Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Gift Of Vision

I had taken time off from blogging for about 8 weeks for one major reason - I couldn't see well enough to read or write. That's because I had 2 major emergency eye surgeries on my right eye that were 3 weeks apart. The first was due to a detached retina. The surgeon basically tack-welded the inside lining of my eye with a laser. For the next 7 days I had to be face-down - sleeping, eating, sitting, etc.  Then, because of complications from the first surgery (bleeding behind the retina), I had to have another surgery. This time, I had to be on my left side for 7 days. No fun. 

Since then, my sight has slowly, but steadily, gotten better and better in my right eye. I'm still in the healing mode, but at least I can function fairly well. But for a while, I don't mind telling you, I was scared - scared that I would go blind in my right eye. But thankfully that didn't happen. 

I had dozens and dozens of people praying for me - family, friends, church family. I received so many cards, emails, texts, and calls that it was overwhelming. I learned many things during this time. Things like patience, the love and concern shared by family members, as well as friends. The value of a caring church family. And especially the power of prayer. 

I also learned there are many more people much worse off then me. This prompted me to write a song called "Somebody's Hurting Today". I am a worship leader and I wanted to remind our congregation that there are hurting people all around us. During the 7 weeks, I wrote 7 songs relating to my experience. I didn't plan to write any songs, let alone 7, but I guess the Lord had different plans. 

I realize more than ever that vision is so precious. I would rather loose a leg, or an arm, than lose an eye. It's hard for me to imagine being totally blind. There are so many people who are. As for me, I was fortunate to have access to great medical care, otherwise it would have taken a miracle to restore my vision. 

Speaking of miracles, from now on, because of the eye issues I have recently dealt with, I will look a little more intently at the miracles Jesus performed in giving sight to the blind. Can you imagine being totally blind and then immediately given the gift of vision? Wow. Jesus gave sight to the blind not just once, or a couple of times, but He gave sight to many, many blind people, as described throughout the Gospels. Just search for the word blind in the New Testament, and you will be amazed.  

Since the beginning of time, it has never been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind (John 9:32). That is, until Jesus. No one before Him, not even Moses or Elijah, gave sight to a person born blind. There were all kinds of miracles by prophets but none involving the blind.  

One of my favorite miracles involves the story of Bartimaeus. He was a blind beggar who heard Jesus was coming by and called out to Him. Jesus stopped and asked Bartimaeus what he wanted.

“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked. “My Rabbi,” the blind man said, “I want to see!” And Jesus said to him, “Go, for your faith has healed you.” Instantly the man could see, and he followed Jesus down the road. (Mark 10:51-52)

These types of miracles involving the blind certainly reflect the compassion that Jesus had toward such people. There is, however, a much deeper spiritual symbolism here. Jesus giving sight to the blind points to the broader concept that Jesus gives sight to those who are spiritually blind. His miracles involving the blind illustrate the point that He came to bring people out of darkness into His light - that He is the light of the world.

Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” (John 8:12)

Yes, I am thankful that I can see, physically. But I am more thankful that I am able to see the glorious light of the Good News. 

"Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God. " (2 Corinthians 4:4)

And as Christians, let's never forget that God has called us out of darkness into His wonderful light.

"But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light." (1 Peter 2:9)

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