I have a good friend named George; we've known each other for nearly 40 years now. George and I share a lot in common, but one thing we don't share is a harsh physical reality: George is blind.
The more I spend time with George, the more God uses this relationship to open my eyes to the spiritual realities of life in this fallen world. There are four things I've learned that I want to share with you.
1. Blind people see their condition.
George is a man of insight and determination, and his life story has been one of courage, hope and accomplishment. How is that possible? Because George doesn't live in denial. As a young boy, he confronted the sad reality of his blindness and determined to make choices that would allow him to live life to the fullest, even though he couldn't physically see.
On the other hand, spiritually blind people - that's you and I - either don't recognize that we're blind, or we live in denial. Imagine if George pretended to have perfect vision, throwing away the strategies and tools required for his survival? That would be reckless! When you and I ignore or deny our spiritual blindness, we're doing the same thing.
2. We have two sets of eyes.
More important than our physical eyes, we live by the eyes of the heart. My friend George is physically blind, but spiritually he has very good vision. Every day, George exercises that mysterious ability that God gives to his children to see the unseen.
I've learned from George that our life is always shaped by what our eyes see. If this is true of the physical eyes, how much more is it true of the eyes of the heart? What you seek with the eyes of your heart, or what you allow yourself to see, will radically impact your desires, choices, words and actions.
3. Blind people don't live independently.
When George got serious about dealing with his handicap, he welcomed people into his life who had the concern, knowledge and skills to help him. It's not easy for proud sinners to rely on others, but George opened himself up to a community of help.
Spiritually blind people need to do the same thing. Insight for holy living is the product of biblical community. We need people who not only help us see what we can't see on our own, but who also lovingly help us to admit how blind we actually are. As long as sin remains, we'll continue to have pockets of spiritual blindness.
4. 20/20 vision is coming.
If you have perfect vision, or even adequate vision with the help of modern medicine, you don't really think about the impact eternity will have on your physical eyes. But George does. He longs for the day when he will be given eyes that see clearly. He looks expectantly for the day when he will no longer be blind.
In the same way, we should be tired of being deceived. We should be weary of the way our lives are bent and twisted by our blindness. Like my friend George, we should long for the day when our eyes, with 20/20 vision, will gaze upon the beauty of the Lord forever!
I've learned so much from my blind friend George, and I hope you did today as well. Most significantly, I've learned that I'm more like him than unlike him, and that has changed my life.
- Which of the four insights from George's life are particularly relevant to your struggles this week?
- How can you make greater use of the community of insight that God has placed around you in the body of Christ?