Living With Blurred Vision

Uh oh. This doesn’t look good.

I was walking on the nature path, striding along to the music from my iPOD, when I saw about two blocks ahead of me, a man standing at the beginning of the bridge. He was alone.

Because the path is so long – it passes through multiple towns – there are the occasional bridges and spans across streets and even highways. It was a cold day, in the low 40’s, so there were very few people out walking. Hmmm. I had time to turn around. I did have my phone with me, but it was on ‘airplane mode’. As I continued closer to the bridge, I noticed that the gentleman hadn’t moved since I saw him, so I concluded there wasn’t a dog involved.

Phew. That’s good. But what was he doing just standing by the overpass? I decided to keep walking in spite of my rising anxiety. “I’m sure it’s fine,” I told myself.

I got to within a half a block of the bridge and suddenly realized…there wasn’t a man there at all. Instead of a person, I saw the dark-painted railing of the guard rail (which I thought was a shirt), and the white cement of the bridge (khaki pants?). Oh man. How ridiculous.

 

I had nothing to fear at all.

I’m near sighted. I’m okay reading, sitting across from you at a restaurant or just doing housework. But I need my glasses for driving, or watching TV or movies. Two blocks away? That’s far for me. So the image of the bridge rail and wall got all mushed up in my head, creating a picture that had no basis in reality.

Crossing over the bridge, no longer nervous, (actually feeling kind of silly), I realized that this experience could teach me a lot about spiritual life.

My ability to recognize what God is doing in my life is not very consistent. Sometimes I see very clearly, like when I get that job I wanted. Or feel led to purchase the house I love so well. Those situations make it easy to see the hand of the Lord leading me.

But that doesn’t happen all the time. Sometimes I look and look and pray and pray and nothing is very clear at all. When that happens, I can get anxious, and start to see calamity where there really isn’t any cause to worry.

Of course, I want to be able to see everything just as it is. I want to recognize exactly what’s going on in my life. Who doesn’t? But God wants followers who will trust Him when their vision fails. So He doesn’t always let me see…

I’ve been through many ‘blurry vision’ times. My husband lost three jobs over our married lives, and we certainly had no ability to know the future. I tried to look ahead, but all I saw were worries and hard times. But God provided, time and time again.

I had nothing to fear at all.

 

Surrounded by the Spirit on Facebook

 

78 thoughts on “Living With Blurred Vision

  1. That last picture said it all, Ceil. Beautiful in its simplicity.

    I wonder how many glories we’ve missed along the way because anxiety or fear kept us from venturing ahead …

    Food for thought here. As always. I am grateful, friend …

    • Hi Linda! I was excited to find that image. It was perfect!

      You make a great point about being so involved in fear, that I’ll miss the good stuff. What a shame that is! I pray that I’ll live more in the peace of Christ.

      I’m grateful for your constant encouragement my friend,
      Ceil

  2. What an excellent metaphor! It brought to mind the admonition to “walk by faith and not by sight”. You are exactly right, I think we tend to handle even difficult things a bit better when we know there is an end or we have a timetable. I had some bad experiences at the dentist as a child and even now I can be tempted to squeeze the arm rests on a dental chair, but as I sit down I remind myself that this is only going to last for a short time. (I also remember dental procedures have improved a great deal since I was a child!!) Thanks for this! Blessings and love, Pam

    • Hi Pam! I am a frequent flier in the dentist chair myself, I feel your pain!

      We should walk by faith and not sight, but I think I am more of a ‘show me’ girl. That’s why it’s so hard for me to relax and trust. This experience was a real teacher for me!

      Have a peaceful night Pam. Blessings and love right back to you 🙂
      Ceil

    • Hi Lulu! I like that image of spiritual eyeglasses! I think that’s faith. Faith makes it clearer that I’m not running things. God is!

      Blessings to you too Lulu. Have a peaceful night,
      Ceil

    • Hi Pam! Thank you for your kind words about the post. It always seems that I learn better with experience. Sigh… I’ll get to true faith step by step.

      I thought the image I saw was so threatening, but it was literally nothing at all!

