Not being able to see is both frustrating and terrifying. Frustrating because when I can’t see what is happening, I can’t attempt to manipulate and change the outcome. Terrifying because not being able to see leaves you extremely vulnerable, and who likes that?
There are times however, when I welcome not being able to see. It allows me to focus on my other senses, helping me experience the world in a different way. It gives me the chance to be still and rest. I guess I also shouldn’t omit that the selfishness in me likes being blind, it gives me an out. I can avoid seeing things I don’t want to see. If I don’t see it, I don’t have to do anything about it….right?
I know what you must be thinking, “Where is she going with this?” Well….I don’t know yet. For days I have been pondering what to write about. I’ve prayed about it, flipped through all the things the Lord and I have talked about this year, and nothing. Eventually God gave me a picture and one word.
I’m not sure I want to share the picture with you yet, but the keyword He gave me was “blind”. Are you aware of how many different directions I could go with this one word?
Psalm 146:7-8 says, “…The Lord sets the prisoners free; the Lord opens the eyes of the blind…” Isaiah 35:5 says something similar, “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped;” In Isaiah 42:7, “I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness.” These are all positive messages of hope. That Jesus is coming and revealing himself to children of the world who are blinded by their sin. He opens their eyes, removing their blindness, and makes them a child of God. Wow, and we haven’t even opened the New Testament!
As a child of God, my eyes have been opened. I am no longer blind to His truth. I am no longer blind to the work He is doing. Then how come there are still times in my life when I can’t see what God is doing?
Describing the Picture
I think it’s time to talk about the visual the Lord shared with me. It’s of a girl, wearing a blindfold, and on the blindfold are the words, “Where are you, God?” I tried changing the words on the blindfold. I’d erase them only for my hand to betray me and rewrite them.
After a couple tries, I gave up and wrote other stuff around the picture. Still on the page, but apart from the drawing. I wrote, “When I can’t see God’s goodness. When I let my sin blind me. When I allow my comfort to take precedent over what the Lord has called me to.”
See, there are so many things I could have written about. None of those things felt right though, and before I knew it I had cut the picture out to where there was no space to add any extra writing. I can take a hint, therefore, I am focusing on the question, “Where are you, God?”
Focusing on the Question, “Where are you, God?”
Have I asked this question before? Yes. Yes I have. I’m guessing you have asked this question too. Maybe flashbacks to the beginning of COVID are filtering in your mind. I think during that time a lot of people asked the question, “Where are you, God?”
That question reminds me of God’s people in the Old Testament. Whenever they were in captivity or in trouble they would cry out to God, questioning where He was, and wondering when He would show up and fix everything.
His people whom He allowed into captivity because they refused to repent. His chosen people who in turn chose to disobey Him. Who chose to welcome corruption into their lives. Who chose to worship other idols. “Who gave up Jacob to the looter, and Israel to the plunderers? Was it not the Lord, against whom we have sinned, in whose ways we would not walk, and whose law they would not obey? So he poured on him the heat of his anger and the might of battle; it set him on fire all around, but he did not understand; it burned him up, but he did not take it to heart.” (Isaiah 42:24-25).
God warned His people before disciplining them. He gave them ample opportunity to see they were living a life unholy and unworthy of the call He placed on them. Despite His patience, their eyes remained closed.
"Hear you deaf, and look, you blind, that you may see! Who is blind but my servant, or deaf as my messenger whom I send? Who is blind as my dedicated one, or as blind as the servant of the Lord? He sees many things, but does not observe them; his ears are open, but he does not hear” (Isaiah 42:18-20).
Not What I Want to See
Ouch, I’ve been there. I’ve missed out on a lot, because I allowed myself to be blinded. There are times my eyes are open and I’m looking at things, but I’m not observing them, instead I’m filtering them out because they don’t line up with what I want to see.
I’m not saying if you asked the question, “Where are you, God?” you couldn’t see Him because He was disciplining you. I think David asked a similar question in Psalm 13, “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me? Consider and answer me, O Lord my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death, lest my enemy say, ‘I have prevailed over him,’ lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken. But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me."
Sometimes it’s not that we can’t see God or what He is doing in the moment but rather we filter out what He is doing in the here and now because we are focusing on seeing a future He has yet to reveal to us. “Bring out the people who are blind, yet have eyes, who are deaf, yet have ears” (Isaiah 43:8). “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:18-19). “…I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them…” (Isaiah 42:15-17).
The Past 2 Years
These past two years God has challenged me to see. To take my blindfold off and observe the world around me. Not to judge it, but to see its brokenness. To see its corruption and its need for a savior. To walk with people and see how they are hurting. To see what cycles of poverty (I’m talking about more than just financial poverty) they are stuck in.
He has challenged me to see my own corruption and brokenness. My own need for Him to save me daily. My need to invite others to walk with me and help me out of my own cycles of poverty (yes, that means being vulnerable which I hate). My need to focus NOT on a looming future that He has yet to reveal, but to instead focus on the things He is doing here and now. To listen, watch, and wait in excitement for what He is going to spring forth. I perceive its goodness because I know of its Creator’s goodness and faithfulness.
Revealing the Picture God Had Me Draw
Now I will leave you with the picture He had me draw and the following question:
“Will you stay blind?”