Beyond Blind Faith

© Jack Dawson Painting – used by permission

Do you see the man walking across the log? Do you see his white cane? More importantly, do you see Jesus watching over him? How about the cross on the rock?

I live in one of 14 condo units, placed on either side of a hallway with a Commons area at the end. Some residents almost always have a puzzle in progress there. Many of these puzzles are framed and displayed on the hallway walls. Most of them relate to U.S. or state history, but there are occasional exceptions.

Earlier this year, Nathalie had a puzzle she wanted put together, framed, and hung up across from her door. One had to look carefully to see Jesus in it, but once I found Him, I was awed. Yes, He is with us even when we can’t always “see” Him. Not long after the puzzle was hung up, Jesus took Nathalie to Himself. Her family graciously left the puzzle there. Every time I see it when I take a walk in the hallway, it reminds me of Jesus’ promise to be with us always. We may not always see Him, but He’s there, faithfully watching over us, His loving heart channeling His sufficient grace into our hearts and lives.

“And be sure of this:
I am with you always,
even to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:20b NLT
“For God has said,
‘I will never fail you.
I will never abandon you.'”
Hebrews 13:5b NLT

Recently, I looked up the author’s name in the corner and found out it was titled “Beyond Blind Faith.” Finding out more about it has deepened the meaning. I hadn’t noticed the man using a white cane. I just figured it was a man balancing himself and walking across the log, taking it as meaning we sometimes have to go through risky trials, but we need to trust Jesus is watching out for us. When I realized the man was actually blind… Wow! Isn’t that how it is? Blind faith. Uncertain. Afraid of taking the wrong step, because we can’t see it. Depending on Jesus to guide us in the right way.

The website for this painting describes it:

“It would be almost impossible for this blind man to walk across safely to the other side.  Many times we feel like we are walking in uncertainty and confusion, without hope.  But just as Christ is seen watching over the blind man in the painting, He watches over us as we walk “Beyond Blind Faith,” in confident hope and faith in Him.”

The following 1-minute video about this painting is inspiring:

“Beyond Blind Faith”
by Jack E. Dawson

Sometimes in the midst of loss and troubles, we don’t see that Jesus is with us. We don’t feel Him warming our hearts with hope. But He truly is with us, no matter what situation we are in, because He is faithful to His promises. He is never going to leave us or abandon us! We may flounder in our trust and faith and may even fall and feel like we’re drowning, but He will always pick us up again!

“God Is With Us”
by Casting Crowns

“Love is raining down on the world tonight
There’s a presence here I can tell
God is in us, God is for us, God is with us, Emmanuel
He’s the Savior we have been praying for
In our humble hearts He will dwell
God is in us, God is for us, God is with us, Emmanuel”

The LORD Himself Watches Over You!

Lordwatches

A male house finch chirped and scolded “That’s mine, so back off!” to a twice-his-size robin who was seeking out a place to nest close to where his mate was settled on eggs. After the robin flew away, he stood as a devoted husband protecting his bride from harm.

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My thoughtful husband took a wreath, wrapped more greenery around it, and nailed it up under the eave right outside my office window. A pair of house finches built a nest not inside it but on the top. The female is hidden to the left, but sometimes we can see her head or her tail. 🙂

God’s creation can teach me so much of God’s character if I open my eyes and ears to it. As I watched how jealously this finch guarded his mate, I thought of how sometimes Satan steals away my peace with all his lies and false promises, but he’ll never get past God. He can never knock me out of God’s nest of love, because God stands guard powerfully proclaiming, “She’s mine, so back off!”

As I watch the lives of these finches, I notice the male is not always there. I don’t always see him, but I know he’s always close by. Once in a while he eats at the feeder and then flies off again. Sometimes he sweeps into the nest and his head bobs as he feeds his bride. Other times he stands on the rooftop above the nest and belts out a cheerful melody.

God is like that. He never lets us out of His sight. Never. We can’t always feel Him, but He is with us always. Constantly watching out for us. Sometimes we tune in to His voice and other times we don’t realize He is calling us. And once in a while He swoops in to hold us near, to feed us His promises, and to cheer us on to believe He is always here for us. To remind us we can trust He sees, He hears, He knows.

There was a time in my life that I thought if God is always with me, why did bad things happen to me? If He has infinite power and He cares so much, why didn’t He protect me from so much pain? Is God punishing me for something?

Once in a while those questions still pop up, but now I realize God gives people choices. GOD didn’t hurt me. We live in a sinful world, and a perpetrator chose to harm me. I still don’t always understand why God didn’t keep me safe, but for now I’ll trust He knows why.

I just have to believe there is a purpose in pain. I do know I wouldn’t have such a deep empathy for hurting souls if I hadn’t gone through such pain myself. I think also it has led me deeper into what Jesus has willingly suffered for me all because He loves me so deeply. He was willing to be rejected so I will never be rejected by God. That’s why I know God is still watching out for me.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.”
(Jeremiah 29:11)

I don’t know what you’re feeling right now, but God knows. He sees. He hears. He’s got your back. Like this house finch jealously guarding his bride, God is watching over YOU. I know it doesn’t always feel that way, but He does. You are His bride, His beloved. As a faithful Husband, he cherishes you and watches over you with such love and tenderness.

The same God who created the birds and takes care of them so one feather will not fall without His permission will watch over us, faithfully tending to all our needs.

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?
Yet not one of them will fall to the ground
outside your Father’s care.
And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”
(Matthew 10:29-31)

A Child's Trust

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Promise

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A Soft Gentle Voice

God’s Love Outweighs Our Troubles

A woman afflicted with brain cancer lies in a hospital bed. She smiles and holds two thumbs up. How can she possibly do that?

As long as we are on this earth, chronic or terminal illnesses will refuse to retreat, difficulties with family or friends will still induce pain, and losses will continue to cause heart-rending grief.

How can we possibly go through these dark valleys? How can we possibly give our burdens over into God’s hands? How can we possibly give God a two-thumbs up when circumstances around us “feel” like He has deserted us?

It’s about faith and trust. Do we believe we have a heavenly Father Who loves us so much that He only has our best interests at heart? Do we trust that God always has a plan to prosper us and not to harm us? That no matter what happens, He will always carry us through? Do we believe and trust that God will never allow anything to happen to us unless it is for our eternal welfare and our spiritual growth in Him?

Think of a balancing scale with burdens on one side and hope on the other. We are prone to fill up the BURDENS’ tray first. Clunk! Clunk! Clunk! Down to where the tray hits the bottom of gloom and doom. But wait… Let’s not forget the HOPE side. Cast in the everlasting love, endless compassion, and faithfulness of a heavenly Father Who has said, “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” (Jeremiah 31) Sproing! And flip! There go the burdens.

Our troubles are nothing compared to the weight of God’s matchless, unconditional love – a love that knows what’s best for us and will always carry us through the tough spots. Two-Thumbs-Up to God! He knows what He is doing.

Soon the darkness will give way to morning light. “Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (II Corinthians 4:17) Josh Wilson sings of this promise in “Before the Morning” – “Cause the pain that you’ve been feeling, it can’t compare to the joy that’s coming…”