1/25/06

Encouragement for Today

 

“Specks” – Part 1

Susanne Scheppmann, Co-editor of Online Devotions, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member

 

Key Verse:

John 9:25, “. . .One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!" (NIV) 

 

Devotion:

Recently, I decided to wear a contact lens for my left eye.  Just one.  I needed it to enhance my close-up vision when I read.  I grew tired of scrambling to find my reading glasses, so I decided that a mono-vision contact was the answer to my sight problem.

 

Although now I can read without glasses, I have developed a new set of problems. For example, if my eye becomes too dry the plastic lens glues itself on to my cornea. A couple of months ago this occurred when I was staying at a hotel.  After sitting through several conference meetings the air-conditioned rooms seemed to zap the moisture from my eye. My left eye twitched throughout the day, but I ignored it.  By the time evening came, my contact lens had affixed itself to my eyeball.  No amount of wetting solution seemed to be able to release me from my predicament.  Finally, after much prayer and panic, it loosened just enough for me to peel it off.  My dear roommate said, “That’s it!  I am never wearing contacts.”  I couldn’t blame her.

 

Yet, I persevered with my new vision adventure. Next, a fleck of lint flew past my lashes to crash land on the runway of plastic in my eye.  Blinding pain flashed brightly in my head.  I felt like screaming, “Once I could see; now I am blind!”  I poured an entire bottle of eye drops into my eye in the attempt to wash away the speck. 

 

This episode of momentary blindness gave me an appreciation, not only for the physical sense of sight, but for spiritual sight as well.  Many times spiritual blindness plagues us and we are not even aware of it.  For example, in the book of Judges, Samson’s eyes were gouged out by his enemies.  It was not until his physical eyes saw only darkness that Samson began to use his spiritual eyes to see his need. In this moment of deepest darkness, he called on God for help.   God healed his spiritual blindness.

 

Jesus specialized in healing the blind, both kinds—spiritual and physical.  In John Chapter 9, Jesus gives sight to a man born blind.   When questioned about the physical healing the man replied, “One thing I do know I was blind but now I see!”  (John 9:25) 

 

Isn’t that amazing?  But wait it gets better. Now let’s look at his new spiritual eyesight.  Verses 35-38 reveal the rest of the story:   “Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, ‘Do you believe in the Son of Man?’

   ‘Who is he, sir?’ the man asked. ‘Tell me so that I may believe in him.’

   Jesus said, ‘You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.’

   Then the man said, ‘Lord, I believe,’ and he worshiped him.” (NIV)  This man saw Jesus and chose to believe in Him.

 

Thankfully, Jesus came to relieve all of us from spiritual darkness. He said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life" and “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” (John 8:12; 46, NIV) 

 

Although, my physical vision needs a little assistance, I do possess spiritual vision because of Jesus.  He gives sight and light to the blind.

 

So I will continue to wear my contact lens, because the benefits outweigh the occasional hazard. Specks that blow into my eye do give me temporary physical darkness, but I am grateful nothing can remove the Light of Jesus from my soul.  Because I know Him as my God, I can shout, “Once I was blind, but now I see!”

 

My Prayer for Today:

Lord Jesus, thank You that I see true spiritual Light.  I am grateful for Your forgiveness of all my sins.  Help me to continue to walk in the Light. I ask, “Your word be a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” (Psalm 119:105, NIV)  In Your Precious Name, Amen.

 

Application Steps:  

Read John 9.   Underline the word “blind.”  Circle the word ‘sin’ or ‘sinner’. Notice what seem to be the most important points of the story.  Now rewrite this story in two to three paragraphs as if you were explaining it to a young child.  If you have or know a youngster, tell or read to them your simplified version of Jesus giving sight to the blind. 

  

Reflection Points:       

How is your spiritual eyesight?

 

Do you believe in the Light of the World?

 

Do you have a speck of doubt clouding your eyesight?

 

Power Verses:

Psalm 146:8, “The Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous.” (NIV) 

 

Isaiah 42:6-7, “I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand.  I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.”   (NIV)

 

Isaiah 60:1, “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.” (NIV) 

 

Micah 7:8, “Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light.” (NIV) 

 

Additional Resources:

The Ultimate Makeover, by Sharon Jaynes

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_ultimateMakeover.htm

 

Do You Know Him?

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/knowHim.htm

 

Coming Out of the Dark, by Mary Southerland

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_outDark.htm