Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1
For those of us who have our eyesight, the thought of losing it is pretty unnerving and quite possibly unimaginable. We make concerted efforts to protect our vision. We don’t look straight at the sun. We wear sunglasses. We may take specific supplements to boost our visual health. Most of us pay the expense of yearly checkups. We get glasses when necessary in order to get the best from our vision.
On the other hand, God seems to have a different take on “seeing”. His word says that faith involves NOT seeing something. 2 Corinthians 5:7 says: “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” In other words, sometimes seeing works against us. What we see often times determines how we are going to move ahead–or not–even if it is God who is directing our move.
Today, our pastor used a clip from the movie “Facing the Giants” to make a point. One influential football player was daunted by an opposing team’s powerhouse plays. His fear made it harder for his teammates to have the necessary faith to prevail against the opposing team. The player was asked to achieve a certain, very strenuous goal with another player on his back while promising two things: 1) give his best, and 2) do it blindfolded. He knew, visually, how far he had gone before and without his sight he couldn’t use his previous accomplishment line as his best ability for this time. Being urged on by his coach to give it his all, the player made it into the end field–an accomplishment that surprised even him. His sight would have hindered him in this situation.
When my toddler rolled down the stairs (only six of them, thank God), all I remember is seeing her sweet little smile and sparkling eyes peek around the corner at me before the awful, thumping sounds. I am glad I didn’t see her fall. I didn’t have an overpowering visual memory that hindered in my ability to believe God’s power to make the difference on her behalf.
Then I considered the story of Peter walking on the water. Peter walked until he took his eyes off Jesus and noticed all the scary facets of the raging storm (Matthew 14:28-31). But, what if Peter had been blindfolded before the storm started. He’d feel the rough ride, but his vision wouldn’t have complicated the “faith battle” with the sight of towering waves. Had Peter been blindfolded, I think he could have kept his focus on Jesus’ voice without starting to sink before reaching his Master. A blindfold, I believe, and his faith would have brought Peter the victory. He would have had total trust and faith in His Lord.
So, where might “seeing is believing” be taking a toll on your ability to trust your God? Is a friend you’ve been praying for seeming to get worse? Is your battered old clunker of a car seemingly less likely to make it another mile? Are conflicts you see in your important relationships making you think there is no hope? Maybe you should ask God to lovingly apply a blindfold, just until faith brings “the evidence of things not seen” into view.
Is what you see, robbing you of what you can receive? In what area or situation does God need to put a blindfold over your eyes so you can gain the victory He has so wonderfully planned for you?