November 04, 2012

The Importance of Squinting

Romans 1:8-17

In the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last…
—Romans 1:17


I sometimes wish that God would be more obvious in my life. I get tired of squinting for him: frankly, I’d much rather notice him than have to squint and stretch to try to find him in the haze of life.

That’s why most of us would really prefer to avoid faith if we could. But in Romans the apostle Paul reminds us that our gospel (good news) is based on faith “from first to last.” That can sound a bit unsettling for anyone who might hope there’s a way around having to rely on faith.

The more I explore the life of faith, the more I discover that squinting plays a central role in it. Squinting requires a choice on my part, instead of waiting until I notice God. Squinting requires focusing my eyes in order to penetrate the impenetrable.

It takes a special kind of courage to drive across a bridge when you can’t see the other side. It takes a similar kind of courage to continue loving a difficult spouse or child, or to continue resisting chronic temptation on those days when the effort might not seem worthwhile.

Let’s face it: there are days when it can be hard to see why things like that are so important.

That’s when it’s time to squint.

Lord, sometimes we wish you would be more obvious. That would save us from having to look so hard to find you. Please draw us closer to you, even when we can’t see where you are leading us. Amen.

About the author — Ron Vanderwell

Ron Vanderwell recently became the senior pastor of New Life Church in New Lenox, Illinois. He has been a pastor for 22 years, serving as a church planter for the previous 12 years at The Gathering in Sacramento, California, and before that as a pastor in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Ron and his wife, Deb, have three sons: John, Adam, and Jake. Ron shares more of his reflections on “squinting” for God in his blog at

Start your day with quick daily devotions.

See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!