      Have a restful night,
      Ceil

  3. So true! We talked about something similar in our SS class this morning. One lady said she is a worrier and tends to keep her worries close to her – when close they seem big and block out her vision of God, but when God looks at us, those worries are small and easily taken care of. Good analogy, isn’t it?

    • Hi Mari! That really is a good analogy. The closer an object is to the eye, the more it blocks vision. Thanks for sharing that insight!

      What’s a SS class?

      Happy Monday 🙂
      Ceil

  4. Another great post, Ceil. I can’t count how many times my eyes have “played tricks” on me. I love your insight on the matter.
    Have a wonderful week!

    • Hi Kathleen! You too huh? Well, I’m a little comforted by that, not that I would want you to be fooled a lot.

      Thank you for your kind words. You have a wonderful week too 🙂
      Ceil

  5. Hi, Ceil:
    I find it helpful, too, to look back and see the faithfulness of God when I’m scared realizing He had it all figured out so now I can trust “He’s got this too!” I know the dismay of losing a job. Both Tom and I lost our jobs in the past and I remember the numbness. So hard to see in those times for sure. We face a new week and new opportunities to trust God; have a good one!

    • Hi Mary! I think job loss is a really hard thing. It certainly challenged me. But it’s in the hard stuff that I really see God at work, and I take comfort in that. Sometimes it takes a while to see it, but he leads me gently.

      I think your idea of reviewing your life to see how faithful God has been is a great tool. I do that too 🙂

      Monday blessings,
      Ceil

  6. I have the opposite problem, Ceil. What’s right in front of my nose is blurry instead. But I can see (no pun intended) exactly how without trust in our Almighty we will stumble and fear at the constant unknown in our path.
    I enjoyed your post, friend. Have a lovely evening.

    • Hi Gleniece! It seems that when we start getting a little older, vision gets worse in some way or another. You’re far-sighted, I’m near, we both have our challenges. It sure is nice to know that God’s vision never changes, and he will lead where we are supposed to go. No matter what scary things I think I see!

      Monday blessings!
      Ceil

  7. Those two disciples on their way to Emmaus had blurred vision too. Jesus was walking right beside them and they could not see Him. He told them about the prophets’ predicition and they still did not see. That’s because they were focussing on their own problems. Their Leader had been killed, there were rumours of His resurrection, and they did not know what to believe or do.

    The same for us too. We often focus on our own problems and have blurred vision to see Christ beside us ready to help.

    God bless.

    • Hi Victor! I love the example of the Emmaus disciples. That is a striking example of being blurry, right in the physical presence of the Lord! It’s comforting to know that Jesus opening their eyes in the breaking of the bread. He can readjust my sight at any time.

      It all comes down to trust I think. Can I just accept that I’ll be okay, as I did on my walk on the path that day? It does help me to throw aside my fear, and mount up on those eagle’s wings!

      Thank you Victor. God bless you and yours today,
      Ceil

  8. A wonderful reminder, Ceil, that at times our nearsightedness can be a blessing in disguise. Those are the moments when God can bless us the most if we let Him. May He richly bless you today!

    • Hi Martha! You are so right. What I can experience as a bad thing, can really become a new place of worship and joy. It sure was in this case. I felt so silly, allowing my eyesight to trick me that way. But…that’s what it looked like. So many spiritual applications!

      Thank you for your prayers for me. May God bless you and your hubs as well. Enjoy your getaway!
      Ceil

    • Hi Sandi! What a great question!!! Of course it doesn’t. At least not for me. When I get a handle on what bothers me, something else pops up. Even if my attitude gets better, and my faith gets deeper, the enemy knows how to rile me up.

      I think that’s the challenge of spirituality. We make strides, and then we are thrown for a loop. That’s the push-me, pull-you of living on earth. That’s just my opinion of course.

      But even in all of that mess, I have nothing to fear. God is always with me. That’s the comfort and peace in my life.
      Ceil

  9. Good morning, Ceil,
    I am blinded like that all too often when it comes to the spiritual aspect, or maybe I have on 3D glasses and that’s what makes it feel like life is coming at me. Either way, I appreciate the analogy you put forth here. It definitely goes a long way to clearing things up. 🙂

    Have a great day!

    • Hi Anne! Thank you for your kind words about the post. I think we all see differently, but all can be blurry at times too. We have that in common!

