White frames. Pink frames. Brown frames. Sparkly frames. Like picking out the ornamental border on a photograph.
Heart-shaped. Round-shaped. Square-shaped. Oval shaped. Akin to the cookie cutters dawning at Christmastime. Sprinkles overflowing were missing this occasion as my decorative pieces scattered the counter. Samples in hand as I made my selections. This time it wasn’t a photograph nor the sweetness of sugar cookies being adorned. It was my eyes.
Several weeks prior I had been experiencing unusual eye pressure and eye fatigue. My eyes would go out of focus in resting state as when I’d be thinking about something. Strained from my computer work. I’d have to refocus them. It got so bad I kept feeling like I needed to close them because of the pressure. As someone who’s never experienced this I didn’t know what to make of it.
I went to the eye appointment and they said I could try a slight prescription.
The next day I shopped around for glasses.
With options galore I felt like the ocean waves must feel washing upon onto the seashells scattered about. So many different kinds. How to choose. I started trying them on and the assistants gave me their advice.
I found the one I liked.
Feminine rounded frames with dark outlines and small diamond on either side. I felt pretty. And I thought these are the ones.
But as I walked to the register, I hesitated. I tried them on again with all my other options in hand. Then tried the other ones. Then an onslaught of all the voices of what the eye assistants spoke started to confuse me…
I don’t know if those are the best, they’re a little overpowering for your face.
You should look for a pair that helps you not notice the sides of the frames…
Are you the kind of person that notices all the details? Maybe this kind is the best for you.
With all the noise I couldn’t see anymore.
And my eyes were no longer the issue.
It was my decision making that had been compromised.
What we hear impacts how we see. Our decision making stems from our vision.
Proverbs 20:12 says, “The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the Lord has made them both.”
If we give weight to the wrong voices, it clouds our vision. If we increase the volume on God’s voice, it clarfies our vision so that we can see accurately in our eyes, hearts and minds. Then we can make the best decisions even when resistance and fogginess is amidst.
When we allow others to speak their input of what they want for us, we lose sight of what we want for us and what God wants for us.
The wrong voices interfere with our ability to see clearly and purely. If we hear the right voices, our vision is clear. It influences how we perceive and make decisions.
All the sudden I went from I like these pair and they are so pretty… I feel good in these… to Maybe these aren’t the best for me… maybe I go with a different pair… all because of a few others who I trusted to speak into this decision for me ended up being more of a discouragement than a help. They clouded my vision more than eye fatigue could do.
I left the store after buying the ones I figured were the safest option.
I have never worn glasses after all. Surely they will work just fine, I thought. I walked around the mall, feeling defeated and I didn’t know why. I’m usually very confident in my choices and know what I want. I don’t let anything persuade me and I make my own decisions. But this time I was overwhelmed.
I felt God speaking to me saying …
When you let others cloud your vision, you can’t make the decision I gave you freely to make. It’s your decision not anyone else’s. It’s okay to choose what you want baby girl.
The voices we listen to carry weight.
It reminds me we have to mute the voices of discouragement and trust God’s spirit.
Then our vision clears.
And we can decide freely.
In Mark chapter 8, the disciples must make a decision when others try to cloud their vision. They must decide who Jesus is to them amidst the voices of everyone else’s opinion on who He is.
Jesus asks them 2 questions, “Who do people say that I am?” Then He asks, “But who do you say that I am?” In other words, considering everything that you’ve heard what do you decide? I know what the people are telling you about Me… I know what they assume they know about Me… but you know Me for real… you have seen My heart… you have interacted with Me… they have not… so who do you say that I am?
Jesus intends to clarify the disciples vision in this moment so they can be rooted in knowing who He is, despite all those conflicting voices. When I study this passage I notice Jesus doesn’t explain to the disciples who He is. He doesn’t make a case or try to persuade them. He simply asks them.
I love Jesus’ heart here. I love how he leads them. He lets them think for themselves based on what they have experienced with Him.
“But who do you say that I am?” (Verse 29)
This tells us that Jesus trusts the disciples and their decision-making.
The disciples walked with Jesus closely so they received revelation from Him and were trusted by Him.
When you’re connected to Jesus you will be given trust, wisdom and freedom to make decisions. And you can hear His voice.
“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”
Jesus trusts us to think for ourselves after He plants His revelation into our hearts.
The mind He created for us works beautifully in tandem with His spirit. He created our brain and He is confident in its capabilities.
We don’t have to shut off our brain en route to listening to God. Use it. We need both. Because that’s what Jesus is asking the disciples to do… to use their brain to synthesize all of the information and encounters they have had, and to answer intuitively.
“Peter answered Him, “You are the Messiah!” Mark 8:29
I love that Peter is the one to answer for the group here because Peter is known for putting his foot in his mouth. 😊
Wouldn’t the one who usually says the wrong thing say the wrong thing here again? But he nails it. Yes, Peter! Jesus is the Messiah. This shows that our instincts our often more spot on than we think. Deep down Peter knows who Jesus is and He responds accordingly. He just knows.
