If I had to chose between going to the eye doctor and the dentist, the choice would be an easy one. Someone poking around in my mouth is far more unpleasant than looking through a glass lens. Even so, there is one eye test that I especially dislike: the peripheral vision test.
For the peripheral vision test, I lean my head into a big white monitor of sorts. Random lights begin to flash, and my task is to press a button every time I see a flash. Many of the lights are faint, however, so I’m always wondering if I’m seeing what I think I’m seeing.
One year, after taking the test, the optometrist said, “Excellent! You only missed two. That’s exactly what should have happened.”
I must have looked confused, so he followed up by explaining that all people naturally have a blind spot in each eye. There’s a technical reason for it, but it was the general idea that caught my attention because of the spiritual parallel involved.
We all have blind spots—areas of our hearts that we cannot see. There might be cancerous and sinful rot growing in those places, but we wouldn’t know because we are naturally blind to them.
King David—that passionate lover of God—once prayed:
Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way. Psalms 139:23-24 (NASB)
David clearly grasped that the Creator of all things can see what we cannot. But I sometimes wonder when David lifted this prayer to heaven. Was it before his terrible sin of sleeping with a married woman and having her husband murdered? Or did David pen these words after he had a fuller understanding of his own frailty? If David had uttered this prayer sooner, could he have avoided inflicting and experiencing a ton of pain?
There is no way for us to know the intricate details of King David’s story, but it’s entirely possible that the heartfelt use of his prayer might spare someone considerable grief.
For my part, I would much rather invite the Lord to search my heart than to mindlessly bumble into a terrible sin. How much better it is to open our hearts to the all-seeing God than to rivet our attention on the shortcomings of those around us!
Personal Reflection: Have I asked the Lord to search my heart and given Him complete freedom to do so?
Personal Prayer: Lord God, I choose to join with the great saints of old by asking you to search my heart and to free me from any tendencies that run contrary to your design.