Did you know that owls are considered wise because of their forward facing eyes and their ability to see through darkness? But in reality, owls are not as intelligent as human folklore would give them credit for. However, I think we all can glean some insight into wisdom based on this silly little myth. First of all, forward facing spiritual eyes are needed in order to know which way we should be headed. Similarly, spiritual eyes that can pierce the darkness of life give us clarity. But where are we to gain such “insight?” The answer can be found in Psalm 119:99 which states: “I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes.” By God’s beautiful grace He gives us His Word to meditate on so that He can impart wisdom and understanding by turning our spiritual eyes forward to face Him, and cleansing them so that they can see through the darkness with the clarity of His truth.
Our world is confusing and corruptible to say the least. There are many roads we can take. But not all roads are headed in the direction of our true destiny. Though the primary responsibility for the confusing state of our world today rests with us, God shows His grace in that He willingly imparts wisdom through His Word for those who choose His path by following His Son. Did you know that when you fix your eyes on something, you tend to move in that direction? When we focus on things that others have which we want, we begin to make obtaining that “thing” a priority in our lives. For women this can be a huge issue in terms of body image. With magazines to look at and the nagging insecurities we all face, it is easy for us to start down the path pursuing physical beauty. But meditating on God’s Word gives us the wisdom to know that “charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” (Prov 31:30)
Perhaps it isn’t beauty that is luring you onto another path, but it is personality. I know that a lot of days I find my thoughts to be self-condemning; “I wish I was more out-going, or I wish I was smarter or I wish I had more charisma” are just some of the phrases that can lead me astray. But God’s wisdom helps me to focus on God and understand that “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (Psalm 139:14) Roads that we travel along when we take our eyes off of God are roads that ultimately lead to nowhere. Wisdom and understanding is available to us if we meditate on God’s truth which tells us: “Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.” (Proverbs 4:25-27) As His grace is revealed to us in Psalm 119 we understand that eyes fixed straight ahead on God’s Word enable us to obey: “I have kept my feet from every evil path so that I might obey your word.” (v 101) Fixing our gaze directly onto Jesus’ teaching in our lives keeps us from swerving: “I have not departed from your laws, for you yourself have taught me.” (v 102)
Wisdom and understanding can indeed help us to navigate through the confusing landscape of this world, but how do we get through seasons and circumstances of darkness? Just as the owl has been equipped to see through the dark because that is the time that he is most active, we too are enabled by the grace of God to see through the darkness of our own generations as long as we accept the wisdom He gives us in His Word. Jesus promises each of us, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12) As long as we can say with our psalmist: “Oh, how I love Your law! I meditate on it all day long” (Psalm 119:97) we need never fear the dark shadows of life. When the dark shadows of grief threaten your soul, let your spiritual eyes be cleared by the truth of why Jesus came – “…to comfort all who mourn.” (Isaiah 61:2) When your heart is broken by the darkness of betrayal or abuse, hear the Word of Jesus, – “…He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted.” (Isaiah 61:1) And when you are encumbered by the darkness of sin that holds you in a tight grip, receive God’s understanding because He sent His Son “…to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.” (Isaiah 61:1)
You don’t have to be an owl to let your faith take flight with eyes faced forward and piercing through darkness. Though our world is confusing and dark, we can accept God’s grace of wisdom and understanding. We can find the intelligence the poor little owl lacks by meditating, obeying and walking in God’s Word. And when we do that, no matter how bitter the landscape of life becomes, we can proclaim our praises to God because we understand the truth: “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103) The unintelligent owl cries “who?” because he doesn’t have the wisdom to know the answer, but the devoted child of God replies –it’s Jesus, the Word made flesh. His grace is an unearned gift, so open the gift of wisdom and understanding in God’s Word and “let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)