Learning to See in the Country of the Blind

This morning I was up bright and early for our weekly 6am men’s gathering at Hy-Vee for breakfast and fellowship. During our time together I once again shared my conflicted feelings about the Kingdom Healing conference taking place at Third Church next weekend - my difficult experiences with healing conferences and anointed healers in the past, the guilt I always feel when I’m not healed, the inner voice that says there must be something wrong with me, that I lack the needed faith or just aren’t strong enough in God’s eyes to be healed, and the shame that comes at times from living with chronic illness in a faith community that both believes and advocates the power and possibility of diving healing through Christ.

One of the guys in our group is both a doctor and someone who believes in God’s healing power - he was kind enough to stay with me after the other guys left to talk about my feelings and help me process - and ultimately point back to Jesus. When I shared about the voice that said my faith wasn’t strong enough for me to be healed, my friend reminded me that none of us are strong enough on our own to do what God requires. That’s the whole point of the gospel - we are all helpless in our sin, and God in his great love and mercy sent his Son to do what we could not, so that our sins could be forgiven and our relationship with him could be healed. Knowing without a shadow of a doubt, despite our circumstances, that we are totally and completely loved by God, is one of the greatest healings we can ever experience. It’s one we tend to lose sight of as the years go by; the enemy loves to make us believe that we may have started with grace, but now we have to prove to God “we were worth it.” I came away with a strong conviction I need to attend at least part of the conference next weekend, and to pivot away from a singular focus on my physical restoration and instead seek God’s healing touch in my belief that he loves me unconditionally even if I’m living with chronic pain.

It is so easy to become blinded to God’s truth; it’s something Randy Alcorn talks about in his latest blog entry “Learning to See in the Country of the Blind.” For his example he uses the short story from H.G. Wells by the same name about a tribe that lives cut off from the rest of the world. An epidemic hits the tribe, causing successive generations to all be born without sight. Alcorn writes:

Eventually, as a culture, they lose the very concept of vision and have no awareness of the world they’re unable to see. Because of their handicap, they do not know their true condition. When an outsider, who can see, stumbles into their village, they think he is a newly formed creature, with imperfect senses, and that all his talk of seeing is craziness. They cannot understand this other dimension called sight. Although they have adapted themselves to their circumstances, they cannot imagine what realms might lie beyond their valley.

One phrase really sticks out - “Because of their handicap, they do not know their true condition.” Alcorn believes our culture today has the very same problem when it comes to sin and God’s truth - “Spiritually speaking, we live in the Country of the Blind. The disease of sin has blinded us to the truth about God and Heaven, both of which are real, yet unseen.” What’s the cure for this sickness? The answer - Jesus. Alcorn states:

Jesus has come to our valley from Heaven to tell us about his Father and the world beyond. If we will listen to Him—which requires a concerted effort to overcome our presuppositions, our ignorance, and the devil’s lies—we will gain a new understanding of our present circumstances and of the world to come. We will no longer be conformed to the pattern of this world but will be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2). Consequently, our lives will be forever changed.

It’s easy to take for granted that everyone listening to KCWN and/or reading this blog knows the truth and has saving faith in Christ. I don’t want to take anything for granted, especially when it comes to our eternal souls. So I ask the question - are you living in the valley of the blind, or have you seen the light? Take a moment to search your heart - if you’ve been walking in darkness, today is your day to see the light and put your faith in the one who can help us see - our Savior Jesus Christ.