Have you ever had an experience that overwhelmed your mind? What about your senses? A number of years ago, I was driving from one service call to another. The traffic was normal and I was able to do just above the speed limit. As I drove, I was listening to various preachers talk about reaching those who need Christ. During this time, I started to think about my life prior to knowing Christ.
I was young when I met Christ and never experienced an adult life without Him. The doubt started and I wondered what it would be like to be a non-Christian. How could I understand the mindset of those who haven’t had Christ most of their lives? I wanted to know what it was like.
As I drove down the highway, I turned off my radio and prayed, “Lord, please allow me to see as those who don’t know you see.” Almost immediately, it was as if I could no longer see the road ahead. Here I am, driving 60mph and couldn’t see. I felt blinded and could only know what was only a few feet in front of me.
When I asked God for His protection, my sight came back fully. It was only for a minute or so, but I suddenly understood the mind of those who don’t know Christ.
Romans 4:4 says, “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (NIV)
During my “blinding” experience, I realized that those who don’t know Christ cannot see and when we cry out to God for help, He is willing and able to do what we cannot accomplish. Only God can allow us to see Him. Only God can take our blindness and give us sight.
John 9 talks about a situation where a blind man receives his sight and the ramifications that came along with it. First, the disciples see this blind man, who had been blind from birth and asked Jesus, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents?” Isn’t it amazing that instead of asking Jesus to heal the man, the disciples immediately assumed this man or his parents had sinned. They thought, “If someone had a disability, either they or their parents sinned.” However, this was not the case.
Jesus responded, “Neither this man or his parents sinned…” So why did God allow this man to be blind all his life? Think about it. Here is a man who could not contribute to society. All his life, he probably heard people say, “I wonder what his parents did?” or “I wonder what he did to make God upset?” It was no surprise for this man to hear what the disciples said. What probably came as a surprise was what Jesus said next.
“…but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.”
Suddenly, this man heard that God allowed him to be blind in order to show others that God exists and loves those who respond to His calling. AMAZING!!! There was no sin. There was no accident. There was no scientific possibilities Simply, God allowed him to be blind to work in his life.
How many times do was ask God to take away or problems, illnesses or circumstances? The last time you and I suffered, did we ask God to take our situation away from us? The story that keeps coming to mind is my friend Peter. God allowed him to suffer greatly. God allowed him to experience abuse, loss and extreme pain. Yet during his last days, he was on fire for God. God was able to use his painful experiences and painful circumstances to bring others to Christ. It was in Peter’s weakness that God showed His mercy to others. But the story doesn’t end there.
This blind man was healed and then experienced another aspect of God working in his life…persecution and disbelief. The religious leaders of his day found out he was healed and wanted to know more. When they asked him when he was healed, they realized it was the Sabbath (a holy day that required no one to work). According to the religious leaders, anyone who worked on the Sabbath must not be from God. They thought that the traditions of religiosity out weighed the actual healing. Over a few different times of questioning, they threw this man out of the synagogue.
So for a moment, here is a man who was not a part of society, gained his sight and wanted to be a part of society but was kicked out of the synagogue which meant he was no longer part of society again. How would you feel? If I were him, I would probably be angry and depressed. I would want to try and figure out why God gave me my sight back only to take what I thought was my life, away again. Jesus had a solution.
When Jesus heard about the man’s situation, he approached him and said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” Basically, Jesus wanted to know if this man believed in Him. Unlike many others, Jesus healed this man prior to his believing in Jesus. God gave him the gift of sight without requiring him to believe in Jesus. That was why Jesus asked, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
This man answered, “Who is he, sir? Tell me so that I may believe in him.” This man wanted to know who Christ was. He desired to know who the Messiah was. Jesus responded with the greatest surprise of all. Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.” WHAT A GREAT RESPONSE! WHAT A GREAT SURPRISE! It was then the man worshiped Christ. But did you notice what Jesus actually said?
Jesus didn’t focus on the man’s prior disabilities He focused on what God had done for him. Jesus then revealed Himself to this man to call him into a relationship with God.
The same holds true for us today. Sometimes, God uses painful circumstances to work in our lives. When we come out of those experiences and tell others, we are ridiculed and told (sometimes by Christians) how un-Christian-like it is to think or do what God has called us to proclaim. Yet through all of this, Jesus reminds us of what God has done in order to bring us closer to Him.
In our life, we should not focus on our negative past, nor should we worry about what others think. The only part of life we need to be concerned about is that Jesus loves us, died for us, healed us and wants us to tell others that we have been healed. Unfortunately, we have a tendency to become angry or depressed because life isn’t going our way. What we need to do is focus our attention on our relationship with God. This way, He can help us see clearly the path He has for our lives.
Don’t allow the darkness of physical sight to blind us. Allow God to remove that blindness and enter into a closer relationship with God. Only Jesus can heal us, but no matter where we are in life, He will use our disabilities for His purposed and glory.
God bless and encourage someone today.