It was 9 years ago that I started having severe pain behind my eyes. It would gradually get worse as the day went along. After talking with a doctor I went to an optometrist who ran several tests on my eyes. He determined that my vision was impaired and my eyes were staining to see the words as I read. Since I read a lot of material through the day my problem was getting worse the more I read. His simple solution was glasses.
Now he warned me that my eyes had probably been getting worse for years and when I started wearing glasses my eyes would finally relax. The end result is that my prescription would increase dramatically over the next couple years. He was right my eyes quickly became worse and it didn’t take 5 years before I was in bifocals.
For the last several years I have been able to occasionally remove my glasses and still read items if I varied the distance from my face. Well, last night I had taken my glasses off for bed and one of my boys needed some medicine. I went to the cabinet and took out the bottle. To my surprise every word was blurry and no matter how I adjusted the bottle it wouldn’t come clear. Finally in frustration I went to get my glasses just to make sure I was reading the pill bottle right.
After this experience I flopped down in bed realizing that my vision was gone. I could no longer see well enough to do even minor activities without my glasses. What once was in sharp focus was now lost into a lifetime of blurry.
This led me to thinking about the Apostle Paul. In the story of his conversion from Judaism to Christianity he sees the Lord on the road to Damascus. He speaks with the Lord and then something interesting happens. He had something form over his eyes like scales and he was blind for three days (Acts 9:9).
I really wonder why God made him blind. Couldn’t he just have seen a vision and then went on with his life? Why make Paul blind?
Here is my conviction: God wanted to teach Paul to depend on something other than himself.
For three days he sat in darkness knowing that he would need the help of someone to lead him out of this situation. Finally Ananias comes to him and gives him instructions on the next step of his journey of faith. And at that moment he is ready to listen. Paul knew he needed guidance in his life, because he was blind.
I think that sometimes God steps into the mess we have made of our lives and shows us a way out. Also, sometimes He comes in and makes a mess of our lives so that we learn to depend on Him. To say it another way, “Sometimes he makes the blind to see and sometimes he makes people who see become blind.”
Through the years of my decreasing sight I have learned total reliance on my glasses. If my glasses are missing I need someone to help me read anything. I have learned dependence because of my weakness.
What if God were trying to do the same thing to you? What if He was frustrating your plans so that you would learn to depend on him? What if your biggest struggle was the place God was trying to do his biggest work?