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serving jesus christ the king

October’s verse

As I sit to write this column I’m awaiting eye surgery—by the time you read this, I’ll probably be out of the operating theatre. Several years ago I suffered a detached retina, and eventually lost the sight in one eye. In January the other retina started to tear, this time however they were able to repair it, but at a cost. Over the year my eyesight has diminished considerably and this latest surgery is an attempt to restore better vision.

All this is by way of introduction to this month’s verse on the calendar which we gave out at the start of the year. The verse reads:

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” – 2 Corinthians 4:18

In my circumstances the truth of this verse hits home with extra force, but yet it is true for every one of us.

It’s nice to see the colours changing on the trees, the rich reds and golds of autumn; it’s nice to see the twinkle in my daughters’ eyes as they get up to all sorts of mischief; it’s nice to see Ireland thrash England at rugby. But these aren’t the most significant things in life.

The things that really matter can’t be seen. It’s so easy to focus on the things that we can see—people, job, possessions, status—to live for them, and to let them determine our peace or happiness. The problem is that these things, including people, are temporary. And if we base our happiness or contentment on them, then our happiness and contentment will fluctuate and waver as they come and go.

When we fix our focus on what lasts, and the verse means nothing less than Jesus Christ and eternal life, then, even though the temporary things come and go, our contentment and peace remain steadfast. That’s because, for the person who has placed their salvation entirely in Christ’s hands, nothing can take away either Christ or his gift of eternal life.

So that challenge to each of us is this—Where is your focus? Oftentimes it is times of hardship that reveal to us where our focus really lies, where we look must for our happiness and sense of identity. Are we hanging our happiness on that which is transient, fleeting and passing, or in that which lasts forever and is rock solid?

I can assure you that the treasure of having what can’t be seen far outweighs the wonder of what can be seen.