I just came from my biennial eye exam. The good news is that there has been no change since my check-up in 2015. The bad news is that everything’s blurry! Since medical issues for me do not include eye problems (just reading glasses) I’m not tuned into the procedures. Forgot about the dilation.
Driving to the office was interesting! Even now the computer screen is blurry around the edges.
That made me think of the words of the Apostle Paul, now we see in a mirror, dimly (1 Corinthians 13:12).
The word dimly is where we get our word enigma. An enigma is a mystery or a puzzle. It’s not clear or unambiguous. Perhaps a word that gives the sense of Paul’s statement would be indistinctly.
Most commentators point out the fact that in Paul’s day, mirrors were usually polished pieces of metal that gave a rather imperfect reflection. Sort of like seeing your face in the rippling waters of a stream. You can see yourself, just not as well as in your mirror at home.
To make his point about seeing in a mirror, dimly, Paul made a comparison between a child and an adult (verse 11). They just see things differently. Any parent of a small child will confirm this.
Children see things from a perspective limited by their knowledge and experience. The adult looks at the same set of facts and sees them entirely different because of the knowledge and experience that they have gained in a lifetime of struggle.
When Paul wrote when I was a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things (1 Corinthians 13:11), his focus was on the difference between our earthly/temporary existence and our heavenly/eternal existence.
Right now we see things from the perspective of a child – that is, limited by our humanness. Our understanding of life, the gift of salvation, God, His mercy, grace and forgiveness, the sacrifice of Christ, heaven, eternity and even who we will one day become are not what they will be.
That’s not to say that we don’t have some understanding of these things. Children possess an understanding, just not a complete one.
Think about it. Whatever you know about spiritual and eternal things is wonderful, but it’s like your reflection in the water. Someday you will see it all clearly and understand it perfectly. In the same way that God knows you (implied in the verse), you will understand all of the mysteries of salvation.
That’s awesome! And something to look forward to.
Is it any wonder that the Bible talks about heaven in terms of exuberant praise? Just wait. What you will someday learn will so expand your knowledge and understanding that you won’t be able to stop the praise from flowing. It will burst out of you like water bursting through a dam.
Someday You Will See.
Now I now partially, but then I shall know just as I am fully known (1 Corinthians 13:12).
Stay in the Word