Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Living in the Invisible

Living in the Invisible

Since my last blog I have had a sharp reminder as to the slenderness of the thread which ties us to this earthly life. A few days before my 86th birthday, with no previous warning signs, I suffered a heart attack and spent five days in the Coronary Care unit of our local hospital. Thanks to the marvels of modern medical technology I have emerged with three stents in my coronary arteries, which should significantly diminish the risks of further attacks. The love and prayers of family and friends were greatly appreciated.

In the weeks before all this happened I had been thinking much about Hebrews 11:27b which tells us that Moses “Endured as seeing Him who is invisible.”

It was the poet Wordsworth, who said in one of his sonnets,

“The world is too much with us, late and soon,

Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers.”

He correctly discerned how we tend to be dominated by the visible and tangible which all seem to be so real. But there is another realm, not seen by the mortal eye, in which lie the ultimate realities of truth and life, the realm of God’s kingdom into which Moses saw.

It was the same spiritual vision which sustained the apostle Paul in suffering and persecution. He says, “So we do not lose heart….. Because we look not to the things which are seen but to the things which are unseen; for the things which are seen are transient, but the things which are unseen are eternal.” (2Corinthians 4:16, 18)

Peter was another with eyes on the unseen. “Without having seen Him you love Him; though you do not now see Him you believe in Him and rejoice with unutterable and exalted joy” (1Peter1:8)

The Jesus Himself told Thomas, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.”

In his great prayer in Ephesians 1; 15-23 Paul asks for the believers in Ephesus that they may have “The eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power in us who believe.”

So each day I have been asking the Lord to quicken that faculty of seeing with the eyes of the heart, so that I live, not dominated by all the transient things of the world, but consciously aware of the ultimate realities of the Kingdom and its King, for therein lies the secret of not losing heart, of patient endurance and of unquenchable joy.