I have a special guest post on the blog today. I asked my husband, Ariel, to share with us a message he recently shared with me. We pray it encourages you!
I used to get lost all the time.
While driving on the highway, my wife would ask me, “Wasn’t that our exit?”
My reply would usually be, “No, we’re taking a short cut.” Or, “Yes, but, I just wanted to spend some extra alone time with you.” 🙂
But, we both knew I was lost.
The problem was…confession time…I needed glasses.
I was nearsighted.
I could easily read a book, or type on my laptop, but the signs on the highway were a blur to me.
When I’d realize it was my exit, it was usually too late to get off.
Did I have glasses? Of course! But…I’m vain. So, without my glasses I would get lost.
Being nearsighted is a physical condition, but it can also be a spiritual condition.
I call it Spiritual Nearsightedness—when I see God, but His Will appears blurry. I’m traveling along with God in this thing called life, but His purposes are not clear. During those times, it’s difficult for me to perceive His plan.
At times, my lack of clarity usually leads me to make assumptions. And, unfortunately, assumptions are dangerous because, when we make them, they are usually wrong. Most often, assumptions tend to lead us, lead our thoughts, and lead our emotions in the wrong direction.
It’s interesting how we never assume something positive. Our assumptions are mostly always negative.
When we find ourselves in difficult situations in our finances, with our kids, in our marriage, on the job, with our health, it’s hard to see clearly. It’s difficult to perceive what God is doing when faced with hard circumstances.
So we make assumptions about God.
We say to ourselves:
He must not love me.
He must not hear my prayers.
How could God allow this?
We’re left traveling down a road of discouragement, or, worse, bitterness.
The problem though isn’t God. The problem is that we have Spiritual Nearsightedness.
We believe in God. We love God. But, we don’t see Him in our situations. We can’t perceive His will or His plan for us. We’re not really clear on where we are heading; we’re not clear as to where our destination is.
We need help to see clearly.
A particular story in the Bible has helped me during my moments of Spiritual Nearsightedness.
In the book of Luke, chapter 8, we read of a synagogue leader, Jairus, who came and fell at the feet of Jesus begging that he come to his home (Luke 8:41).
Jairus was in a desperate situation. His daughter, who was twelve years old, was dying. I’m sure he was gripped with worry and fear at the thought of losing his daughter. But, despite what he may have felt or thought, Jairus seeks Jesus.
So Jesus decides to go to Jairus’ house.
En route to Jairus’ home, Jesus stops after realizing that someone had touched him, and that power had gone out from him. A woman with an issue of bleeding for twelve years had touched Jesus’ garments in the hopes of being healed. Jesus stops to address the woman and assures her that she had been healed.
While Jesus is still speaking to this woman, the Bible states that, “…someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. ‘Your daughter is dead,’ he said. ‘Don’t bother the teacher anymore’” (Luke 8:49).
Can you imagine the thoughts rushing through Jairus’ mind?
If only Jesus would have just hurried up. Why did He delay in going to my house? What am I going to do without my little girl? Now my daughter is dead.
Why bother the master? Why continue praying?
In our lives, we are often met by what seems like dead situations as well. Or, we assume they are dead.
Why should I continue believing for my marriage?
Why should I think God is going to rescue my wayward son or daughter?
God isn’t going to bless me. Why should I continue asking God for a child?
The situation appears dead.
May I challenge you today? With our Spiritual Nearsightedness it may be difficult to perceive what God is doing. The situation may seem to be dead by all natural appearances, but we all know that God is in the business of resurrecting the dead. And, if He is able to do that, why should we stop petitioning the master?
Jesus did in fact make it to Jairus’ home. Upon his arrival, he finds everyone in the house wailing and mourning for Jairus’ daughter.
Rather than join them, the Bible says that Jesus instructs them, “ ‘Stop wailing…She is not dead but asleep’” (Luke 8:52).
To their amazement, Jesus tells them that the girl was only sleeping!!
At times, we perceive our situations in the same way. We wail and mourn over things that we declare as “dead,” while they are only asleep.
Those things that seem void of any life at the moment–our marriages, our finances, our children, our dreams—they are not dead yet. Please know that the potential for life is still there, even for those areas where hope seems lost.
The Bible goes on to state that the people, “…laughed at him, knowing that she was dead” (Luke 8:53).
They all laughed at Jesus.
They probably thought Jesus was crazy.
What is He saying? What is He doing?
They filtered Jesus’ words through the state of their circumstance.
They had vision problems. They could not see clearly or understand what God was doing.
We at times have the same vision issues. We are Spiritually Nearsighted.
However, our vision condition isn’t a flaw in our eyes. No, it’s a flaw in our faith.
So what’s the cure?
We need spectacles of faith. We need a covering of faith over our spiritual eyes that enhance our ability to see.
The only way we can receive today what God says about our tomorrows is by faith.
It is by faith that we are able to accept the word that our situation is not dead, but simply asleep.
It is by faith we can trust His plans over our fears and concerns.
It is by faith we can trust His sovereignty over our own thoughts.
It is by faith we can trust His word beyond what we see.
When my wife and I experienced a miscarriage, it was a difficult time. It was a time where things got real blurry. We could not perceive what God was doing.
Why would God rob us of this joy?
We could not understand.
Now, five years and two sons later, we see that God had a plan all along.
If we would just look at our circumstances with eyes of faith, we would be able to perceive that God IS doing something on our behalf.
My prayer has become –God, cure my Spiritual Nearsightedness by giving me lenses of faith so that I can see what you see!
About the Author: Ariel Nieves is the founder of Thrive Coaching, which helps Pastors and Church Leaders with connection strategies and discipleship. Click here to discover 10 Proven Strategies for Overcoming Obstacles.