      You have a great day too my friend. Looks like Spring just might show up this week 🙂
      Ceil

  10. So interesting how what we think we see may actually not be the truth at all. Just today I read a devotional that faith really is an act of being lead by Him, when we cannot see where we are going. We can look at this as an adventure though, instead of being in worrisome control. The hope too, is that we know there is always Someone leading us! He’s led you through a lot, I see! It’s a blessing to be witness to His faithfulness.

    • Hi Lynn! I think seeing it all as adventure and not a worry is a key gift. i absolutely needed that on the walk I took that day. Why should I see everything as a threat? Of course, I need to be safe, but it was really embarrassing to figure out that I had not understood the situation at all.

      So many spiritual implications here!
      Blessings,
      Ceil

  11. Your post is right on, Ceil. Coming from someone who literally has blurry vision, even after cataract surgery (without glasses), I can certainly attest to knowing how lost I feel without them. It would be just wonderful to be able to put my glasses on and see EVERYTHING clearly… like I can visually when I put them on! It is so true how we can judge what we think is the truth, when in reality, we get a closer look and the situation is not as all what it seemed! I have also had many blurry situations, including the job loss thing with my husband. I’m so glad the Lord forgives me when my trust is weak and my faith is wavering!

    • Hi Debby! I know we’re not alone in our struggles with employment over the years. It still stinks, but God has led us every single time. It’s really lovely to look back and see how he carried us.

      It’s a little frightening to think about how I judge certain situations, even as I look through imperfect vision. This was a really clarifying experience, let me tell you! I can only rely on my own vision for so much, and the rest MUST come from God. I just don’t see well enough to face life on my own.

      Always good to see you, my good friend 🙂
      Ceil

  12. I can so relate. I am even wearing corrective lenses and still have trouble seeing. Time for an adjustment. Oh that the Lord would open my eyes to see Him and what He is doing in my life and around me clearly.

    • Hi Barbie! How nice to see you today!

      “Time for an adjustment.” Those are words to live by, aren’t they? I know I can’t get much better with my imperfect sight, but if I allow the Lord to enter and take control, he’ll see for miles for me. He’ll open our eyes and lead. That is good news!

      Monday blessings to you,
      Ceil

  13. I have to admit, my first thought about “the lone man at the bridge” was of a man all alone, contemplating his very “alone-ness”, not that of potential threat to our Dear Ceil. So, I am glad it wasn’t that either, because my compassion for him was welling up inside, more so than my fear for your safety, for God was by your side.
    You wrote a piece about how God works in mysterious ways. It is so. Always know that He is present. And over the years, I have learned that worrying about yesterday, and even tomorrow sucks all the energy out of today. NOW is the moment at hand. Let us rejoice, rejoice and be glad!
    Aloha.

    • Hi Vicki! Thank you for sharing your perspective and wisdom here. You know, I never thought of the man as being sad or alone. Only as a threat to my personal safety. You bring up a very sobering point. Where was my compassion for him?

      I learned so much from this little experience. I think that’s how God leads me the best. “Here you go Ceil. Let’s see what you do with this!” I hope I am understanding in a deeper way that God leads me, and I don’t need to be afraid. As you said, let us rejoice!

      Monday blessings,
      Ceil

  14. Ha. I’ve “seen” similar things like that too, Ceil, imaginary people or animals. Thankful all turned out well in your story. Yes, praying for clearer vision for all of us to see what God is up to and to trust him when we can’t!

    • Hi Lisa! You too huh? You’re right, I see animals too! It’s crazy what our eyesight can show us isn’t it? My sight is so limited and imperfect, I see danger where there isn’t anything to fear.

      It’s a good lesson to rely on the Lord, and trust, trust, trust. Just as you said, it’s hardest when I can’t see. But I think that’s the only way to grow spiritually.

      Thanks for commiserating with me 🙂

      Monday blessings!
      Ceil

  15. Happy Monday Ceil, great post that I’m sure many of us can relate too-I sure can. There have been times when I asked for road signs that pointed the way or gave me an indication of how prayers were being met. I usually just have to let go and trust. Have a blessed week!
    Noreen

    • Hi Noreen! I shared with my small group that often my prayers are ‘show me, open that, tell the future’ etc. I want to see! Like you, I wanted those road signs.

