I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.Philippians 4:13 NKJV
Have you ever been out in public when all the lights went out? As adrenalin rushes through your body you sense the sudden apprehension. The lights didn’t totally go out for me, but I felt that same anxious fear arise when I walked into someone because I never saw them. Try walking into a pickup truck with the big lift kit. (Thank God it was parked.) The multiple accidents. Knowing that laundry was more difficult to sort. Although doctors had assured me my lifelong visual impairment had stabilized I knew I was going blind. New doctors confirmed what I already knew. And I began learning to live in the dark.
Blind people use white canes to navigate their surroundings. (Later, I began walking with my guide dog, Iva.) We read using braille and audio. We feel our way through our world using simple household items like rubber bands, bread ties and adhesive dots to label everything throughout the house.
That sounds fairly simple, but it was far from simple. That difficult season included many failed attempts. Rivers of tears ran down my cheeks, and hopelessness lurked around every corner.
To master these challenges, I couldn’t look within myself, but instead I gathered strength through my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I held onto the promise we have in the above verse.
God doesn’t give us something He cannot bring us through. His power working within me enabled me to adapt to a sightless world.
Knowing this, I spent much time in prayer. I began hanging out with Jesus. Nothing brings us to our knees quicker than a major life crisis. As I began drawing strength from Christ, I also learned to trust Him. I found when I asked Jesus to pour out His grace in the middle of a braille lesson, I received grace. I sought His help when I drew near to a noisy intersection, and the only way I could cross was to listen. I found He suddenly made it quiet. I knock on heaven’s door when I have misplaced the multiple things I still search for today. And the Lord opens the door, eventually leading me to the right place.
As I learned to walk by faith, not by sight, I found I also needed to walk spiritually by faith. Physical eyes dimmed, but eyes of faith opened. I can trust Him with more than difficulties stemming from blindness. I found that I can trust Him when I am afraid. The same faith that believes He will help me cross a street is the same faith that carried me to New York City alone on a plane. The same faith that made braille a bit more bearable is the same faith that gave me the courage to walk outside my hotel door after Iva and I encountered a bear! The same faith that trusts Christ to help me with trivial daily needs is the faith that knows He provides. He makes a way.
Learning to walk without sight taught me how to walk by faith. We don’t need to lose the ability to see in order to gain eyes of faith. We just need to trust Him. Believe He will walk by your side. Believe He will bring you out of your barren wilderness. Believe He will deliver your loved ones from addictions. Believe He is the miracle worker. And when we doubt we cry, “Lord, help my unbelief.”
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