We need God to remind us we can think for ourselves. Because we can. For the Holy Spirit is in us.
Your instincts are anointed with the spirit of God Himself when you become His follower. And you know what decision to make even when other voices are clouding your vision. Deep down, you know. You are the expert on your decision because of your close proximity to it. Just like the disciples were an expert on Jesus more than anyone else because of their close proximity to Him. We must make our own decision instead of relying too much on others input.
Jesus clears the disciples’ vision by reminding them what they already know: that He is the One. He is the Messiah.
This reminds me of the movie scene in Titanic where Rose leave the lifeboat entrance and goes back for Jack at the bottom of the ship to rescue him. In the middle of her swinging the ax to cut the handcuffs loose, Jack says, “How did you find out?” Rose responds, “I didn’t. I just realized I already knew.” That’s the sweetest thing ever. I love that movie.
It may be a movie but the principle is the same. Deep down we know what God has planted in our hearts to know.
Our vision clears when we mute the wrong voices from our ears.
And amplify the right voices.
Discouragement, negativity, ignorance, shame… those are the wrong voices.
Encouragement, positivity, affirmation, trust, love… those are the right voices. ❤️
God gives us the freedom to choose what we want when we are in the open fields of His love. Because we are connected to Him in relationship and bearing fruits of the spirit that influence how we make decisions.
Sometimes the discouraging voice the enemy uses the most comes from the ones closest to us because they have access to us and we value their input.
I knew what glasses I wanted, what looked best on me, and what I would ultimately feel confident about until I listened to the eye assistants. They all wore glasses and had for years. They worked at the eye glasses’ store. But at the end of the day, their input left me more confused. Why? Because there are some decisions only we can make for ourselves. I must wear them at the end of the day.
Be cautious with voices who seek to discourage your decision-making away from a certain decision. We don’t see Jesus do that in this text. Instead Jesus says, but what do you think? He trusts His disciples to make their own decision after all He has imparted.
Godly counsel will trust God’s spirit in you to decide freely.
The enemy’s voice cannot steal your blessing but he can distract you from it with confusion. But be encouraged because that means your right in the middle of where you’re supposed to be.
Like the serpent in the garden, “Did God really say?” he whispers.
We have to be brave enough to mute that voice and trust the same spirit of God within us that He trust in us too.
When that confusion happens, remember Jesus saying to you just like He did the disciples… “But what do you say?” (Mark 8:29) Despite what the people say, what do you decide? What do you see? What do you think? Not what does everyone else think… but what do you think?
Confusion evaporates and confidence sets in when God comes close and wants to hear what we have to say.
When you know Jesus gives you the freedom to think for yourself despite the surrounding voices, you regain confidence to choose and see clearly.
And you realize that God’s voice in you is enough.
My eyes couldn’t see
from the voices all around me
pressure weighing heavy
from the symphony
but when You asked
what do you think
I knew all along
You were the love I need
When we know we are loved and trusted for what we choose, it clarifies our vision so that we can be confident in our own pathway the Lord sets for us.
“And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.”
As I left the glasses store I walked around in the mall for a little while.
I needed to think on my own. Talk with the Lord. Clear my head of the fog without all the voices telling me what they thought about the glasses choices. I felt the Lord reminding me it’s my choice. Buy the glasses you want baby girl.
I walked back in and I cancelled the order.
I decided I needed to come back when I could see clearly and I don’t mean visually I meant mentally. I want my choice to be my decision alone.
And when I go back, I’m going to order the glasses I wanted to choose. Without any other voice trying to convince me otherwise.
Next time I will walk in already knowing what I’ve been freely given to choose because the Lord loves me. I am His. And he says I am beautiful no matter what glasses I get. I won’t walk in with cloudy vision in my decision. I will walk in confident because of what me and God have decided together, because this is a decision only I can make ultimately. And that He trusts me to make that decision.
It put me behind 2 weeks. They said they’d have to wait for the insurance claim to go through and refund before I could order another pair.
I said that’s okay.
I’d rather lose 2 weeks than wear something on my face for years someone else chose for me.
This weekend marks 2 weeks. And Do you know what has happened since? My vision has cleared significantly… My eyes aren’t feeling the heavy pressure and fatigue they did before. And I’m thinking I may try another eye exam to see if I need a different prescription or simply light glare/reading glasses prescription. Either way, during this time God used it to heal my eyes more.
Now I will be able to have a more accurate lens and get the glasses I choose.
Be encouraged that if you feel like you’ve been held back because of confusion and cloudy vision, God will work it for good. He is clarifying other elements of what you need. And He is empowering us with clear vision for what’s ahead.
God trusts your decision when you’re connected to Him in relationship.
Our vision may have been clouded for a little while but God is clearing it up now… within our hearts, within our minds, within our spirit. And just like Peter, we already know what God has freely given us. And God loves us enough to trust us with the life choices we make with Him. You are loved by the One who empowers your heart and eyes with His spirit. God trusts you. ❤️ He loves you.
“I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.”