ONEIDA, Ky. - Other than during sleep, have you ever closed your eyes for an extended period of time and wondered what it might be like to not see? Our physical sight is such an amazing blessing, but spiritual vision is also a gift from the Lord. Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” This verse leads me to believe obedience to God’s vision brings happiness, while disobedience leads to perishing.
I often wonder how proud and happy our founder, James Anderson Burns, would be if he could see Oneida 122 years after he began our work. I doubt Professor Burns, as he was called by many, could have envisioned an Oneida where kids from all over the world come to receive an education. He did, however, envision a school that would teach the love of Jesus to local mountain children and that those children would one day learn to love one another rather than hate each other as they had been “taught in their cradles.” Burns was faithful to the vision and God blessed his efforts.
Seven years ago, the Lord blessed me with a vision of the children of Clay County, Ky., lined up single file coming to the Oneida campus from the surrounding hills and hollers. While that vision is still very vivid and humbles me each time I look upon our mountain children, the value of that vision drives me to continue our efforts. Had that vision not taken root in my heart and mind, I would not be able to take the pride I do today as I watch the Lord’s vision come to fruition.
The Lord provides vision so that we do not have to perish. Jesus, at Calvary’s cross, ensured we would not perish.
What vision has the Lord given you? Perhaps your vision will come from your pastor, God’s Word, a dream, or something else. We should always remember God values each of us and His word teaches us how to walk in obedience to Him.
Perhaps you have dismissed a God-given vision because you thought the dream was too simple. Be ready for whatever the Lord has in store for you so that you don’t miss the blessing. Praise the Lord for providing the vision we need to do His work.
Larry Gritton is president of Oneida Baptist Institute in Oneida, Ky.