Have you ever awakened and noticed a bit of gunk on the inside part of your eye? Perhaps you have a name for this crust that appears in the crook of your eyes when you sleep? When Sammy and Sophie were young, we called it “sleepy dust.” Maybe you call it something else. Our dog, Joy, gets this a lot, but her “crust” is a bit different. It’s more of a goopy glob, so we call it “goober.” Joy often wakes up with “goober” in her eyes.

Joy is a 10 1/2 year old dog, which means she gets to sleep a lot. It also means a lot of goober forms around her eyes. Since she was a young pup, we have had the privilege of gently clearing the goober from her eyes multiple times a day. If left unchecked, the goober prevents Joy from seeing clearly; her vision would undoubtedly be blurry or foggy.

I wonder about the “goober” in our own eyes? What blurs our focus on Christ?

The Bible says a lot about our eyes. In Matthew, Jesus describes the eyes as the “lamp of the body” (see Matthew 6:22). Wherever the eye focuses, indicates to what or whom the body is aligned. The Psalmist reveals that the eyes reflect our sorrows and hardship (see Psalm 6:7). Verses like Psalm 16:8 and 19:8 add that God gives light to the eyes and helps us see the way we should go.

God created humankind with eyes to see, yet what happens when our vision becomes obscured? In the Gospels, Jesus restored sight to the blind. He offered clarity, hope, and sight.

So, what’s the goober in your eyes?

What keeps you from seeing clearly? Without careful attention, our eyes can become as Isaiah described: “‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; “You will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them’” (see Matthew 13:14-16). Our sight becomes fuzzy when our hearts fail to listen to and follow the Lord.

Many things distract us from following God. For example, the pursuit of health, happiness, wealth, comfort, harmony, power, relationships, and recognition. Goober also takes the form of misplaced dreams of retirement, the façade of security in bank accounts, the fickle nature of people, unmet expectations, the pretense in relationships, fear of failure, bitterness from wounding words, emptiness from accumulation, insatiable appetites, fabricated ideals of control, misunderstandings, isolation and loneliness. Our focus becomes the cultural narratives, goals, entitlements, and ideas which direct our attention to this world and away from living with God and for God.

We all face different distractions. What distracts you for focusing on Jesus?

2 Corinthians 4:18 describes why we must make Jesus our focal point: “we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” Do you allow the momentary to draw you away from the eternal?

Set the timer for three minutes: name those circumstances, people, and passions that cloud your vision. Allow the Spirit to reveal the goober in your eyes.

The writer of Hebrews exhorts followers of Christ to “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith” (see Hebrews 12:1-2).

How can we throw off what hinders and entangles us and fix our eyes on Jesus?

  • Gaze into God’s Word, the Bible. Instead of reading the Bible for information or for a daily assignment, let God form you with His Word by allowing Scripture to infiltrate your thoughts, emotions, and desires. Digest Scripture slowly.
  • Sit with Jesus, asking Him to fill you with His heart and His ways. Simply be alone with God.
  • Consider Jesus who bought salvation for each of us with His sinless sacrifice. He is the standard of maturity and our standard for living.
  • Repent of sin as the Holy Spirit reveals it to you. Stop rationalizing and turn to Jesus. Confess and receive His cleansing.

Look away from all else and look toward Jesus. As we spend time with the One who matures and grows us, the Holy Spirit removes the goober from our eyes. He helps us see more clearly.

Just like I gently remove the goober from Joy’s eyes each day, reflect with God and invite the grace-filled goober removing presence of the Holy Spirit to reveal your distractions and declutter your gaze so your focus is clear upon Jesus for daily living.

Drips from the Word: Muse about these Bible verses. Let these truths impact your living.

Psalm 16:8
I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

Psalm 19:8
The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart.The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.

Splashes from the Spigot: Drink from deep wells. Check out these suggested readings.

Anne Ortlund. Fix Your Eyes on Jesus. Nashville, TN. 1994.

Charles Spurgeon. Morning and Evening. Wheaton, IL. 2003.

Puddles for Prayer: Thank you for praying for upcoming travel and speaking engagements.

February 9-24 – Sydney, Adelaide, and Perth, Australia
Traveling with Gary and speaking to various groups and organizations on Soul Care for Boards, Pastoral Staff and Senior Leaders.