“Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions.”
–Psalm 119:18
Most of you who are reading this are optically challenged. If you don’t understand what I mean by that, please take this simple test to find out if I am correct.
Can you see where you are going? “Of course,” you sneer, “who can’t?” But sometimes, our vision may be blurred.
While there may be different reasons why you are not able to see, let me tell you about one by using my wife and I as an example. Stephanie and I are both totally blind, and we have found that this can pose interesting challenges. But we have also found that it can be the source of some interesting adventures. Both of us believe that blindness might slow you down, but it doesn’t have to stop you.
We entertain and minister in hospitals and nursing homes, as well as being involved in many other activities. We have found that the absence of physical sight can sometimes be challenging, but lack of vision from God is the real culprit. In order to explain more thoroughly, I would like to share this story with you.
I once decided that even though I could get to and from work just fine, a service animal might still be of some help. After weighing the pros and cons, I finally decided to fly to a guide dog school in New Jersey. They told me that my dog and I would be in training for 28 days, but I had set aside this time in my work schedule, so I was off and running.
While I was there a storm came up, and all the power went out in the school. Of course, the darkness didn’t really bother those of us who were getting dogs. The people who had a hard time finding their way around in the dark were–you guessed it–those who were opticly challenged.
Now don’t get me wrong. I am not making light of blindness or any other kind of physical suffering, but I have found humor to be great when it comes to breaking down proverbial walls. I would be lying if I didn’t acknowledge the difficulties that blindness can pose. But while blindness or any kind of suffering may make some things more frustrating, I have learned that you can either magnify your problems, or magnify God’s presence in your life.
Jesus told us in John’s gospel that He had overcome the world and all its trials. Earlier, He said that the blind man in His story had been born that way in order to glorify God. Furthermore, Paul told us when he was in chains, that he was a prisoner of Christ.
Through these examples, I believe that God is asking all of us a question: Do our circumstances bind us, or are we bound by the love of Christ?
My wife and I have learned through our physical travels that God can see better than any of us. He wants to make this fact real to everyone who reads these words.
So how about you? Are you asking God to help you navigate through life? All of us will sometimes close our eyes to what God wants us to do. This creates spiritual blindness, which is much worse than anything we could imagine, for it has eternal consequences. Furthermore, by depending upon our physical senses alone, we live our lives as though we were walking through that dark room in New Jersey. Since most people do this by depending exclusively upon what they can see, they miss many of God’s richest blessings.
God tells us in His Word that our dependence upon Him will strengthen us to face the storms of life. He also says that His strength is made perfect in weakness.
If you are honest about this subject, I think you’ll agree that admitting weakness is not a popular concept. Human strength is seen as a virtue, but we go to great lengths to deny our faults and weaknesses. We tend to put people into special catagories, grouping them by age or other physical limitations, and hide them from society. But if the truth be known, we all are weak.
So while you may not realize it, we all need God’s strength. But instead of being a negative, this need is actually positive in God’s economy. Although we are weak, His strength can be channeled through us.
Let me summarize a parable of Jesus, in which He describes divine strength. He told the crowd about two different builders. The first wanted to cut costs, so although he constructed a beautiful house, he didn’t lay a proper foundation. Use your imagination, and you can visualize a million-dollar beachfront bungalow that seemed to spring up overnight. This swanky house with a gorgeous view looked like it would stand forever, but in fact it represents the temperal nature of the world, so it is already doomed to fall.
Now on the other side of town, there was a modest house that looked rather old and shabby. It had taken longer to build, and it may not have looked like much, but it had a great foundation.
As it turns out, a storm soon raged in the area where both houses were located. It was similar to the storm which I experienced, but this one didn’t just knock out the power. It devistated the town, plunging its people into panic mode. Can’t you see everyone evacuating as the beachfront house collapsed? But although the windows in the modest house across town may have been shaken, that house stood firm.
Since we have said that the physical storms here picture the spiritual storms in life, only a sturdy foundation will help us stand. We all know that storms can come out of nowhere, so why not build your house on a foundation that lasts? Depending upon the God of the Bible guarantees you the only true foundation. This provides an avenue of strength that will carry you through difficulties. So while you can easily build a proverbial beachfront house, only the strength of a deep and true foundation upon God’s word will last.
Prepare your heart by finding a quiet place where you can talk to Him about all the important decisions you will face. Spend some time with the best friend you will ever have by making a simple investment. You will soon find that He will give you new strength as you enter each battle, and open your eyes to new possibilities.
Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.hcmachaplains.org and click on the Donate Now link. You can also send donations by mail to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 101 S Kraemer BLVD, Suite 123A, Placentia, CA 92870. Finally, you’re always welcome to join our Monday night Bible study or Tuesday night prayer meeting. Both are conducted by conference call, and they take place at 5:30 PM Arizona time. Our conference number is 712-775-7031, and our ID is 607518748. We hope to talk with you soon!
If you have questions, comments or prayer requests for Timothy or Stephanie Burdick, please call 507-369-6861.