I am now officially middle aged: I wear bifocals. While wistful over this latest token of the relentless toll of time, I have to admit that now I can actually see.
Everything has come into focus, and I am very aware of things I had been missing. On the downside, I realize my hair is a lot greyer than I thought; on the plus side, I have stopped smiling and waving at store mannequins. With these lenses, I can see the world as it is, not as I thought it was.
This is the same effect that takes place when someone comes to faith in Jesus Christ. Apart from the lenses of faith, the injustice, pain and ugliness we see in the world can be overwhelming, and it only seems natural to turn away from any deity who would allow such darkness to have any place in creation.
So we rage against God and mistreat one another, all the while looking without seeing to find a solution to the human dilemma. But through faith I can see that the brokenness of this world is not part of God’s original design, and that human rebellion against God is the reason for it.
By faith I can be delivered from trying to “be a good person” in order to impress God, and instead realize, as the Rev. Tim Keller puts it, that I am “infinitely more sinful than I dared believe, but infinitely more loved than I dared hope.”
By faith I can begin to see that all the evil and misery in the world, and even death itself, do not have the last word, but in Christ all these things have been redeemed for God’s glory and our good.
I was blind, but now by faith I can see – can you?
THE REV. ED REES IS THE PASTOR OF ST. ANDREW PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH IN AUGUSTA.