At a very young age, I noticed that I wasn't able to see my teacher's writing on the chalkboard very clearly as she presented her lessons to the class. I would try to squint my eyes to make the letters less blurry or ask one of my friends what the words were in order to gain clarity and keep up with classwork assignments. After a few days though, my blurry vision became increasingly bothersome to me and was soon accompanied by headaches. The next thing I knew, I was on my way to the optometrist and wearing prescription glasses soon after. Lo and behold...I could see!
Not being able to clearly see what's in front of you is frustrating. It doesn't allow you to make sense of the world around you and forces you to depend on other people or objects to function throughout the day. The same is true when it comes to spiritual vision. Before your spiritual eyes are opened, it's like walking aimlessly in the dark. You're prone to hurting yourself by unknowingly putting yourself in danger and not having a clear sense of direction. No wonder the bible talks so much about God "opening the eyes of the blind" and causing them to see (Psalm 146:8; Isaiah 35:5)!
In most instances, Jesus touched the eyes of blind men and they were immediately healed. However, there was an instance in which complete healing required a different method. The book of Mark alone records Jesus' miraculous healing of a blind man from Bethsaida. This miracle is unique because the man was healed in four stages, which correlates with the progression of spiritual vision as follows:
1. Separation-- When the friends of the blind man brought him to Jesus, the first thing Jesus did was separate him from the crowd; the rest of the village (Mark 8:22). When Jesus is trying to bring increased spiritual acuity into your life regarding people, circumstances, or influences, He'll often isolate you from others to get your full attention. He has to remove the distractions so that you can have "eyes that see" what He is trying to show you (Matthew 13:16).
2. Light Vision-- The next thing Jesus did was spit on the man's eyes and put His hands on him. "Do you see anything?" He asked. Instinctively, the afflicted man looked up towards the light in an attempt to discern images. When God is trying to get your attention, you have to look to His light, His truth...His face, for answers. He is the provider of everything, and He desires to provide you with all the healing and clarity you need. But it may just start as a glimmer of light that draws you in while pulling you away from the darkness.
3. Blurry Vision-- In response to Jesus' question, the man replied, "I see people. They look like trees walking around (Mark 8:24)." The man was no doubt overjoyed that he could at least see something, but he still couldn't see everything. He was not able to precisely discern the shape and magnitude of the objects he recognized. This is what it's like in the third stage of acquiring spiritual acuity. While your understanding is increasing, many questions may still remain.
4. Perfect Vision-- Once more, Jesus put his hands on the man's eyes. And this time, they were opened and his sight was completely restored! Mark 8:25 states that, "he saw everything clearly." This stage could be synonymous with an "AHA!" moment in which everything finally makes sense. You are able to discern and see with perfect spiritual vision. Whether it's pertaining to a particular circumstance or an overall perspective, you have the clarity you need to make decisions and/or receive healing.
The maturation process for spiritual enlightenment is ongoing. There are always more truths to learn as you go through life experiences and grow in your relationship with Jesus. Fortunately, our God is faithful. He never leaves His work unfinished and He performs it with excellence. Stay within close proximity to Him, and He'll bring it to completion.