I recently watched a documentary on Fanny Crosby. Born in 1820, Fanny had an eye infection as a baby and a man who claimed to be a doctor, but was not, treated her incorrectly, causing permanent blindness. However, Fanny was an exceptional child and learned to excel despite her handicap. The most fascinating part to me was that she played hide and seek with her childhood friends, using her hearing to listen for their breathing! She played tag and could tell when she was running too close to a tree by the feel of the shade on her arms. Fanny used her other senses to replace her eyesight.
Blindness. I cannot imagine the despair of never seeing. And yet, Fanny went on to live an extraordinary life as an American poet and hymn writer – most well-known for writing over 10,000 hymns. You and I know and love many of them, including:
All the Way My Savior Leads Me
More Like Jesus
Near the Cross
Praise Him! Praise Him!
Tell Me the Story of Jesus
To God Be the Glory
Fanny overcame the limitations of physical blindness and she is an example to me of how I need to overcome my blindness. We often think of John Newton’s words, “I once was blind, but now I see” when discussing spiritual blindness. He is speaking of the most important and most basic blindness – our need for God. Every day we see people who are blind to the truth of the Gospel and their need for Him. However, I do believe and I have trusted God for my salvation. So, I’m not blind, right?
Not by a long shot.
I am often blind to my sin and my need for repentance.
I am blind to the needs of others around me because I am so focused on my own needs.
I am blind to God working all around me because I am only looking at my circumstances.
I am blind to the Holy Spirit leading me to be kind always, to give sacrificially, to treat people compassionately, to encourage unceasingly, to help unwaveringly, and to praise God endlessly.
Are you also suffering from tunnel vision or partial blindness? Take a moment to silently meditate and ask God to show you where you have been blind in your thinking and doing. Have you said hurtful words about someone? Have you turned away from helping someone God laid on your heart, because you were too busy? Have you offered to help someone in need lately? Do you need to ask forgiveness from someone? Are there sins you need to confess?
Oh, Heavenly Father, open our eyes to see those who are needy around us, those we have missed, or even harmed by our lack of kindness and encouragement. Open our eyes to see our sins and convict us to repentance, that we will honor You with our lives. Open our hearts to help others and let us be Your hands and feet – to all people.
2 Peter 1:5-9
For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.
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