Sight is commonly thought to be the primary sense. We use it to constantly capture and interpret information, and to navigate the world around us. When this natural process is interrupted, blindness or vision loss can occur.
Women are disproportionately affected by blindness and vision loss across the globe. Women are also less likely to receive treatment for their conditions. Why does this matter? Vision loss and blindness restrict women’s access education, employment, economy advancement. And these effects do not just impact one woman’s life, they can have ripple effects for generations.
I know these facts are related to our natural sense of vision. But I believe they are relevant to our spiritual vision as well.
Ladies, we need to have a vision for our lives. It is our nature support the vision of the others, but we must not neglect our own. I will be first to admit being guilty of this. For example, when my daughter told me she wanted to be a fashion designer, I bought her a sewing machine, fabric, and patterns, arranged for lessons, and bought us tickets to our city’s fashion week. When I was married, I rallied behind what my husband was doing. But it wasn’t until very recently that I allowed myself to get serious about me and began to clarify and nurture the vision God has given me. I had a lot of blessings in my life that I was beyond grateful for, but I could not deny that God had called me to even more.
My favorite character in the Bible is Hannah. Hannah had a vision for her life. She saw herself as a mother. She was married, well to do, and loved by her husband. Many may have thought her life was full. Hannah wanted more.
She prayed and endured the process until she attained it. And one year after returning from worshipping, praying, and crying out to God at the temple, the vision was fulfilled when she gave birth to a son, Samuel.
The circumstances surrounding this birth give us some important insight about vision. You see, this wasn’t the first time Hannah had been to the temple to worship. It was her custom to go every year. This wasn’t the first time she had prayed for son. I’m sure her desperation had driven her to her knees before.
But this time was different. She didn’t just ask God to give her son, she vowed to give her son back to God. This time the vision was not just about what having a son would mean to her, it was about what God could do through her.
So the first insight is that your motives will either limit or unlock your vision. Last week I told you that vision is inspired by God. If your vision is only for your benefit and for your pleasure, it’s definitely too small and may not be God’s plan.
I believe Hannah had to examine her motives. Having a child was an important status symbol in Hannah’s time. And not having a child was an embarrassment. Was her vision of motherhood just to increase her social standing and to silence the women who mocked her for being childless? Don’t get me wrong, God is kind and compassionate. He very well could have given Hannah a child simply because that was her sincere desire. But I believe God was especially moved when Hannah was willing to give up this son she already loved so dearly and wanted so badly. This is exactly the kind of selfless and sacrificial act that He would later perform himself.
Hannah demonstrated that her motive was now about fulfilling God’s purpose, not her own. Not to be outdone, God didn’t stop with giving Hannah Samuel, He gave her three more sons and two daughters. He gave her far more than she envisioned. And her son, Samuel, was more than an answer to Hannah’s prayer, he was the righteous judge, godly priest, and accurate prophet that Israel needed. The Bible says that all of Samuel’s prophetic words were fulfilled (1 Samuel 3:19)
And the final insight I’d like to share is that the vision is for those who can see it, and not everyone can. Hannah had the love and affection of her husband. He had the purest of intentions toward her, but he just didn’t get her vision. He didn’t understand why she just could not be content with the life she had, why she wanted more. Even the priest misunderstood her pursuit in the temple. As she poured out her heart to God, Eli mistook her brokenness for drunkenness. That must have been disappointing to say the least. But Hannah kept her vision in focus and we must do the same thing.
Hannah’s vision was birthing a son. For you, the vision may be a birthing of different kind. It may be launching a business or a non profit. It may be going back to school or changing careers. It may be moving on from a devastating loss or setback. It may be following a dream that you’ve held in your heart since childhood. It may be making an impact in your community or family. It may be picking up and moving or traveling the world. It may be learning a new skill. It may be connecting or reconnecting with a friend, relative, or network.
Sisters, what ever your vision is, nurture the seed, keep it in focus and move forward. 77% of vision impairment is avoidable and treatable. If you’ve lost your vision or never really had one, today is a great day to start or start again. If you’re not sure how to do that, remember the formula I gave you in last week’s blog.
Remember that vision is bigger than you, and even if no one else sees it, its totally worth pursuing.
And men, if you are reading this, support the vision of the women in your lives.
I have had some interesting “signs” about vision recently. I will be back next week to tell you about some of them. But in the meantime, if you know someone who could use a little encourage as they pursue the vision God has given them, share this blog with them.
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Living In The Light,