Half-Vision: The Difference Between Knowing & Believing (Single Girl Series #2)
I "know" a lot of stuff about God. I was super active in youth ministry in high school, serving on retreat teams, organizing retreats, running a bible study for younger high school girls. I was a religion major in college. I predominantly studied the New Testament (mainly the gospel of Mark), but I took classes on the Old Testament as well. I've read the entire Bible, but I'll be honest, a lot of it gets jumbled in my head because I studied it for tests and papers instead of to connect with God. And, I graduated from college four years ago. (I know, that seems like yesterday to some of you, but for me, it feels like a LONG time ago!).
Here's the thing, though. In the moments where I have struggled with my faith and wrestled with God, it hasn't been the head knowledge that has saved me. It has been God's radical love for me, shown through His people, through hearing His voice, through my choice to simply believe. Head knowledge is great, but it can't save us. And it certainly can't change us if we don't actually believe it.
And they came to Bethsaida. And some people brought to him a blind man and begged him to touch him. And he took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village, and when he had spit on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, “Do you see anything?” And he looked up and said, “I see people, but they look like trees, walking.” Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. And he sent him to his home, saying, “Do not even enter the village.” – Mark 8:22-26
This is honestly one of my favorite Bible stories. Upon first read, it seems like a story that makes Jesus look imperfect. I mean, Jesus healed the blind man in two separate steps. But it wasn't because he couldn't do it in one step. Let's be clear, if Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, He surely could have touched this man and healed him in one shot. But he doesn't. And to me, it's a picture of the disconnect between our minds and our hearts.
After the first step, the man could see, but things were blurry. I wonder, in that moment, if he was happy he could see, or worried that he'd have this half-vision forever. What did those few seconds or moments before Jesus touched him again feel like? Joy? Agony? Did his belief falter? Or did his belief awaken?
I like to think that this man came to Jesus knowing that Jesus could heal him. He'd heard the stories of this "Jesus" man. He knew what He could do for him. But did the man believe that Jesus' healing powers could really work? For him? Maybe it was just something that happened to other people. Maybe this would be the time it wouldn't work. Doubt crept in and took the place of belief.
And here's how this plays out in terms of singleness. I know that God has a perfect plan for me. I know that He wants to give me the desires of my heart (as long as they are in line with His will).
But sometimes, I don't believe this. I doubt God. Sometimes I'm like Sarah, taking my story into my own hands, discontent to wait on God and His timing. When I do this, just like Sarah, I stir up a lot of strife for myself and those around me. God hasn't asked me to do anything except believe Him when He says that He has good things for me.
Instead, I believe things like this: I will never find a boyfriend. I am running out of time to find a husband and have babies (or as my friends have heard me say: "MY OVARIES ARE DYING! [P.S. it doesn't work that way]). If God really loved me, He would make so-and-so fall in love with me. I bet if I date this unbeliever, I'll be the one to draw him to Christ.
But it's not true! We can let ourselves be so blinded by our own wants and desires that all we see are blurred outlines of God. We don't focus in and really look at Him, at who He is, at what He's promised. We're content to have half a picture of who He is as long as it serves our own desires. We sit in unbelief.
We watch our friends and sisters get married. I've been in 5 weddings in the past 5 years. Two cousins, two best friends, and a sister. I was present at 3 out of 5 of those engagements, witnessing the exact moments when the women I love so much said YES to forever with the men they love. And at each ceremony, I praised God. He had been good to them. But I wasn't sure if He would also be good to me. Could that favor, that grace, that wanting to give good gifts to His children – could that also be meant for me? I knew the answer was yes, but I was still blinded to true belief. Some days, I still am.
Our single years can be years where we invest in ourselves and our relationship with the Lord, taking the time to abide day by day, learning who He is, not just in vague, blurry concepts, but in the details. Or they can be years that we spend complaining that God won't give us what we want. We can be stuck in this place with half-vision, knowing that God's plan is better but refusing to believe it.
Or we can choose something else. We can choose to walk with open eyes. We can choose to see clearly, to step into the future without fear because in Christ, we can achieve full vision, a unity between mind and heart, a true belief that God's ways and timing and plans are better than what we can imagine for ourselves. We can be confident that, yes, our Father DOES give good gifts. And we ARE included on the list of recipients.