Contributed by Dave Ley
I have had problems with my eyes since I was 18 months old! I had my first of six corrective eye surgeries way back then, when the muscles in my left eye did not receive the right nerve signal from my brain. This caused my pupil to move into the corner of my eye socket near my nose. Yeah, like the lizards on the Animal Channel!
Amblyopia or strabismus was my diagnosis—a condition where both eyes are not able to focus on the same object. For me this caused poor uncorrectable eyesight in my left eye. Since the condition surfaced before I was three years old, when the skill of looking with both eyes or fusion is fully learned, my brain is permanently not able to receive images from both eyes at the same time. It has served as a great excuse for my bad golf game among many other cop outs!
I must admit that I often struggle with spiritual strabismus! It is the inability to look at my circumstances and see them from God’s perspective! Elisha’s servant experienced this spiritual sight struggle. Elisha, in 2 Kings 6:8-23, was giving the King of Aram fits. Every time the King wanted to put a hurt on Israel, Elisha would tell the King of Israel what the King of Aram had planned. The King of Aram thought he had someone in his own cabinet that was a turncoat. It was finally revealed that it was Elisha who, by God’s divine revelation, told the King of Israel “The very words you speak in your bedroom!” (2 Kings 6:12) This made the King of Aram not too happy, and he foolishly thought that he would sneak up on Elisha and take him out. I guess it didn’t occur to him that the God who was telling Elisha King Aram’s hostile bedroom plans for Israel, would probably be able to tell Elisha his hostile plans for Elisha!
Well, the show down happens in 2 Kings 6:15-17, when the armies of King Aram surround the city where Elisha and his servant are living. Elisha’s servant was beside himself. All he could see were the chariots and swords of a very scary circumstance. I love Elisha’s response, “Don’t be afraid…Those that are with us are more than those who are with them.” (2 Kings 6:16)
I think Elisha’s servant must have done a double-take look at the army of Aram and then back at Elisha. I imagine him whispering under his breath, “What in the world are you seeing, prof?” When we struggle with spiritual strabismus, we respond to our circumstances much like Elisha’s servant. “O Lord (Yaweh-“I am”) open his eyes so that he may see,” was how Elisha prayed. God answered that intercessory prayer and the servant’s spiritual strabismus was healed. He was now able to see both the armies of Aram and the greater army of the Lord at the same time.
When we are struggling with spiritual strabismus and not able to see past our circumstances, let’s make sure to seek out fellow believers who don’t have that condition, and ask them to pray for us. There is never a time that the enemy “in the world” is greater than the One “who is in you.” (I John 4:4)
However, as was the case with Elisha’s servant, it is only through the surgical power of intercessory prayer by one stronger in the faith that our spiritual strabismus is removed. Then, we can truly see!
This gives us a renewed urgency to intercede when someone says, “Pray for me!” Doesn’t it?