Raise your hand if you’ve ever had your pupils dilated at the eye doctor.
Isn’t it just the worst? Ugh.
But check this out.
So during the test, they drop an irritant on your eye to widen the pupil and let in the maximum amount of light, letting them see deep inside and check the health of the eye’s hidden parts.
Which is fine during the test, but when you walk back outside (usually without shades, which I always forget), it hurts. A lot. Your vision is distorted, your eyes so overfilled with light that the world goes 4K, everything so hyperreal it seems fake.
Now make this leap with me.
In Matthew Henry’s commentary on James 1:2 (the line about joy in trials), he reflects: “We […] must endeavour to keep our SPIRITS DILATED and enlarged, the better to take in a TRUE SENSE of our case, and with greater advantage to set ourselves to make the best of it.”
Did you catch that?
Your spirit gets tested just like your eyes. Life’s irritants open it wide to give God full access to the darkest parts so He can diagnose and correct your sickness or weakness. To uncover the truth.
It changes how you see the world. Walking through your regular life, you squint from seeing the light of God so bright and glorious, His truth made hyperreal, revealed by that irritating test.
Yes, having your spirit dilated hurts, but it’s how we’re healed and refined. It lets us see in high definition the truth of our situation―and the true beauty of God.
Our joy in times of trial.