The eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is clear, your whole body also is full of light; but when it is bad, your body also is full of darkness … If therefore your whole body is full of light, with no dark part in it, it will be wholly illumined, as when the lamp illumines you with its rays.  (Luke 11:34, 36)

I was living in Cocoa, Florida when I trusted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior.  When I returned home to Tennessee that summer, the first thing my father did was hand me a paint brush and a bucket of red paint; and then he pointed me in the direction of our barn.

I had been saved for only a few days; so my appearance at that time did not resemble anything clean-cut and wholesome.  In fact, I looked pretty much like all the other wandering transients down in Florida during the early 1970’s, wearing an old pair of overalls, a beat-up pair of tennis shoes, with my hair tied back in a pony tail, hanging down my back.

Anyway, there I was, standing on a ladder leaning against our barn, coating its rough boards with barn paint … and singing every single hymn I could remember from my boyhood.  I would dip my paint brush in the bucket and paint a stroke or two while the lyrics flowed from my mouth:

“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.”

But then – being stunned – I stopped singing (and painting) and thought out loud, “So that’s what that means!”  And then, I continued:

“I once was lost, but now I’m found; was blind, but now I see.”

But again – being amazed – I stopped singing (and painting) and thought out loud, “So that’s what that means!”

It was the very first “worship service” I ever attended as a re-born follower of Jesus Christ; and it took place while standing on a ladder painting a barn.  It took a long time to paint that barn.  The Spirit of God kept interrupting me, awakening my mind from its spiritual stupor.  As He began to instruct me using these Truth-saturated hymns, I was hearing for the first time songs I already knew from memory.

It would be a year or so before I understood what had happened to me that summer in my little apartment in Florida … and what had taken place while standing on a ladder painting my father’s barn:

  • that it had been none other than the third Person of the Trinity Who rushed into my soul that night.
  • that by His magnanimous grace, He had made my spiritual senses responsive to the Word of God … sensitivesharpened.  He had made my “eye clear.”
  • and with that ability to receive God’s Truth came the capacity to finally understand His cleansing, life-changing counsel.  Now, my “whole body (was) full of light” (understanding).

A miracle had taken place.  A blind teenager had been given his sight.  I was able to comprehend the Word of God.  All the spiritual darkness that had confused my mind began to give way to a Holy Spirit-generated understanding, “as when the lamp illumines you with its rays.”  Until then, I had never really heard the lyrics to those hymns I could sing from memory; but now, they began to come alive to me.  And over the years, the meaning of God’s Word has become clearer … and Its significance to my life more and more wondrous.

“Long my imprisoned spirit lay, fast bound in sin and nature’s night.

Thine eye diffused a quick’ning ray.

I woke; the dungeon flamed with light.

My chains fell off; my heart was free.

I rose, went forth and followed Thee.

Amazing love!

How can it be that Thou, my God, should die for me!”

(“And Can It Be that I Should Gain,” Charles Wesley)

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2 thoughts on “

  1. Excellent points.
    It is the same message Christ demonstrated in His gift of sight to the man who was born blind (aren’t we all) in John 9-10. This man gained sight, and as a result of the sight he gained he began to comprehend the Son of God. His testimony tells us this:
    John 9:10: He testifies it was a MAN called Jesus who gave him his sight.
    John 9:17: He testifies Jesus must be a PROPHET.
    John 9:38: He testifies Jesus is LORD.
    The comprehension of what he could now see was not instantaneous, but a gradual and continuing growth in the Spirit over these 28 verses.
    I believe that was what Jesus instructed us to pray saying, “Give us this day our daily bread.”
    There are things I must see (comprehend) today, so that God can reveal what He wants me to see (comprehend) tomorrow. If I ever miss a day, or even a moment, I am delaying the comprehension (Spiritual growth) that God desires me to enjoy. And it is in my Spiritual growth that God is glorified.

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