      I don’t get very many of those, like you, I have to trust. I have to rely on the Lord, who sees perfectly. It’s a harder lesson than I’d like to admit!

      Blessings on your week to my friend,
      Ceil

  16. Ceil: As children of God, when we first come to Him, we see things darkly. When adverse conditions occur, we begin to fret. But when we get close to Him and learn we can lean on the LORD, we see things as He sees them. Blessings!

    • Hi Cecelia! What a great point about being closer to Christ. We get close to the source of sight, and then we see so much better. I really like that! Thank you 🙂

      Blessings to you too!
      Ceil

  17. This is such an awesome analogy, Ceil. Fear and anxiety come easily to me, too. It’s hard not to worry when we don’t know what the future brings. But yes, God wants us to trust Him one step at a time. Blessings and hugs to you!

    • Hi Trudy! You said a mouthful for me. Coming to trust is a real process for me. I tend to be very Type A, and we want to know EVERYTHING, and ASAP! Waiting around is not a strength, so I can’t see…well, you read the post.

      One step at a time is my speed, and I know He’ll be right next to me, urging me forward.
      Blessings my friend!
      Ceil

  18. Hi Ceil, I love your imagery here. When I saw the title of your post, I immediately thought of my year eye exam last week. After having my eyes dilated the world was quite fuzzy. Like you, I’m nearsighted, however, I need glasses or contacts to see, even if it’s just across a table. 🙂 And as I get older, I’m finding that my reading glasses are becoming my newest best friend.

    Yes, on this earth, our spiritual vision can be blurred at times. Like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, we can miss the Lord. It is when the Lord speaks our name or does something (like breaking bread) that we suddenly can see. The more time we spend with the Lord, the better we see.

    Blessings!

    Kim

    • Hi Kim! You are the second person to mention Emmaus. Why didn’t I think of that? Lol! You are so right though, here I am, worried about what I can’t see, or see clearly. Yet, Jesus longs to reveal himself, just as he did to those disciples.

      Yes! If I want to see better, I have to spend more time with Jesus. He will see for me, and lead me on. Beautiful 🙂
      Have a peaceful evening,
      Ceil

  19. Our “vision” must be about the same Ceil. I’m blind as a bat, even when people sit across from me. My mind plays tricks on me and in cohoots with my eyes tries to get me to think something is there when it is not. Worst: when I fail to see what God has for me. Great Monday morning thoughts (which i read in the afternoon). LOL.

    • Hi Bill! It’s crazy, isn’t it? I do see funny shapes and things that aren’t there. Never a dull moment, that’s for sure.

      I agree with your ‘worst’. What can be more spiritually frustrating than to not hear or see the plan? Lord help me see what you need me to do, or see for me in your mercy. I struggle without You.

      Have a peaceful evening,
      Ceil

  20. Beautiful thoughts as always Ceil! You always have an interesting perspective on simple events in our lives that really are quite meaningful. Your thoughts remind me of the scripture, that we “see through a glass darkly” and so much of what happens in our lives is blurry, and not understood, but our focus of Jesus can always be clear, even if we do not understand what He is doing. Much love to you today dear Ceil, praying the Lord continues to bless and encourage your heart!

    • Hi MM! What a great Scripture companion to this post. I agree with you, that’s perfect. We just can’t see clearly, it’s not possible for us as humans. “But our focus of Jesus can always be clear.” Yes! I need to work on that every day.

      What a great prayer for me, MM. I’ll pray for you too. I know that you are already keeping my medical issue on your heart, so I really appreciate the extra intention. You are so generous!

      Have a restful evening,
      Ceil

  21. Oh, wow, Ceil! Did I ever need to read this tonight! I am trying to get caught up on some reading, after a very busy day, and I just read Victor’s post about trust, and now this. All I can say is God sure does know what He is doing, and He uses the experiences of our lives to help others….you have surely encouraged me tonight. Thank you so very much. I am continuing to pray for your ears. God bless you abundantly!

    • Hi Cheryl! It’s funny how we all work together without even knowing it, isn’t it? I read Victor’s essay too. God is moving through us and around us, there can’t be any denying that!

