Heavy Eyes

J. D. Conley

Sleep is a blessing. After a hard day's work, sleep is a much-welcomed event. Sometimes, though, sleep is unwanted. At times, we find ourselves fighting slumber at the most inconvenient times. Some people fight sleep while driving, some while watching a movie, others while trying to listen to or take part in a lackluster conversation. Yes, even when listening to sermons.

I wonder though how many members of the church ever resist falling asleep while reading God's Word resisting it because they have spent hours in arduous study and would like very much to keep on studying. Honestly, how many Christians daily wear out their eyes searching the Scriptures?

Perhaps it is this blessed activity that David referred to when he penned these words, "Mine eyes fail for thy word" (Psalm 119:82). Maybe, after toiling in the Scriptures for an extended period, he too began to ward off sleep. His inspired expression, "Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law" (Psalm 119:18), may have a secondary meaning as it pertains to our discussion. Maybe he wanted spiritual discernment as well as mental alertness. His son Solomon affirmed, "... much study is a weariness of the flesh" (Ecclesiastes 12:12).

It is widely known that brother Gus Nichols studied the Bible five hours every day. I was recently informed that in the wee hours of the morning, as his eyes became heavy, he would keep his eyes pried open with his thumb and index finger. Evidently, the five hours a day he spent in study was the minimum, because he was known to stay up all night on many occasions examining God's Word. Upon learning that brother Nichols studied five hours a day, brother Franklin Camp said, "If brother Nichols needs to study the Bible five hours a day, then I need to study it six." For many years brother Camp got up at 4:00 AM and studied uninterrupted until 10:00 AM. Unquestionably, both of these men had heavy eyes more than once, yet their desire for knowledge bore down on them heavier than their eyelids. Let us follow their examples.

"Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word." Psalm 119:148. 102 Laramie Rd., Marietta, OH 45750. jdconley@localnet.com


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