Eyes Wide Shut

Hey you!  Happy Monday!  I hope you had a great weekend.  

So, let's have a real conversation.  Have you ever gone through a period in your life where you felt like your eyes were opened, but you couldn't see a thing?  Like so much was going on that you needed a solution for,  and although you were looking in all the places that you thought were right, you couldn't find one to save your life?

In the fall of 1999, I had begun my second year of pharmacy school.  Although many would look at this as a major accomplishment, I felt like a complete failure.  I had always done well in school.  I certainly never had a problem with passing tests after I had studied.  For the first time in my life, I would study for a test, and fail.

 I would spend much of my weekends and my afternoons when I got home from class studying.  At times, I would stay up all night studying.  To no avail, I would still fail many tests.  I was blessed to pull off a 75, at times, and ecstatic when I saw anything above an 80!

This may not sound like a big deal to some people. I get that.  This was totally foreign to me, and I was not handling it well.

Then, the love of my life, my grandmother, fell really ill and passed away.

I felt like all the walls had come tumbling down around me.

I was in a really dark place.  I talked to friends.  I went to church.  I prayed.  I joined study groups.  I did all that I knew to do, and could not get any relief.  

My eyes were wide shut.  

I had been to church.  I knew about Jesus.  But I didn't know him as my Messiah, my Savior.  And I certainly didn't know Him as my Lord.

I needed a real encounter with Jesus.

It kind of reminds me of the story of Blind Bartimaeus. (Mark 10:46-52).  He was a blind beggar that had heard enough about Jesus to know that He was the solution to all of his problems.  He cried out to Jesus.  

Many around him disregarded the blind beggar, and even told him to be quiet and stop calling on Jesus.  But Bartimaeus just got louder.  "Jesus, have mercy on me!"  Jesus told those around him to call Bartimaeus.  At that point they said, " Be of good cheer!  Rise , He is calling you!"

That's when things changed for Bartimaeus.

The beggar threw off his garments, jumped to his feet, and ran to Jesus.  He made his request known.  He told Jesus he wanted to see.  By faith, in that instant, Bartimaeus was healed.  He received his sight.  And he began to follow Jesus.

Rise.  He is calling you.

He is calling you into real relationship with Him.  He is calling you to not just know what you heard about him, but to know Him as your Savior and your Lord.

He is here to heal your brokenness.  He is here to comfort and shield you. 

He is here to guide you. He is here to provide for you.

He is here to rescue you from dark places.  He is here to rescue you from the depression, anxiety, and a life of confusion.

He is here to rescue you from anger.  He is here to rescue you from doing things that are inflicting pain on yourself.

He is here to show you what real love is.  Not that emotional stuff that is based on performance.  But the unconditional love that loves you in spite of where your feet and mind have wandered, in spite of your mistakes, fallings, faults, shortcomings, and lack of ability.  

He is here to be your Lord and Savior.

But you have to do your part.  You have to throw off your old garments, rise up, and run to him. 

Throw off garments of a lifestyle that is harming you and not helping you.

Throw off garments of the guilt and shame from yesterday's mistakes.

Throw off garments of pride and come boldly to the Throne of Grace and make your requests known. 

Throw off garments of everything that hinders you, and the sin that so easily entangles you.

Then he will heal you.  

Above all,  He wants you to follow him.

He is the Light in Dark places.  Rise!  He is calling You!  You no longer have to walk around with your eyes wide shut.