With faith, we must first believe before we can see.
When I almost failed my recent exam at the Department of Motor Vehicles, I gave in and decided to pay a visit to my optometrist. It had been 11 years since my last appointment when I was prescribed glasses that I stopped wearing over ten years ago! The recent exam showed my vision to be 20/220, a new prescription was written, and glasses ordered. Yesterday I picked up my new glasses, went out to my car and spent 30 minutes looking at the world! I took them off and looked across the street, put them on, and saw a building. Ok, it wasn’t that bad, but it was life-changing. When I got home, I spent an hour on my back porch just looking at the clarity of the clouds, laughing about the radio tower on a distant mountain I had never seen; simply admiring the colors, transparency, and details in God’s creation, lamenting that I had been missing out on so much for so long.
I am not the only one to consider the issue of sight. When Fanny Crosby was but six weeks old, she developed a cold and inflammation in her eyes. A doctor applied a mustard plaster to her eyes which, according to Fanny, damaged her optic nerves causing complete and permanent blindness. Looking at the world through my new glasses, I can’t imagine not seeing the beauty that God created; seeing is believing, or is it?
Fanny Crosby did not end up discouraged nor trapped in a state of regret or bitterness; she surrendered her life to Jesus Christ, and starting at the early age of ten years old, she committed to memorizing five chapters of the Bible every day. Five years later, at 15 years old, she had memorized the first five books of the Old Testament, the four Gospels, the Song of Solomon, all the Proverbs, and most of the Psalms. By the time of her death, at 94 years of age, she had written over 8,000 hymns, five cantatas and published over 1,000 poems. But, even more impressive was her attitude concerning her seeming disability. Many would have been rendered incapacitated if blind, living with regret-consumed by what could be, yet Fanny lived as if she enjoyed a view only experienced through her physical blindness.
When asked about her disability, Fanny wrote, “It seemed intended by the blessed providence of God that I should be blind all my life, and I thank him for the dispensation. If perfect earthly sight were offered to me tomorrow, I would not accept it. I might not have sung hymns to the praise of God if I had been distracted by the beautiful and interesting things about me.” For Fanny, seeing was not believing, instead, believing was seeing; through faith, Fanny Crosby had perfect 20/20 vision.
No matter your disability, God created you and has a purpose for your life; to glorify Him and make Him known, being satisfied with who God has created-using any perceived handicaps as opportunities- not obstacles, to praise Him. John Piper once said that “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.” When we purpose to view life through the lens of God’s will for us, we will see more clearly than ever before. In the words of Fanny,
Sound His praises! Jesus who bore our sorrow Love unbounded wonderful, deep, and strong Praise Him! Praise Him! Tell of His excellent greatness Praise Him! Praise Him! Ever in joyful song
You see, it’s not seeing is believing, but believing is seeing!
Scripture: “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” -Phil. 4:11-13 (ESV)
Question: Have you ever allowed what has happened around you to impact the power within you?
Prayer: Father, there are times when my circumstances affect my faith, times when I get so discouraged with the pain and suffering in my life that I forget how much you love me and that you never take your eyes off of me. During these difficult times, please give me the strength to persevere, the wisdom to refocus on your love, and the peace that comes from being content with whatever you have allowed me to endure. Please use my obstacles as opportunities to praise you and tell of your great love to others. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.