Dena Johnson Martin Christian Blog and Commentary

Catch the Vision

Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. Proverbs 29:18 (KJV)

One thing I have noticed in the last few years as I inch ever closer to the age of 50 is diminished eyesight. I used to function very well without glasses, only needing them for distance tasks such as driving.

Not so any more…

Unless things are positioned at just the right distance from my eyes, everything appears blurry. I have to work exceptionally hard to bring things into focus.

Unless I put my glasses on.

It’s amazing the difference when I use an assistive device to correct my vision! Suddenly, things I previously had to work at seeing become clear, and I can function without any issues. My corrected vision helps me live life at a higher level of functioning.

Isn’t that exactly what the author of Proverbs is saying to us? When we can’t see clearly, our ability to live the abundant life is diminished. It is the clarity of vision that guides our lives and helps us to move toward our goal—the life God called us to.

These last few months have been rough around here. We have had illness and injury and just sheer exhaustion. I know I have personally been overwhelmed by the pace we are keeping at work. Add family, school, and ministry on top of that, and I find myself increasingly negative and irritable.

I recently realized that I have lost my vision.

And in losing my vision, I’ve just been going through the motions. No one has gotten my best, my heart. I have been struggling in multiple areas of life. Roy and I have been losing patience with one another and the kids. Everything has simply been off-kilter.

Two weeks ago, God gave me vision. He reminded me of what He has called me to, of His purpose for my life. He gave me a clearer vision, in some ways a new vision for my life and my calling.

And it has made all the difference in the world.

I feel like my love of life has returned. I am definitely a better mom and wife. I am a happier person in general. I am finding joy in my relationship with God.

All because of vision.

So what about you? What’s your vision your life? Do you have a vision? Or have you lost your vision? What do you need to do to reclaim your vision?

Let me tell you about some of my vision…

The suffering won’t last forever. It won’t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are!—will have you put together and on your feet for good.  1 Peter 5:10 (The Message)

In the midst of my deepest pain, God gave me 1 Peter 5:10 reminding me the pain wouldn’t last forever. He told me He has great plans for me and one day I would be back on my feet for good. Guess what? He was oh so right! This vision verse helped me set my mind on the eternal plans He had for me, on a vision that He could use my story for my good and His glory.

Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? Isaiah 43:18-19

Again, God reminded me the past is only the past and not a guide for my daily life. He is God of the present, God of the future. He has something beautiful planned for us. Today’s pain does not determine tomorrow’s joy. There is something beautiful if we can set our mind on it.

Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. Romans 8:18

Again, we may suffer today, but it won’t compare to what will one day be revealed. We simply have to cling to His promises and catch the vision of what He has planned.

I know these are great verses that help us put our present sufferings into perspective. But what are the specific visions I encourage you to think about?

Forgiveness. Have you ever thought about your life with absolutely no bitterness? Not even a root of bitterness? How freeing that life is!

Roy and I had a conversation on the way to church Sunday. I asked him how many of the disciples’ feet Jesus washed. He answered eleven. I had to remind him that Judas was still part of the twelve, and Jesus most likely washed Judas’s feet—even thought He knew what Judas would soon do. Could you wash your Judas’s feet? Tough question, but I encourage you to ponder it and imagine your life free of bitterness.

Thriving and not surviving. God promises you an abundant life (John 10:10). He also promises these sufferings don’t compare to the glory He has planned for you (Romans 8:18).

Can you grab that vision? A vision of abundance and beauty and not just getting by? Can you imagine loving every minute of life and looking forward to each and every day?

Helping others. Perhaps the vision that has helped me more than any other is that of using my pain and suffering to help others. It still energizes me today to see others gain strength and encouragement because of my story.

Scripture teaches us to comfort others with the comfort we have received (2 Corinthians 1:4). Finding purpose in our pain is one of the best ways to help us overcome, to help understand that pain can actually enrich our lives. Never underestimate the value of helping others.

And so much more. A vision for a great marriage. A vision for being debt free. A vision for building a ministry.

I don’t know what you are facing today, but I beg you to ask God to give you fresh eyes, fresh perspective. Ask Him to give you His vision for how this circumstance can add value to your life.

Without vision, we perish. We sulk and sink into sadness and despair. But vision… Vision adds so much joy and richness to our lives. It gives us purpose and direction and hope.

If you are living without vision, find a way to change it today. You will never regret it!