Except for the fact I have correctable vision via glasses or contacts, I would be considered legally blind. Plus I am also slightly color blind, which I didn’t discover until being tested to join the military.
So my nearsighted self has worn thick-lensed glasses which I thought were bad until I got my BCG’s I was required to wear in military boot camp. BCG’s? They’re the black-framed glasses designed for strength or stoutness for the rigors there, and they have even thicker lenses. BCG stood for “birth control glasses” because with them, you’re so ugly even your spouse would stay away.
Contacts? Tried and failed. Multiple times. Plus, being a natural night owl while working early morning hours creates too much of a squint to open wide to the bright lights and mirror in the morning. It was worse if I had to leave them in for more than 24 hours. Gave them up for convenience.
But my vision problems have given me a special appreciation of Mark 8:22-25 below:
And they came to Bethsaida. And some people brought to him a blind man and begged him to touch him. And he took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village, and when he had spit on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, “Do you see anything?” And he looked up and said, “I see people, but they look like trees, walking.” Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. And he sent him to his home, saying, “Do not even enter the village.”
People who appear like trees walking? Yes, I’m very close to seeing that without my prescription. Clearly, I’m not wanting to write a sermon on those verses (but here’s one by Charles Spurgeon, if you want to go even deeper). My point is simple:
As glasses are for correcting poor vision, reading and understanding the Bible define and clarify God’s vision for you.
Just like glasses, if you are unwilling to look through the lenses provided, then you will suffer more from the blurriness along with more eternal consequences. It is with rightly dividing God’s Word combined with the lead of the Holy Spirit that God helps us fine-tune his personal prescription for us until the blur is gone.
What causes the blur? Is it worry or fear? Then remember, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour unto his life.” Is it from being tired? Then remember those who wait on the Lord will mount up on wings like eagles.
But in the verses above there was no “wait for the Lord” because the Lord was already there, face-to-new-seeing-eyes-face. My mind marvels at the beauty of the miracle. I never imagined I would talk of beauty when we see Jesus spitting on the eyes of the man. But when I consider just the minor problems I have had for most of my life with correctable vision, hey, I would gladly have Jesus spit on my eyes and lay hands on me to restore my vision.
But consider the problem of sin related to these verses: would you let the blood of Christ eradicate your sins as it discusses in Colossian 2:13-14 or 1 John 1:7? These sins prevent you from seeing God clearly and having a relationship with him. Or is your sin something you think you can correct yourself? Or worse, do you have someone in your life telling you what the Bible calls sin isn't a sin?
Or are you more like a Pharisee who Jesus accused of being like the blind leading the blind into a ditch with their enlightened spiritual understandings? Are you too proud and wanting to come to restore that relationship with your own power instead of trusting in Jesus? That makes me wonder if there was a blind man wanting vision, but who would be unwilling to let Jesus do the work His way. “No, Jesus, I want you to do what I want by the methods I want. I want your will for me, but do it my way.”
When it comes to understanding the will of God, the formerly blind man knew what was next, very specifically. Jesus sent him home with the instructions, “Do not even enter the village.”
This isn’t like the walk through the village of Vanity Fair from The Pilgrim’s Progress where Jesus was warning him to keep both eyes on eternity instead of the temptations of the present. Regardless of why Jesus told him that, how many times have we wanted crystal clear instructions from God on what to do next? I know I have.
While most readers of the Bible know the primary will of God is to restore the peaceful relationship through the works of Jesus, some don’t know “What’s next?” or “What do I do in this situation?”
The key is where God wants you to be: return home. Home for those searching for God’s will is simply found in exploring the Bible with a willingness to submit to what God says. Whether it is laid out with the greatest commandments (Matthew 22:34-40), a new commandment (John 13:34), or the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17), these are the guardrails as we live our lives.
If we have heard and seen these regularly, we know the limits of the road we travel on and can do so safely. We are to combine them with verses which talk of working heartily as unto the Lord WHATEVER our hands find to do (like Colossians 3:17 or Colossians 3:23 or Ephesians 6:7 or 1 Peter 2:15 or Ecclesiastes 9:10).
If we are truly blessed and remembering we are working like that, then we can become like artists in our lives instead of just laborers. I’m reminded of a quote some say is attributed to St. Francis of Assisi and others to a more recent person, Louis Nizer:
“A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman, but a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist.”
As our God is a creator, he wants our work not to be just labor, but a creative art where the fullness of His love bursts through so we shine like a light for His glory. Imagine letting God use you wherever you are, even in the drudgery of the tick-tock work world, so those lost in darkness see the light of Jesus shining through! Would you pray to let God use you where you are for something like that?
An example of how God's Word and His will combine together is from a prayer I’ve shared before: Almighty God, whatever I’m calling good in my life that is evil or evil in my life that is good – all according to Your standards and Your Word, please make me aware and help me change. Amen.
Trust Jesus. Go home. Avoid the things he tells you to avoid, and love those he tells you to love. Psalm 119:34 helps us know the guardrails, or law, better, “Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart.”
“It is idle talk,” wrote Charles Spurgeon, “of praying about things which are clearly according to the will of God. Cease praying about them, and practice them.” Then, my friends, you will discover the next thing God wants for you in His will because He promises for who is faithful in a little, more will be given.
Just like I shared above, I've been in God's Word. So related to this, next week I'm starting a weekly series for about six-months titled "Iron Sharpening Iron" based on Proverbs 27:17 and some ideas I've shared in this article. I will place a link here for next week's overview when it is posted.
Each week, God willing and me working, I'll post a blog about a character trait shown in the Bible and examples of where and how they appear in the Bible. I hope this will help lead me closer to becoming the follower of Christ He desires me to be and simultaneously sharing them with you. I am not responsible for the result of who or how many may read this, but I am responsible for taking a step in faith of what God desires me to do and who He desires me to be.
May the Lord bless and keep you, and may You know God's next step for you. May He gives you a heart of willingness to do it. I promise, though, if you do not have a relationship with Jesus as Lord and Savior, your first step should be here to establish your eternal peace with God.