Now I see

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“‘I don’t know whether he is a sinner,” the man replied. “But I know this: I was blind, and now I can see!” — John 9

Sadly, I have been watching one of my family members slowly but steadily drift into blindness.

Shots are no longer effective. Magnifying glass readers with bright lights are revealing less and less as the weeks go by.

The harsh reality of losing one of our most treasured senses is penetrating her heart. The emotional and mental toll accompanying this trial simply cannot be measured.

I pray for healing, but God has not yet chosen to extend it.

Yet, through it all her faith is unwavering. Her smile sincere. Her love for God growing exponentially faster than the fade of her vision.

Why?

“I once was blind, but now I can see!”

What a moment for the disciples as they observed Jesus’ deconstruction of so many of their deeply held beliefs about God.

The “sight” of the religious leaders of the day was actually a deep spiritual blindness.

The man’s physical blindness was not a punishment. It was an incredible conduit for the power of God to be displayed!

His physical movement from blindness to sight revealed his spiritual sight, “Yes, Lord, I believe!”

And then he worshiped Jesus.

The religious leaders remained blind in their “sight,” unable to join the man on their knees in worship of Jesus.

This story emphasizes the need for us to recognize that Jesus has authority over any and all expressions of blindness.

He healed the physical blindness of this man born blind in order to expose the condition of the spiritual vision of those who were there that day.

Unbelief in Jesus equaled blindness.

Belief in Jesus equaled sight.

We, through the reading of the story, are invited to make a decision about Jesus, too.

If and when we truly recognize what Jesus has done for us and believe in him, we pass from darkness to light.

The testimony of the true believer in Jesus is a life of worship. Can we truly say, “Now I see”?

Blessed to bless

“And David realized that the Lord had confirmed him as king over Israel and had blessed his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel.” — II Kings 5:12

We have many friends in our lives who operate from a generous heart.

In one way or another, God has chosen to entrust them to steward resources that most people simply do not have.

It might be finances. It might be mechanical or construction skills. It might be material possessions. It might be time. It might be connections.

Regardless, the spirit is the same. They see nothing as their own.

All of it belongs to God. They are just stewards.

Mandy and I simply would not be able to add up the value of their expressions of love to us. And then I think, we’re only one family of the many that God has blessed through each of them.

Grace multiplied.

David waited patiently for God to establish his kingdom.

He was on the run for years. He was king over one of the 12 tribes of Israel for seven years before God moved.

The previous king’s dynasty ended. God gave him victory over those who still held Jerusalem over all the years of the judges of Israel.

The kings of neighboring countries began to acknowledge his place as Israel’s king.

It was a glorious time for the people of Israel. They were united. They were strong. They were seeking God.

David understood very clearly that God’s blessing upon him wasn’t about him. It was for the sake of all of God’s people.

I find it more than a little embarrassing that I think more about what I don’t have in skills, resources, wisdom and connections than I do about how to bless others with that which I do have.

What about you?

We all have a little hoarder inside of us, fearful and self-centered, “I need. I want.”

Jesus says to love our neighbor, give and it shall be given and lose your life so that you genuinely gain your life.

We have been entrusted with much and as such, much is expected.

Perhaps it’s time, like David, to realize that we have been blessed to be used by God to be a blessing for others.

A path before us

There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death. — Proverbs 14:12, II Samuel 17

After a beautiful day of fishing, we were making our way back to the dock fully prepared to enjoy some of the fish we just caught.

The oranges and reds of the setting sun reflected off the river making it look like it was glowing.

The motor’s hum was calming as the breeze blew into our over-sunned faces.

And then, “Wham!!”, the motor was knocked out of the water by a rock just below the surface.

Lost in the beauty of the moment, I failed to recognize I had drifted into the shallow side of the river. It was more direct, but it was also a dead end.

Ahithophel was David’s wise guy.

His ability to assess a multivariable situation and navigate through it successfully was simply unmatched.

David followed his advice as if his words were coming from God himself.

Apparently, he had lost some of David’s favor as we see him align with David’s son, Absalom, to plot to kill David and to take over the kingdom.

He knew how to do it. He laid out the plan.

However, his plan was not God’s plan.

Insert the famous question that’s asked when the wheels fall off: “How’d that work out for you?”

Every day of our lives is saturated with decisions. Each decision reflects the general direction we are heading in, one of the many areas of life — finances, career, marriage, morals, health, friendships, etc.

These general directions are paths taking us somewhere.

We never end up where we end up accidentally.

We took a path to get there.

To whom or what are we turning to both establish the destinations that we are heading toward and to show us those things that are on the path that take us there?

During the journeying, if anything appears to be contrary to God’s word, change course, immediately.

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