Don't Settle for Walking Trees



Mark 8:22-25

22And they came to Bethsaida. And some people brought to Him a blind man and begged Him to touch him.
23 And He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village, and when He had spit on his eyes and laid His hands on him, He asked him, “Do you see anything?”
24 And he looked up and said, “I see people, but they look like trees, walking.”
25 Then Jesus laid His hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.”


I can remember as a child, unaware that I really had a sight problem. I would memorize clothing or swimsuits, and listen closely to voices in order to “see” who was walking toward me. People were just a vertical blur, like walking trees, and I was too young and immature to know why.

I remember another time in my life when I was unaware that I really had a “sight” problem. Only this was not a physical blindness, but a spiritual one. I had been close enough to Jesus to gain only partial sight, brought to Him through the prompting and prayers of others. Though I could “see”, my spiritual world was still very blurry, and I tried everything in my power to clear it up—church attendance, choir, and the nursery. 

Still, my spiritual life was fuzzy at best, insignificant at worst. 

Going back to the story of the blind man, have you ever wondered why Jesus didn’t heal him the first time, like He did the two blind men outside of Jericho? (Matt. 20:33)  It leaves one only to speculate. 

Consider that Jesus already knew that the man was only partially healed when He asked the man, “Do you see anything?” Perhaps He wanted the man’s verbal response, teaching him to "ask, and it shall be given." (Matt. 7:7)  The man answered, “I see people, but they look like walking trees.”  

Jesus wants us to be actively involved, aware of what we "see" and cannot see, and not settling for mediocre. He's not looking for passive observers on the roadside of faith. He calls us to actively follow Him.

Our faith and our confession go hand in hand. (Matt. 12:34) 

I know from experience that when it comes to eyesight, partial clarity is limited and incomplete, even scary for fear of getting lost. Our understanding will be hazy, if  not altogether mistaken. The same is true in our spiritual lives, but we need help in order to know how blind we really are.We cannot see this on our own.

The Spirit of God stirs our hearts when He asks, “Do you see anything?

In this question, I cannot help but also hear the question He asked His disciples. 

“Who do you say that I am? (Matt. 16:15) 

Our trust and faith in Him determines how much He can do in our lives; how much we are truly willing to follow Him. And rather than focus on how much we DON'T know or understand about God, focus on how much God loves us--how much He loves YOU. Our love for Him will grow out of His deep love for us.

How is your spiritual sight? Do you, like the blind man, have only a partial glimpse of what God desires for you to see?  Don't settle for mediocre. Don't settle for hazy. Don't settle for walking trees.

Take His hand and trust Him. Ask Him to help you to see clearly. He desires for you to see clearly, discern wisely, and understand completely. 

Psalm 119:18 says “Open my eyes that I may behold wonderful things from Your law”.

I encourage you to commit Ps. 119:18 to memory today. 

Lord, thank you for Your mercy and compassion, and for Your willingness to heal. By Your stripes, Lord, we are healed. Thank you Holy Spirit for Your grace that enables us to cry “Abba, Father”, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. We ask You, Lord, that You open our eyes that we may see You in all of Your glory, power, and holiness. Restore to us the joy of Your salvation and grant us a willing spirit to sustain us, in Jesus’ name, amen.