      I’m glad you felt encouraged last night. I pray you will have a wonderful Tuesday 🙂
      Ceil

    • Hi MINDY! I’m so glad you liked the post. It was a really weird experience, but I learned a lot from it. I think the Lord knows just what will grab my attention.

      Happy Tuesday my friend!
      Ceil

  22. I struggle with blurry vision when it comes to God’s plan as well, Ceil. I so get this. Although He always pulls through and I absolutely know His plan is perfect, I still have to fight all of that anxiety that wells up. This is such an awesome analogy you’ve shared here. Faith is certainly the key to clear vision or at least not worrying about the blurry parts :).

    • Hi Candace! It’s nice to know that I’m not alone. I think it’s difficult at times to keep from worry, especially with the limited vision we have.

      I think God is looking for me to really dig in when those blurry times come. Really reach down to the base of my faith and grab on. I have to remember this experience, it really did teach me a lot.

      Blessings!
      Ceil

  23. I love how God can teach us through those little everyday experiences. I also like to see where I’m going and tend to imagine the worst if I can’t, but I’m learning that God deliberately doesn’t let us see everything so that we will learn to depend on him. So true that with him we really have nothing to fear.

    • Hi Carly! I agree with everything you said. It’s the same way with me. I don’t know why I’m so negative, but I can find weeds in any flower patch!

      I do think God holds back sight from us, wanting me to trust in His infinite love and perfect fatherhood. Step by step. With His grace, I’ll get there slowly but surely.

      Have a peaceful afternoon,
      Ceil

  24. You make me smile. Love this illustration. Reminded me of the time I put my contacts in the wrong eyes. I really did need straightening out! LOL

    • Hi Jean! Oh my gosh, that would be the worst! At least it’s something that you can recognize right away, unlike me and the fence.

      I’m glad I gave you a smile, actually, I gave myself one too after a while. How silly!!!

      Wednesday blessings,
      Ceil

  25. Wow, what a wonderful analogy. I am nearsighted as well, and have had an instance or two like this over the years. It really does make you think! So glad God is in control of everything, whether we can “see” it or not! 🙂

    • Hi Karen! I think this near-sightedness is a common problem, and it sure does mess with our interpretation of what we see. I don’t want to wear my glasses when I walk, I’m fine without them. But then, those times come up when I really don’t see, or see things that aren’t there at all.

      Makes me understand why correct sight is such a gift, both physically and spiritually. Like you said, we are so graced to have a Father who sees it all, and keeps us safe.

      Wednesday blessings,
      Ceil

  26. Thank you Ceil for the beautiful insights from a woman of much beauty of character.

    Explorers for God’s best, endeavour to be patent with yourself, for it takes a great deal of patience and perseverance to wholeheartedly trust and obey the LORD.

    I think it’s very important to make certain that we are truly committed to Christ, for His love casts out fear.

    Our fears and anxieties that are so real to us can be cast out, so that we can be more productive at home, at work and in our ministering for the LORD.

    If we watch too much television it may seem to “comfort” us, but because it’s mostly vanity we will be weakened rather than strengthened.

    The best thing we can do for ourself and our family and friends is to make every effort to study the Holy Bible daily.

    Make it the desire of your heart to love Your Heavenly Father and praise Him for His gracious gift of an abundant life!

    Remember that He is the great Teacher and in the career you choose He will be with you every step of way.

    Be very encouraged, for blessed and empowered by Him, you can truly hallow His name.

    • Hi Josef! Thank you for your very thoughtful comment. Yes, God is our true teacher and will show me what I need to see.

      May you experience His peace and power too!
      Ceil

  27. A similar experience happened to me on a walk, Ceil. I saw what looked like a huge dog ahead of us and asked my husband to turn around and go home, as I’d recently been bitten by a dog. Kevin laughed, pointing out to me the donkey in a neighbor’s yard! Boy was I embarrassed.

    I like your spiritual application. Always do!

