February 8, 2007
John 9:25 "I once was blind, but now I can see!"
Friend to Friend
I am married to a wonderful man who, for most of his life, has understood the aggravation of struggling with sight. I’ll let him tell you his story.
“Eye sight has always been a frustration for me. As far back as first grade, I can remember being unable to see the board unless I sat on the front row. Since I loved to talk, you can imagine that the front row was not my favorite place to sit. After two years of frustration, my parents took me to an optometrist who promptly pronounced me "blind as a bat." From that moment on, glasses and/or contacts have been part of my daily routine.
My first pair of glasses was nasty. Multi-colored shades of brown, coke bottle bottom thick lenses and the nick name "Four Eyes" all came in one ugly package. But I could see - and that helped! I wore those glasses through scouts, through football, as well as through the taunting that came with them. They became part of every waking minute. In the 9th grade, I was doing well in football. Contacts were still a couple of years away from being available to the masses, so I wore glasses underneath my helmet using an elastic strap to keep them in place. I was one mean All District defensive end! I even played some fullback as well until the coach made a decision at the start of the season: no glasses under the helmet. A Dallas football player had managed to cut his nose when his glasses were smashed during a game. My coach heard about it and declared he wouldn’t allow that to happen on his squad. So, I lost my specs.
I lost a great deal more than just a pair of glasses. I lost my ability to see - and therefore, the ability to play with confidence. I was so blind that I couldn’t see the play developing until it was right on top of me. After losing my starting job, I eventually lost interest and quit playing football altogether. As a college freshman, I found new “eye sight life” when I received my first pair of hard contact lenses. I loved them, and wore them like a fiend until an infection in my eyes took them away. I went back to wearing thick glasses.
Several years later, soft contacts came along, and once again, my sight was reborn! I wore them every waking hour, and was thrilled to be free of the nasty thick lenses I had worn for 20 plus years. However, my eyes then began to bother me whenever I wore my contacts. I tried new pairs, new prescriptions, and new types of soft lenses. All of them irritated my eyes. I went back to glasses: a smaller, not quite so thick pair, but still with all the hassles that wearing glasses brings. Once again, I had to lay them in the right spot in hotel rooms or at home every night because I literally couldn’t see well enough to find them. By this time, my vision had deteriorated to 20/525 in each eye. I simply resigned myself to wearing glasses and went on with life. Maybe someday - post college tuition payments – I would be able to afford Lasik eye surgery.
Then I received a priceless gift! My best friend had Lasik eye surgery and was so thrilled with the results that he wanted me to have the same surgery and generously insisted on paying for it. The surgery went well and the results seemed promising. I slept through the first day, compliments of surgical sedation. But when I woke the next morning - I could see! I could see the time on my alarm clock, the trees outside my bedroom window – everything! I literally walked around the house, overwhelmed at my new world! I had new sight!” --- Dan Southerland
Spiritual sight is much the same. In John 9:25 we find the disciple’s ecstatic proclamation, "I once was blind, but now I can see!" Like John, we are blind, trapped in a dark prison of ignorance, fear and sin. Life is meaningless and without purpose. We long for freedom and light, frantically trying every human remedy for the terminal case of spiritual blindness with which we are all born. The only remedy, the only solution for our spiritual blindness is found in a personal relationship with God. When we turn from sin, choosing to commit ourselves wholly to God, His presence replaces darkness with light, guilt with forgiveness, blindness with sight and stress with peace.
Lord, I often feel trapped in the darkness that sin produces. But I want to know You more. I want to sense Your presence every minute of every day. I want to see You at work in my life. Help me to grow and cultivate new sight. In Jesus’ name. Amen
Now it's Your Turn
- Rate your spiritual vision.
- Read and memorize 1 John 1:9 and celebrate its truth.
- What areas of your life are filled with darkness instead of light?
- What do you think would be the result of a total surrender to God and His plan for your life?
More from the Girlfriends
Have you ever felt confused and lost? Don’t know which path to take or which choice to make? Uh-huh! I have been there and done that more times than I care to admit. When will I learn to stop…and ask God for His sight and perspective on the situation? Let’s pray for each other as we seek to have spiritual 20/20 vision!
For more on this topic, see Mary’s book, Coming out of the Dark.
Girlfriends in God, Inc.
Originally published Thursday, 08 February 2007.