A few months ago, I finally had to give in and purchase my first pair of bifocals. Now, I’ve had to wear glasses since Junior High, but things are different now. I had gotten to the point were I was having trouble focusing when I was reading. But bifocals solved my problem. When I read something, I look out of the bottom lens, and when I look at a distance, I look out of the top lens. They work great if you use them properly, but as you can imagine, having two lenses, prescribed for different purposes can cause some problem. For instance if I try to read out of the top lens, everything is blurry. Or if I try to see at a distance through the bottom lens, things become blurry.
I think my bifocals illustrate one of the difficulties with which we wrestle in this life. Because we are dual beings, having an eternal spirit, but also having a mortal body we have often experience trouble with perspective. Looking through the eyes of my mortal body, death and illness are a dreaded enemy. However, looking through the eyes of my eternal spirit, death is a gift that brings victory.
This is never better illustrated than in the life of Josiah. Josiah was one of the greatest kings of Judah. He came to the throne at the age of eight (2 Chronicles 34:1). By the age of twenty, he had torn down all the altars and high places for pagan worship and restored true worship. Because of his faithfulness, and tender, humble heart, God promised Josiah that he would “go to his grave in peace; and not see all the calamity which God would bring upon the nation.” Of course, God keeps his word, and after reigning 31 years, and at the young age of 39, Josiah was mortally wounded in battle by an archer’s arrow.
But think with me. Is that the kind of “gift” or “blessing” you would want from God? Imagine if the following conversation took place:
God: “Because I love you so much, I want to give a great gift to you.”
Me: “Really? Wow! I don’t know what to say! Thank you Lord, what is it?”
God: “An early death.”
You see, the only way in which this can be viewed as a “blessing” or a “gift” is when we use our look through the upper part of our spiritual bifocals. Clarity can only be achieved from a spiritual perspective of this event.
But now, wouldn’t we be aided if we could maintain that spiritual point of view? What if we viewed the events and circumstances of life which cause of fear and dread, from an eternal perspective? Would we not be better served? Would we not be more able to process and accept the unpleasant circumstances of life?
While I know we all want to live long and healthy lives, I also know that some things are “better” than that. While I want to live a long and healthy life, I want to go to Heaven even more. Besides, living a long time isn’t always what it is cut out to be. Just ask Josiah’s granddad, Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 29-32).