Keeping Your Eyes on Jesus

Kim Greenleaf

Kim has been on the ministry team at Washington Alliance part time for seven years, and one of her greatest passions is kids and families and seeing them find Jesus irresistible.

Have you ever thought about the intricate design of the human eye? Did you know that the eye is the second most complex organ in our bodies besides the brain? Eye muscles are the most active muscles in the entire body. Eyes are able to process 36,000 pieces of information in one hour. In an average life, your eye will see 24 million different images. A baby’s eyes start to develop just two weeks after conception. How amazing is our Creator?

So you may be wondering why my interest in the eye? Over the past year, I have been more aware of this complex organ than I have ever been before. First, sadly, my age has caught up with me, and I have been prescribed reading glasses. I have never worn glasses or contacts before, so needing these glasses has been a big adjustment! However, I must admit, they do make a difference.

Secondly, my youngest son, who has worn glasses since he was 9 months old, recently had eye surgery to repair weak muscles in each of his eyes. Caring for him during his recovery was challenging, as he didn’t open his eyes for almost 5 days after the surgery! Also, like most young children, he despised the 4-doses-a-day eye drops we had to give him. Thankfully, we survived this time, and he is healing wonderfully. Praise the Lord!

Finally, and perhaps the most impactful "eye-worthy" moments have been those when I have heard the Holy Spirit's still, small voice instructing me to do something very specific with my eyes.

Throughout this past year, I have been reminded time and again about the story of Peter walking on the water toward Jesus in the midst of a fierce storm (Matthew 14). In the story, Peter starts to walk on the water toward Jesus and does so without sinking – at first. Then, when Peter becomes more keenly aware of the wind blowing around him and looks away from the face of Jesus, he begins to sink. Next, Peter cries out, “Lord, save me!” as he begins to sink, and Jesus reaches out His hand and rescues him.

The storm in this story reminds me of the storms of this life. Storms in our lives can come in many shapes and sizes. Sometimes, my storm may simply be a full schedule that makes me feel like I am drowning in my “to do” list. Other storms in my life can be dealing with difficult situations or relationships. Seeing and hearing the heartache of this sinful world brings storms of a whole different type. A cancer diagnosis of a friend or family member, marriages that have ended, news of children falling away from Christ, death of loved ones, a culture that denies God and His rules are but a few examples of storms I have noticed all around me. 

When I have experienced or hear about such storms, it is then that I have heard the still, small voice say to me, "Keep your eyes on me."

Peter stayed afloat in the midst of the actual storm on the Sea of Galilee when he kept his eyes focused on Jesus. As soon as he looked away, he began to sink. The same is true in my life. When I become consumed by the storms of this life and take my eyes off of my Savior, I, too, begin to sink into fear, doubt, worry, sadness, and despair. Yet, when I keep my focus on Jesus, even when I don’t understand or enjoy the storms, I have such a different perspective. “A peace that surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7) is one way I can describe my outlook.

In John 16, Jesus is speaking with His disciples before his ascension into heaven and reminds them that in this world they would have trouble, but they were to take heart because He had overcome the world. Such a passage is a wonderful truth that I hold onto in the midst of inevitable storms. I pray that with each storm that looms, I will continue to fix my eyes on the author and perfecter of my faith. I can rest in His hands knowing that He has overcome.