Blind as a Bat

August 22, 2008

Today my Dear One took my for my thrice yearly eye doctor appointment.  Three times a year isn’t exactly normal for most people, but it is what my eyes now require after over twenty-five years of diabetes.  Every four months I go to the retina specialist to have my eyes checked for bleeds from diabetically weakened blook vessels (retinopathy) or a build up of fluid that could cause my retinas to detach.   

My report was a good one.  No new bleeding and pressures of fluid just slightly over normal.  So far, I’ve only had one bleed that was easily repaired through laser surgery.  I am blessed beyond measure to have such a lack of complications in this area. Blindness does not appeal to me.

That being said, I have just one complaint.  I leave the eye doctor half-blind.  Of course, why wouldn’t I be.  First they super-dialate me, then they shine a really bright light to illuminate the back of my eyeballs, and finally, they either take pictures of the backs of my eyeballs (more bright light) or have me watch bright patterns to test pressures.  I usually need not only my sunglasses, but their fashionable shades over them as well. 

It is many hours before I can see anything other than what is very close to me.  Ironic, isn’t it?  To save my eyesight, they temporarily blind me. 

A lot of things in life don’t make apparent sense to us that way.  It’s like vaccines or flu shots for example.  Inject a modified form of a disease to protect us from the real thing.  Basically, things don’t always work in ways that we would think they should. 

God is like that too.  Personally, I think he has a strong sense of irony.  Oh, and a sense of humor too!  Why else would he have made someone like Peter into not only his disciple, but a great evangelist.  Or the greatest persecutor of Christians in his time into the man who wrote the majority of the New Testament. 

I try to remember that when things don’t go the way I think they should.  God’s plan doesn’t always make sense in the ways that we expect.  But, it does always do the job. 

Any thing in your life not going the way you expect?  Then you should be wondering just what it is that God is up to for your good.

ACTS 9:11-16

And the Lord [said] unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for [one] called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,  And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting [his] hand on him, that he might receive his sight.  Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.

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Hope Deferred: Part Two

July 11, 2008

I closed Part One with Proverbs 13:12.  I think we have all had those moments in life where what we hope for is missing in our lives.  It does make the heart sick. 

Twenty years ago, someone at my church, not a leader, laid hands on me.  He had a “word” that I would be healed by my next doctor’s appointment.  That presented a bit of a quandry as I did not have a doctor’s appointment scheduled.  Hmm?  What to do?   Was there a special time to schedule?  Yes, I really did think about that, as naive as that sounds now. 

 Well, I made the appointment.  But, somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew.  I just wanted to hope.

The day of the appointment, my blood sugar shot to 300.  Just in case I was wondering….

I cried all the way to the doctor’s office. 

Then, I made a decision about what to do with my “deferred hope” and heart sickness.  I think it was one of the most important decisions I’ve ever made.  I decided to stop putting my life on hold while I focused on healing.  I decided that I would serve God with or without a healing.  That what he had in my life was too important to focus on diabetes as the defining part of my life. 

I started a mini-prison ministry the next day in my local jail.  I haven’t looked back.  At least not until recently. 

I guess that I got tired.  Going to Lakeland is really out of character for me.  I don’t regret it.  It was the right thing to do.  It was focusing on healing that was wrong.  Fortunately, I had the good sense/inspiration to pray for spiritual renewal as well.  I have to tell you, the spiritual renewal I prayed for there is coming in a very different way than I expected.  VERY DIFFERENT!

So now what is left to me is to renew that twenty-year-old vow.  I will serve him healed or unhealed.  I’m there.  It’s easier the second time.  I understand more now and know that I can’t worship at the altar of healing.  It’s not wrong to want to be healed, but it takes my eyes off God to focus on it. 

We all worship at different altars at times.  Do you, like me, see an altar in your life?  One that doesn’t focus on Christ?

Daniel 3: 16-18

Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego answered and said unto the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.  If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us from thine hand, O king.  But, if not, be it known to thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

Apparently just mentioning Todd Bentley or the Lakeland Revival is guaranteed to improve your blog readership.  Wow! I had no idea that sharing my personal experience would tap into the controversy.  Frankly, I believe that my post “Shredded Lives” was much better and more relevant to the church.  But really, my point wasn’t to comment on the Lakeland revival per se.  It was to share my heart about my experience and my hopes.  And one of those had been physical healing. 

I have never sought out or followed after healing.  At least not in the sense that I traveled places, became a revival groupie, or looked for the big names in healing.  But, I have always believed in healing.  I was just content to let it happen where I am. 

I always believed that it would happen but lately I find myself with a growing doubt.  Maybe it won’t is the quiet little refrain in my brain. 

It isn’t that I haven’t been healed before.  I have.  My most memorable moment in healing was when I was pregnant with my younger son.  At five months of gestation, I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure.  I had to sleep propped up and didn’t have enough breath to sing in praise and worship.  When my endocrinologist told me what was going on, I freaked.  I was already dealing with a dangerous pregnancy and its complications due to my diabetes, and this was just one too many things for me.  So yeah, I freaked.  And was then sent straight to the cardiologist office who confirmed but said we would test to be sure.  Come back in four days, he said. 

I remember standing later in the hall of what is now our youth building.  Standing there with my husband and telling our pastor what was going on.  My upset was obvious.  So, he did the only thing he could when faced with a woman who just might go on a crying jag.  He prayed.  Laid hands on me and prayed right there.  We then proceeded into service.  Over the next three days, the symptoms began to disappear.  By the time I went to the cardiologist for the tests, he couldn’t figure out what had happened since he had last seen me.  He did the tests just to be sure, but there was nothing there.  He shook his head and said to cut back on sodium just to be sure.  I rejoiced.  It was obvious what God had done.  I was healed.

But now I live with an entrenched disease and its complications.  It has been twenty-five years since I started on insulin.  I have used an insulin pump for over twenty-one years.  I first received a word shortly after being diagnosed.  This was when I still lived in Kentucky.  I heard God speak to me about the fact that I would be healed.  Later that same night, in church, I was singled out with the same word from my pastor.  His words were exactly the same as what I had heard.  No variation.  I believed.

Through the years, many people have prayed for me.  Some have been sincere but weren’t hearing from God at the time.  Some prayed in complete faith.  All had compassion and great hopes. 

But the bottom line is that I still have diabetes.  I still wear an insulin pump.  I still have to struggle through each day dealing with my blood sugar.  And, I still look to God to be healed.  But, lately, I have to wonder.  I wonder if I will be.  And this wonder challenges me to examine what I believe, to struggle with what I have believed, and to wonder what to believe. 

Proverbs 13: 12

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.