Friday, October 25, 2013

Be Thou My Vision

     One of my favorite hymns is "Be Thou My Vision" written in the 8th century by Dallan Forgail.  The words speak of keeping our eyes on the Lord and the melody is hauntingly beautiful:
 " Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
The serenity of Manatee Springs
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all."
     Singing this hymn reminds me of the instruction that Jesus gave on "The Sermon on the Mount".  In talking with believers about where they are to set their affections, whether on earth or in heaven, He says in verses 22-23:  "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!"  In a previous verse, the Lord just told those who were listening that where their treasure was their heart would also be.  However, it starts with the eyes for this is where we see things and can come to lust after them.
     In the footnote to these verses the authors of "The Reformation Study Bible" write these words of instruction:  "The good eye looks to God as its 'master' and fills the person with the 'light' of God's will.  The bad eye looks to 'treasures on earth' and admits only the 'darkness' of greed and self-interest.  The person's whole life will be determined by the kind of 'light' the 'eye' lets in. "  When our focus is on God and His kingdom, our life is filled with light and guidance.  However, if we look with covetousness on the treasures of this life only, our outlook is filled only with this world that is full of darkness.
     My husband is an eye doctor.  He routinely examines eyes for the development of cataracts which is the loss of transparency in the lens of the eye.  When a cataract is fully matured, you cannot see well.  I can vouch for that with our dog Roscoe who has full-blown cataracts and can no longer see.  This is the reason he fell in the pool and nearly drowned a few weeks ago.   If those cataracts were removed and an implant put in its place, he would be able to see again.  In humans, we routinely see this done to improve their ability to see clearly.
     With a focus on God and His Word, we keep our eyes clear so we can behold His glory through the truth of His Word.  This is our goal as believers.  The more He is our vision in life we need never worry about stumbling in the darkness.  Are your eyes focused on God as your master?  Are you seeking His will in all you do?  If so, your vision will allow the light of His truth to fill you.  As the hymn says, "Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart"!  May this be our prayer day and night so we do not stumble in the darkness of sin and greed.  Selah!

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