by Wesley Blackburn
So recently, about a month ago, I was diagnosed with this condition in both of my eyes called floaters (I swear that’s the technical term… you would think they’d have something a little more “medical” sounding).
Maybe some of you have this condition as well (we should form our own little Suncrest support group). I can’t speak for anyone else, but I find this condition to be one of the most annoying things in the world. Basically, what happens in your eye is that if you’re nearsighted (like me), oftentimes the different shape of your eye causes the sack inside your eyeball that contains eye fluid to detach from the back of your eye. Unfortunately, though, when this happens, little tiny pieces of debris are let loose into your eyeball. So, anytime you’re in areas where there’s a solid, bright colored background (like a wall or the sky) or really when you’re anywhere that there’s a lot of light (like outside on a sunny day), when you turn your head or move your eyes to look at something, you’ll see the shadows of these specks, threads, or dots in your vision that are the “floaters” that are floating around inside your eye.
It is truly one of the most annoying things ever. There are certain rooms in our church building where we have meetings that I hate being in because I find myself being constantly distracted by these little moving objects. When I make my drive to and from Cincinnati every week, I know I’m going to encounter these little guys every time I shift my vision or check my blind spot. While they can be signs of serious eye issues in some people, they’re actually normally benign and harmless (that’s what they are in my case). It is absolutely, completely selfish and shortsighted, but I can’t wait to live in a world where stupid stuff like eye floaters won’t affect me anymore… when my life is free from little annoyances like that.
You could say that in a way, my eye floaters are making me look forward to heaven.
But for some of us, we suffer with something way more painful and serious than a stupid little eye condition, don’t we? For some, basic things I take for granted like vision or hearing simply don’t exist. Maybe some of you reading this right now have heard the sting of the word “cancer” and have been told you only have a short time left. Maybe you were in an accident that will make sure you never walk again, or maybe you’re suffering from some painful, difficult to deal with disease that won’t kill you, but sure makes your life feel miserable to live. Some of us suffer the pain of being separated from those we love: fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, husbands, or wives.
And it’s in these situations that we feel the incredible joy of heaven calling us.
Truly, I don’t think there’s a more happy, joyful passage in the Bible than this one. It’s a fitting way to end our 100 day study together. Truly, it is incredible to think of a world like heaven where things we just take as everyday realities no longer exist: death, crying, pain, anger, hurt, and yes, even eye floaters, will be wiped away. Forever. And those things will be replaced with the incredible joy of a perfect, unbroken, untarnished relationship with our Creator God who loves us. It brings goosebumps on my skin and tears to my eyes.
This is what pushes us. This is what reminds us it is all worth it. In the moments where I am tempted to give up, to throw in the towel, and to live a shortsighted life that values things of earth above the things of God, heaven should be my focus, calling me to remember the incredible riches that lie in store for a person who faithfully follows God. This is probably why the Bible talks so much about us focusing on heaven… it’s a reminder to us that things aren’t the way they were supposed to be, and that someday, that glorious perfect order will be restored. Someday, we’ll be free from all the junk of this world. Someday, we’ll get to see our glorious, gracious Savior face to face.
Someday, I’ll get rid of these eye floaters.