Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!
While Christian eyes are a permanent condition, some insights happen in a flash.
In a vision of the night, I saw a man whose name was Victoricus coming as from Ireland with innumerable letters, and he gave me one of them, and I read the beginning of the letter: ‘The Voice of the Irish’; and as I was reading the beginning of the letter I seemed at that moment to hear the voice of those who were beside the forest of Focult which is near the western sea, and they were crying as if with one voice: ‘We beg you, holy youth, that you shall come and shall walk again among us.’ And I was stung intensely in my heart so that I could read no more, and thus I awoke. — Patrick “Confession” 23
An important part of this is not just the vision itself, but that Patrick decided to obey it. That was met with vigorous opposition.
And then I was attacked by a goodly number of elders, who [brought up] my sins against my arduous episcopate. That day in particular I was mightily upset, and might have fallen here and for ever; but the Lord generously speared me, a convert, and an alien, for his name’s sake, and he came powerfully to my assistance in that state of being trampled down — Patrick “Confession” 26
Such opposition should never be ignored.
He who disdains instruction despises his own soul,
But he who heeds rebuke gets understanding. — Proverbs 15:32
But Patrick got the confirmation he needed. The elders were wrong.
On the other hand, I did not proceed to Ireland of my own accord until I was almost giving up, but through this I was corrected by the Lord, and he prepared me so that today I should be what was once far from me, in order that I should have the care of—or rather, I should be concerned for—the salvation of others, when at that time, still, I was only concerned for myself. — Patrick “Confession” 28
Christian eyes are a great treasure, but let no one say that they’re easy.
Patrick was great saint who followed the Lord’s leading at great personal risk
Yet paragraph 28 of “Confession” shows that he was a normal sinner, just like you and me. Even after he had the vision, he wasn’t sure he should go, and the elders almost talked him out of it.
All of Patrick’s “Confession” reads like this. It’s only 62 paragraphs and worth your time. Here’s a link.
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.