“So, I was with some friends preaching in South Africa,” a preacher said, “when a blind woman who sat at the front came up for prayer.
The preacher told her Jesus loved her and wanted to heal her blindness. He then placed his hands on her head and prayed. In that instant, her eyesight was restored.
Who could doubt God still performs miracles? Blind see again, lame walk again, cancer ends, emotions become healthy.
But what happens to those, like me—whom God didn’t heal? What could be the reason?
Whether physically or spiritually blind, we all have asked that same question. How often, in our desperate, aching heart we ask: why, when, and how?
Why, why, why…
As we try to understand, we wonder: Why would He allow us to enter such dark times, endure so much hardship and face so many painful moments?
We take those questions to bed. They rumble in our minds during sleepless nights. Nothing makes sense. What went wrong? We lead lives that, by most standards would be considered good. We attended church every Sunday. And drawing strength from nowhere, we come up with activities to keep our kids busy. We silently endure the lay-offs. And we fret because the bank account mirrors our nearly-empty pantry and fridge.
But we’re full of questions like these:
1. Why is God so far, distant and seemingly uninterested in the unfortunate state of our country and the world?
He is not only interested, but He’s involved. He hears our longing; He knows our questions and He has the answer: “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18 NIV).
We can endure because He’s close. We can move forward because He keeps us from crushing into despair. And we wait in anticipation because He understands our broken heart.
2. What about our broken plans? How can we bring back what we had before?
God sees our plans shattered to pieces before us. That’s why He reminds us of His own plans: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Those plans are to prosper us, not to harm us. They are to give us hope and a future'” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)
3. What will happen tomorrow, or next week or next year?
In spite of the anxiety that blinds us from seeing a new horizon, His restoring power is at work to bring a new beginning:
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland” (Isaiah 43:19 NIV).
The streams of reassurance open the way to new horizons. In the desert of pain, He makes the way for healing and in the wasteland of grief He brings the warmth of His comfort.
4. Where is He when we’re drowning in fear because of unexpected adversity? And where is He when we’re crossing through the fire of hopelessness?
He knows the precise place of our needs. He knows the spot where we hurt. And He is aware of the intensity of our suffering. And to it all, He whispers: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze” (Isaiah 43:2).
There is hope...Blindness, disease, heartache or financial hardship may invade our lives, but we’ll never drown in despair. And when the fire of fear draws near, it will never burn because He’s in the midst of our weakness. He’s at the moment we stumble, when anxiety visits, and even when danger lurks, He’s present with His protection.
He was present in that church in South Africa where Jesus chose to heal the blind woman. God didn’t heal my blindness, but He gave me 20/20 vision to see His hand at work. The same hand that is holding you, your situation, your silent loneliness, your pain and your heartache.
All He asks is for you to fix the eyes of your heart on Him. That’s when hope is born. Faith grows. And courage stands. The kind of courage that defeats all evil. The size of courage to simply believe. Believe that God will see you out of your troubles.
Let’s Pray: Father. Thank You for healing my unbelieving heart. Thank You for giving me eyes to see who You are, what You promise and how You guide.
What blinds you from seeing His hand at work?