Have you ever been blinded? Have you ever had a moment when you lost your sight? Maybe you looked at the sun too long or developed a disease that degenerated your vision. Maybe you were born with poor vision, and while you're not truly blind, you consider yourself to be without sight. If so, you know it can be a scary experience to lose the ability to see something clearly. Sight is something I believe we all appreciate and take very seriously. I recently had an experience which negatively affected my vision and taught me some important lessons. All my life I’ve had poor vision, but with contacts or glasses I was able to correct this problem. This year I decided to have a Lasik procedure done to permanently fix my issue, and from this experience I learned some valuable lessons.
In the hours and days following my surgery, my vision deteriorated to the point that it was worse than my normal vision without glasses. I thought this surgery was supposed to cure my problem and yet here I was in poorer shape. In dealing with this, it made me wonder if the same can happen to us spiritually. We have a conversion experience expecting it to make us or our circumstances perfect, only to find out that things become harder. We become aware of our sin and have to correct those issues. We see the sin in the lives of our friends and try to address that as well. We become more sensitive to the needs of others, and while this awareness is good for us, in a way it's disorienting. Life becomes more challenging and rewarding with Christ. Paul is a great example of this: Once the scales were removed from his eyes his real work of changing his life, and the lives of others began - a work which lead him even to the point of death (Acts 9:1-19).
While thinking about that situation, I also wondered if people who don't have Christ live their lives in a state of constant blurriness and blindness. Have they gotten so use to the spiritual haze they aren't even aware of it? Would they know the truth if it was right in front of them? They probably can't see the sin in their lives or the damage they inflict on others. This must be scary, as I was in a major state of panic about temporary blurriness. Can you imagine perpetual blindness? The fear, worry, anxiety, frustration and anger these people have to endure must be difficult.
So what do we do? It sounds pretty bleak at this point doesn't it? Do we follow Christ and have things become more difficult or not follow him and stay in a spiritual haze? How do we work out this problem?
First, for those of us who are Christians and struggle with our faith or in dealing with sin, we must remember the Great Physician’s words. When I was freaking out in the days following the surgery, I kept asking my wife if she thought I'd be ok, and her response was always the same: "Remember what the doctor said. He told you all these things would happen." This advice is true of the Christian life as well. We would be wise to remember the doctor's (Jesus, of course) words, dwell on them and ask others to speak those truths in our lives. We would be wise to memorize scripture, because in our greatest struggle when we can't see or maybe even feel His presence, His words are a comfort. Psalm 119:105 states Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. His words can fill us with hope, calm our greatest fears and give us a peace that transcends all understanding.
SEEING MORE CLEARLY
How can we help those in our lives who are stuck in a spiritual haze, and struggle to see the truth? The best answer is to try and lead them to the surgeon, the one who can ultimately fix them. Our words of encouragement or rebuke may help, but it's ultimately the Lord who will speak truth into their lives. Hebrews 4:12 - For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any double edged sword, it penetrates to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. How can we lead them to the surgeon? First, love them and understand they are broken people who don't know how to act whole. Share with them your story, speak the scriptures you've memorized and ultimately tell them about the surgeon who fixed you - Jesus. Jesus can cut through the darkness, removing the haze created by selfish desires, sin, fear, etc. He is the ultimate physician, and in scripture He healed blindness, both physical and spiritual (John 9:1-12, Mark 10: 46-52).
So what are we left with? Trust the surgeon (God), remember His words, and remember He is infinitely more powerful and trustworthy than any human physician (Psalm 62:8 - Trust in the Lord at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge). Trust He has a plan for us and will see it through, never abandoning us but always being with us. We have to trust that He is capable and has our best interests at heart. Remember His words and dwell on them constantly. Join a life group, a DC study, Men's ministry or Women's ministry. Join a Sunday morning Bible study and attend worship on Sunday morning to help clear your vision and celebrate the life you now live!