasses or contact lens.

I yawn, stretch, and shuffle into the kitchen for some coffee. By the time my bare feet hit the cold tiles I am fully awake and I can’t see straight.

Alas! Today is… Today. How am I going to make it through Today?

A flood of thoughts stir in my mind and then my emotions chime in with their contributions of a sundry mix of feelings. A fog of unbelief and doubt descends to cloud the acuity of my spiritual retinas.

Elisha’s servant woke up like this one morning, too. Early one morning the young man got up and went out of his tent, rubbed the sand out of his bleary eyes, and looked around.

Oh… no... The enemy’s horses and chariots have surrounded the city while we were asleep. We’re going to DIE!

Technically, the terrified young man said, “Alas, my master, what shall we do?” (2 Kings 6:15). I know the word “alas” sounds so melodramatic when you read it. But the common usage of the word in biblical times communicated utter dismay and horror usually in reference to imminent death and destruction.

And so Elisha slips on his sandals, shuffles out of his tent, surveys the scene, and says to the young man,

“Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them” (2 Kings 6:16).

Elisha hasn’t had his coffee yet, right? The old man must need glasses. Clearly he’s not seeing straight. There is a bloodthirsty army surrounding the city. With horses and chariots and sharp metal things. Do not be afraid? Who is “with us?” We’re prophets, not Lieutenant Generals.

But Elisha saw something his servant could not see. If his servant saw what Elisha could see then he, too, would not be afraid.

So Elisha prayed for him to receive sight,

“O LORD, please open his eyes that he may see” (2 Kings 6:17).

Then the Lᴏʀᴅ opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

Open the Eyes of Our Hearts, Lord

When we can’t see our situation with clear spiritual vision then we tend to fixate on our earthly circumstances. We do this every day.

Each morning we get out of bed walking by faith in the Son of God or wandering about in unbelief obsessed over our earthly circumstances. When the eyes of our heart are wide open to God’s truth, then the light of his word cuts through the fog.

Paul prayed for the Ephesians to have spiritual eyes to see. He prayed that the Father of glory would give them the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of God, having the eyes of their hearts enlightened (Ephesians 1:17–18).

When God opens the eyes of our hearts then we can see him for who he is. And when we see who he is then we understand certain things that will change the way we look at ourselves and our situations.

  • We can know the hope to which God has called us (1:18) and we can recognize the fake hope that slides out of our hands.

  • We can know the riches of God’s glorious inheritance in the saints (1:18) and we can dismiss the fake rewards of the world.

  • We can know the immeasurable greatness of God’s power toward us who believe (1:19) and we can reject the fake power offered to us by the enemy.

  • We can trust in God’s mighty power that raised Jesus from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places (1:19–20).

  • We can see Jesus as he truly is — “far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come” (1:21) — and happily submit anything and everything to him.

When you open your Bible then you can see the flashes of light refracting from the sword of the one who guards your soul from death. The sword of God’s word can cut through even the most formidable morning fog of doubt or spiritual apathy.

Since faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ (Rom. 10:17), then we would do well to fill our ears with God’s word every day.

If you want to rejoice in the Lord always and not be anxious about anything then you need to see that the Lord is at hand. There is no better place to be reminded of how the Lord is at hand than through his word the Bible.

If you feel like the Lord is not at hand, that he has forgotten about you, that he is apathetic to your plight, and that he does not have the power to save, then you have everything to be anxious about.

And when you think you have everything to be anxious about and an army has surrounded you and demands that you hand over your faith for torture and destruction, then you might ask the most ridiculous question posited in the Bible: “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” (Mark 4:38).

When you need convincing that God cares that we are perishing, look no further than God’s word. Open your Bible and see God’s plan of redemption unfold from the Fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden all the way to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Bring your Bible with you to a friend’s house, choose a passage to read together, and ask the Lord to open the eyes of your hearts.