Have you ever been to a surprise party where someone is led into the party with a blindfold on? I find it funny that when someone is blindfolded and led into a room they are still completely surprised when their blindfold is removed. Now, I’ve never been blindfolded and led somewhere, but I feel like if that were to happen to me, I would know that something is coming. Because doesn’t the blindfold give away the fact that there is going to be a surprise? Granted, the person may be surprised by what they see when the blindfold is removed, but I have to think I would anticipate that there is a surprise waiting on the other side of the blindfold.
The reason I am thinking/writing about this is because I read Acts 9 this morning, which is the chapter in the Bible about Saul’s conversion on the road to Damascus. If you don’t know the story, here’s what basically happens:
Prior to his conversion, Saul was a real butthole (excuse my language). The dude lived to kill Christians. In Acts 8:3 it says, “Saul was ravaging the church and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison.” Terrible, but all of this changes in the next chapter when Saul is on his way to Damascus to hunt down more Christians.
Picture this: Saul is just doing his thing, making his way downtown, walking fast, faces pass, probably listening to the new Taylor Swift album in his headphones when BAM!! A huge light comes down from the sky and shines all around him, and I know what you’re thinking, “This happens to me every time I listen to Blank Space.” Yes, me too, but this is different. Saul hears the voice of God saying, “Saul, Saul why are you persecuting me?” (Acts 9:4). Saul responds by asking who is speaking, to which God says, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do” (Acts 9:5-6). Pretty eye-opening experience right?
Well, not exactly. When the voice went away, Saul got up and realized he couldn’t see anything. His guards had to lead him by hand into the city, and he went for three days without sight before Ananias, a disciple, came and restored his sight and charged him to share the story of Christ with the world. Saul then changed his name to Paul, and he went on to write half of the New Testament and become one of the most influential Christians to ever live. Crazy.
Here’s how I relate to this story:
So often I find myself praying, “God, give me eyes to see your will, so that I may clearly follow you.” But I’m not sure that’s the right prayer because maybe God needs us to blindly follow Him before he entrusts us with sight. In Paul’s case, he had to sit for three days totally blind and trust that there was a God who had a plan for him. All the while, here I am asking for sight, but what if God needs me to be blind? Because if I can close my eyes and follow God, won’t I be more prepared to follow him when I’m ready to see?
I have 6 younger siblings who are all incredible in their own way (especially you, Drew), but my sister Maggie and my brother Luke are especially remarkable. They’re both legally blind, which means that they have a very limited vision. However, their limited vision in no way causes them to live limited lives. They’re two of the most talented, loving, and encouraging people I know, and they have been examples to many people both younger and older than them. What’s crazy to me is that this lesson that I am just now learning from Paul is a lesson they have known and understand since they were born because they have always followed God despite not being able to see. This type of faith is second nature to them, and I yearn for a faith like theirs.
I know I’m jumping between talking about sight literally and metaphorically, but here’s what it comes down to. Whether you’re really blind, or whether you just can’t see what’s next in your life, you can ALWAYS count on God to guide you. He doesn’t need your sight. He just needs your trust. In Saul’s case, his sight was taking him away from God’s will, and as it turned out, after he was blind, he knew how to trust God.
I think that God uses blindness to give us something better than sight. For me, I can’t see what’s next in my life, but my lack of sight has forced me to learn how to trust God more, and I’ve grown closer to him because of it. If I had my way and my life was planned out, I would be too self-sufficient and self-dependent to understand what it means to fully trust and know God, but thankfully, God hasn’t given me my way. Rather, he’s made me blind to what’s next, and in my blindness, I’ve found Him. And, ultimately that’s what he wants for us.
Sometimes you hear people say life’s a party, but I’m starting to think life’s a surprise party. You might need to put on a blindfold before you get to the best part.