    • Hi Jeanette! Well, at least you were in the animal family, pretty good guess I’d say. I think I would FREAK out if I had been recently bitten. (Spoiler alert: I’m not much of a dog person)

      Thank you for your kind words, and for commiserating about the vision thing. Isn’t it amazing what our eyes can tell us that’s just completely not true? I learned a lot on that walk 🙂

      Wednesday blessings,
      Ceil

  28. Ah, such an incredibly important message for us all Ceil. SO much of our lives are lived with blurry vision, having to trust in God’s plan without the awareness of what it even is- or like you shared, not understanding what we see.

    I tend to jump to my own conclusions, much like you did on your walk. Then when I get ‘closer’- I realize it wasn’t that particular thing after all, but something WAY different! I need to stop guessing or assuming.

    This is so true to my own life. No fear needed, if we can pour our trust in Him.

    • Hi Chris! I really think trust is such an important spiritual gift. It keeps us calm, joyful and realizing that we are not in control. It’s a gift that keeps on giving!

      As you said, I spend most of my life not truly understanding everything God gives. Fortunately, my understanding is not really necessary. Just my trust!

      Have a blessed Wednesday,
      Ceil

  29. Wow! I could see what you were seeing in the picture.

    When big decisions need to be made, I get all blurry-eyed. It’s so hard to trust and follow when there’s uncertainty. And isn’t it easier for us to tell others that than follow our own advice? At least for me it is 😉

    The recent self-defense class I took had me saying, “No, Ceil. Turn around!”

    • Hi Patty! I’m so glad you could see it too, makes me feel like I’m not so nuts 🙂

      Oh yeah, it’s a lot easier to tell people what they should do. It’s easy to tell myself what to do too, the problem is in following my own advice!
      You took a self-defense class? Was it at the local police station? I think that would be really enlightening. I’m sure the teachers would be very disappointed in me. Thank goodness it was just my lousy eyesight.

      Have a peaceful evening,
      Ceil

  30. Oh my gosh I’m reading about myself! I am always seeing things that are not there because of my nearsightedness and surely get fuzzy headed about all God is doing in midst my storms..and oh yes God always provides. Loved this!

    • Hi Kathy! Then you know exactly what I’m talking about. So frustrating, right? Well, then again, it can get pretty funny too 🙂

      Thank the Lord that he doesn’t rely on my vision, he has his own perfect sight. May I always trust in him!

      Thank you for your kind words about the post,
      Ceil

  31. Blurry spiritual vision – yes, I suffer from that, too. I love the lessons you brought out from your story of *mistaken identity* – so good. I also thought about how so many of my fears turn out to be “nothing” – just mists that disappear as soon as I put my God-glasses back on!

    Heavenly perspective, focusing on Jesus – it’s the only way to see clearly!!

    GOD BLESS!

    • Hi Sharon! There are quite a few people with blurry vision, so we don’t have to feel alone in all of this. Not to mention seeing things that don’t even exist!

      You’re so right about having the focus be on Jesus. Through his vision, we do gain the right perspective!
      Have a great weekend my friend 🙂
      Ceil

  32. I always enjoy what you write, as you do it in a way that all of us can relate to with some aspects of our life. Your ‘blurry vision’ misread what you saw in the distance. I think I have a problem seeing clearly in the here and now. Afterwards, in retrospect, I can see and understand more. I think I too need those spiritual glasses to understand and have faith and trust in God. A good analogy Ceil X

    • Hi Andrina! I think you bring up a good point about perspective. I might not see ‘right now’, but getting closer makes it easier. For you, looking back makes it clear.

      I do love the idea of spiritual glasses. That would make it all so much easier! Thank you for your kind words about the blogpost Andrina. I am so happy to see you here today 🙂
      Ceil

    • Hi Susannah! Amen. I think that’s just the perfect attitude. If it’s up to me, there will be times when I just can’t see what’s ahead. But if I let Jesus lead and ‘see’ for me, I’ll always be on the right track.

      Great to see you!
      Ceil

  33. “I had nothing to fear”. Those are words that speak to me today and bring me peace. God is so good like that isn’t he? I seem to have blurry vision over and over because I take one little challenge and make it so big I can’t see beyond its beginning. Thank you for a valuable lesson.

    • Hi Mary! Thank you for visiting today! Oh my yes, God is good like that. Thanks to him that I can see at all, and for seeing for me most of the time 🙂

      Have a peaceful night,
      Ceil

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *