“If left untreated, you could go blind.” That’s what my doctor said this summer when I told him I wasn’t sure I was ready to go to the neurologist. My MRI had just come back normal, but he still wanted to send me to a neurologist as he suspected the headaches and vision issues were caused by a rare condition. I really didn’t think I needed to go to the neurologist. I didn’t think it was that serious, I mean my MRI was normal. Then the doctor said seven scary words and everything changed. “If left untreated, you could go blind.”
So off to the neurologist I went. I didn’t feel well, but I still didn’t believe this was serious – again my MRI was normal. However, when I got to the neurologist, not only did he tell me that if the condition was left untreated I could go blind. He told me that even with treatment, I could go blind.
The idea of going blind more than scared me… it haunted me. On my worst days, when my symptoms were nearly too much to take, I lost sleep wondering what it would be like to go blind. I have said before that I believe thoughts and words hold power. I know I can tell fear to leave. I know I don’t have to feel fearful. However, there was something about hearing the words “You could go blind” that I couldn’t shake. I feared not being able to live life the way I live it now. I wondered what it would be like to not see Dan grow old. I wondered what it would be like to have a baby, but not to see them grow. Ultimately, I feared living in the dark.
This isn’t the first time Dan and I have been concerned about vision. The summer before Dan and I got engaged, Dan traveled with a college band called Servant’s Heart. Dan has played drums for most of his life, and no one ever worried about his safety while playing. However, at the first camp of the summer, Dan was playing his drums during a late night practice and a drum stick broke and flew back, hitting him directly in the eye.
Off to the ER he went, and then home and to his local eye doctor. The eye doctor said he was “lucky” because the drumstick could have cost him his vision… or worse… his entire eye. Dan and I were not engaged at the time, however I knew I was going to marry him. The day after the accident, when He called, I knew he shouldn’t have been calling. I will never forget the sick feeling when he said “something happened, but you need to know I am okay.” Then he told me that he had taken a drumstick to the eye. I don’t remember much after him telling me that he had taken a drumstick to the eye, but I do remember asking him at least two hundred times if he was sure he was okay. After hanging up, I remember thinking what life would be like if he had lost his eye. I was so grateful he was okay, but the threat of him losing his vision scared me.
Thankfully today, the freak drumstick accident has become a crazy story we tell people. Dan has no vision loss. There is no evidence that a drumstick went into his eye many years ago (except a slight discolored spot on his eye). The last several days, I have been dreaming of the day this summer becomes a crazy story we tell people. The time the enemy tried to use a rare condition to steal my vision, but God had other plans!
The threat of losing vision has been bouncing around in my mind the last several days, and I realized something. The circumstances were both very similar, and my first reaction was fear. When the doctor said those scary seven words, I didn’t immediately hit my knees – I let fear have a foot hold. I signed an agreement with fear. All those years ago, when Dan called me and told me about his freak accident, I wasn’t immediately grateful – I was fearful. Another agreement with fear.
According to the dictionary, vision can mean “the state of being able to see”, but it can also mean “a mental image of the future”. I believe the enemy uses fear to steal our image of the future. Did you catch that as I was talking about my vision issues? I wasn’t afraid of what today would look like if I went blind… I was afraid of tomorrow. When Dan had his accident, I wasn’t fearful of his current condition… I was afraid of tomorrow.
I have written before about how the enemy is quick to steal, kill and destroy (When Raccoons Attack) and how important it is to ensure that we are taking good care of our homes, because the enemy is looking for weak places to attack us. But friends, I believe the enemy is trying to do more than break into our homes, he is trying to make us forget what our future holds. Instead of keeping our spiritual eyes on Jesus, he wants us afraid and trembling in the dark. If we are afraid and in the dark, if we can’t see Jesus, we can’t be effective. Proverbs 29:18 says this in the message translation:
“If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves;
But when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed.”
Hear me friends, I am not saying if you don’t know what your future holds, that you are living in the dark. I am saying that if you are afraid of what tomorrow holds, there is a better way. Psalm 112:7 says this in the Passion Translation:
“They will not live in fear or dread of what may come,
for their hearts are firm, ever secure in their faith.”
Why can we live without fear or dread? Because we know what God’s plan is for us. Jeremiah 29:11 promises this:
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
So how do we treat fear? We break the agreement we signed with fear. We worship. We get in the word and find a promise we can stand on. Isaiah 26:3-4 says this:
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast,
because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.
I love the promise that we can remain in perfect peace, when we steadfastly trust Jesus. The dictionary defines steadfast as “firmly or fixed in place”. So how do we firmly trust in Jesus? Again – We worship. We get in the word and find a promise we can stand on. We don’t just read those promises, we yell them at the enemy when he is trying to steal our vision. My favorite promise to stand on right now is found in Psalm 27:13. It says this:
I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Blindness is not my inheritance. I WILL SEE the goodness of the Lord, in the land of the living. Why is that so special? Because the land of the living is this side of heaven. I can stand in faith that I will not go blind, because the Lord promises I WILL SEE His goodness!
Today I want to encourage you. Fear isn’t your inheritance. If you feel haunted by fear, find a promise that you can yell back at the enemy. A promise that you can stand on and remind him that he doesn’t get to torment you. I also encourage you to worship. Start with this new song by Bethel Worship. Because it’s new, the words haven’t been officially released yet, but when you watch the video, listen carefully. I believe YOU will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living as well.