“Newborn infants are incapable of visual focus; their eyes are likely to move in any direction and their motion is not coordinated. Strong light causes discomfort. By the end of a month babies begin to focus momentarily on objects and during the next two months they gradually develop greater skill and begin to recognize objects; their eyes will follow a moving object.”
This definition of infant vision was taken from the Encyclopedia Britannica. Does it sound familiar? It does to me. Perhaps if you will allow me to itemize some of the similarities between the vision of the child of God and the vision of an infant, it will become more relevant to you.
Children of God have only the vision of an infant. This one, for example, has no visual focus at all; he has a Bible, but doesn’t take the time to read and study it for his own personal devotion. He attends church quite regularly, but for reasons other than to listen to what the minister has to say. His eyes tend to move in every direction, perhaps toward the girlfriend or boyfriend sitting next to him, or the hang nail on his third finger left hand, or that pesty bulletin sticking out of the psalter. And OH that bright light! It causes so much discomfort! “Why is it” he wonders to himself, “I can’t just sit here without always being reminded how sinful I am?” It’s true. The light that comes from the preaching of God’s work exposes the real state of sinfulness and brings into clear view the wicked deeds that the child of God so easily commits.
Momentary focus is one attribute of this child of God: He’s quite a pious young person; goes to society on Sunday afternoon and catechism during the week, but finds it very difficult to center his attention on that Word of God for any length of time. So he makes resolutions to study God’s Word more and to take a little more time for private devotion. Unfortunately, however, there are many other allurements which cause him to be drawn away from this very profitable endeavor. Activities such as the television, the newspaper or even homework can often hinder his study of God’s Word. This should not be. But once again we are reminded that he has only the vision of an infant.
In order to make my analogy between a child of God and an infant complete, I must now cite a few examples of those who recognize an object and follow it. One example is the prophet Isaiah, who in chapter 7, verse 14 foretold of the birth of the Christ, . . . Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son and shall call his name Immanuel.” The apostle Paul; in his epistle to the Hebrews, chapter 12 exhorts, “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despised the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” And still others, who eagerly await His second coming, ask in Matt. 24:3, “. . . when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” To this question, the blind scoffer replies (II Peter 3:4). “Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.”
We must notice, of course, the distinct difference between total blindness and mere infant vision. Total blindness is complete and lasting. It offers no hope of any future sight. Infant vision, on the other hand, implies growth, development and hence eventual clear vision. This distinction is also true between the infant vision of a child of God that will one day be perfected in heavenly glory, and that blind ignorance of the child of this world that will finally receive damnation in Hell.
I’ve just pointed out the similarities between the vision of an infant, and that of the child of God; not only that, I’ve also alluded to the difference between the total blindness of the man of this world, and the infant vision of the child of God. . . . Did you recognize yourself?
Originally Published in:
Vol. 31 No. 2 April 1971