Guide Dog Tale: Walking Without Sight

Walking Without Sight

By Carolyn Dale Newell

For we walk by faith, not by sight.

2 Corinthians 5:7 NKJV

Iva came to a stop, but I didn’t know why. I stretched out my hand in front of me. I didn’t have to reach far before I discovered the cold, metal pole. Another step or two and my face would have painfully made contact with it. “Good job, Iva!” I praised smiling big, while Iva gobbled up her treat.

We left Walmart and headed across the parking lot to the strip mall. Parking lots are not the best place for blind people to navigate. We crossed from the sidewalk to a grassy area surrounded with curbing. From there, we could cross another short distance to our desired destination.

I carefully listened for cars. Of course, you never get a silent moment in a busy parking area.

“Iva, forward.” I commanded, but Iva refused to budge. Just then, I heard a car slowly pass us. Iva practiced intelligent disobedience by refusing to obey me because of the oncoming vehicle. Guide dogs are trained to disobey our commands if they see potential danger we cannot see.

Walking without sight is walking by faith. Whether I walk with my white cane or Iva, I trust God for my next step. I trust Iva not to walk me into something. I don’t tiptoe through Walmart, hand extended, waiting to bump into something. A cloud of fear doesn’t follow me wondering where my foot will land. I can’t see my next step, but I take it in faith, full steam ahead.

Many Christians think they walk by faith, but they really walk by sight. Walking by faith gives the money to the needy without knowing how they will manage. Walking by sight waits to see if God will provide before they give. Walking by faith believes God will heal. Walking by sight says God can heal. Do you see the difference?

Walking by faith proceeds with God’s calling on someone’s life, trusting God to provide. Walking by sight waits to see how it’s going to work first.

My visual impairment has taught me valuable faith lessons. Understanding what it means to physically walk by faith helped me spiritually walk by faith.

Faith is complete unhindered and uninhibited trust in God. It is an action, not only something you believe. Faith walks as well as talks. Faith steps out, not knowing the next step, but knowing God knows.

Friend, are you walking by faith, or are you walking by sight? Don’t be too hard on yourself if you honestly admit you have depended on sight more than faith. Even the twelve apostles were part of the “O ye of little faith” group. Begin to lean on faith more without depending on sight at all.

Now that you know the difference, commit to trust God. Nothing will be impossible when you put feet behind your faith.

Copyright 2018 Carolyn Dale Newell.

 

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Waiting on God’s Guidance

 

WAITING ON GOD’S GUIDANCE

By Carolyn Dale Newell

Be still, and know that I am God;

Psalm 46:10a

Exhaustion held me hostage. Physically, the insomnia had left me drained. Mentally and emotionally, two distinctly different dilemmas wreaked havoc in my mind.

A family member in a dire situation needed assistance. Should I help? How could I afford to help?

A major project stood at a crossroads. I needed to hear from God on which way to go. I felt trapped in a hallway with many doors, unsure which ones to open.

A dear friend texted me our focal verse.

Be still, and know that I am God; (Psalm 46:10a)

I clung to it like a hidden treasure unearthed. That was exactly what I needed to do.

First, I caught up on my sleep. A clear mind was necessary to hear what God was saying. I continued praying and seeking the Lord to confirm that He wanted me to tackle the project from another approach, almost starting over. Peace settled over me.

A few days later, I helped my family member with a monetary gift. Unsure about how I could make up for this expense, I acted in faith. My word for this year – faith.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

God worked both situations together…for good. Because the project met a delay, the funds I had set aside were not needed now. They equaled the amount I gave my loved one. That is so God! He took two unrelated problems and brought about good.

And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)

Let’s unpack Psalm 46:10 and understand what it means to “be still.” According to the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, (www.blueletterbible.com( the word “still” in this particular verse means to “desist from war.” The same word translates differently in other verses, such as “silent” and “rest.”

While I needed the physical rest, I needed the war in my mind to cease. I don’t wait well, especially when I am waiting on God to direct my footsteps.

The battle had to be silenced, so I could reflect on God. God is larger than any problem. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills. He is sovereign. And I want His will and His way.

Sometimes, the doors God opens are the doors I would have closed.

I wouldn’t have made these choices, but because I was still. Because I waited. Because I allowed God to be God, instead of charging ahead. These are the doors He chose, and because it is God’s will, it is also mine.

Friend, do you need to sit quietly, waiting for God to open a door in your hall today? Let the battles hush. And know that He is God.

Lord God, help me focus on You, not the battles swirling around me. Help me make the time to meditate on You, and know that You are God. You are my provider. You are my shield. You are my counselor. I await Your answer. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read Psalm 46.

HIKING THE TRAIL

I know how hard it is to step back and wait on God but memorize this verse. Write it down. Let God guide you into His open doors.

Copyright 2018 Carolyn Dale Newell.