Surrender to the Will of God Brings the Blessings of God
“I give waters in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people…My chosen, the people I formed for Myself…that they may set forth My praise…and they shall do it.” Sing forth the Honor and Glory of His Name; make His praise glorious! [Isa 43:20-21; Ps 66:2]
Quite suddenly…at least I thought during those winter months of 2008…I became increasingly aware that while driving along Florida’s highways I was having difficulty reading the signs until I was right on top of them. Upon examination, my eye doctor told me I had cataracts in both eyes, and that I needed cataract surgery. We decided to start with the left eye, and scheduled surgery for June 5th.
The surgeon had also been my eye doctor for the past year and a half, and had been strongly recommended by my own physician. I was looking forward to seeing clearly again, as with the cataracts in both eyes I was no longer able to read the road signs or feel comfortable with highway driving. Instead, the surgery seemed to progress very badly, taking four times longer than would normally be the case!
Since you are awake during cataract surgery, I could hear the surgeon talking with his assistant…“he has deep-set eyes; I can’t do this from the side. I am going to have to try doing this from the top.” “This suction tube is not working; get me another one.” And a number of other disconcerting comments as the surgery seemed to go on and on. I was becoming increasingly uncomfortable. Finally…it was finished; I breathed a sigh of relief.
The vision in my eye after surgery was quite bad…as well as hazy and cloudy. Five days after the surgery, I began to see pronounced double vision out of the left eye. I decided to have an independent evaluation by another Ophthalmologist/surgeon. It was then I learned that there had been significant damage to the eye as a result of the surgery. He told me, “Whoever did this surgery really butchered your eye”…which he proceeded to enumerate in painful detail, concluding with, “Unfortunately, there is nothing that can be done to repair the damage.” The prognosis was that as a result of the damage, my eye was at high risk to develop complications in the months and years ahead. I was told quite emphatically, “You will NEVER see any better out of that eye than you do right now (a hazy, cloudy, 20/40)…and it cannot be improved with eyeglasses.”
I was devastated! I cried out to the Lord, “Why, Lord!? You could have warned me beforehand about this surgeon; You could have prevented this from happening! Why did You allow my eye to be so badly damaged!?” Night after night I would sit in my recliner, crying out to the Lord in my sadness, sorrow, and grief. I thought about my next door neighbor…Jim…who was blind and got around with a seeing-eye dog. Not many years prior he had been a school administrator and was just fine…until suddenly he began losing his sight, and doctors were not able to determine why. I thought about Joni Eareckson Tada, a Christian woman who is quadriplegic and yet has been used by the Lord over these many years in a wonderful and powerful world-wide ministry. At the age of 17…a young, vibrant teenager…she had a terrible swimming accident, and ended up in a wheelchair handicapped for life. But she certainly was not disabled!
I spent the next three months lamenting before the Lord, and thinking about Jim and Joni. I reflected on what I knew in my mind to be true about God… that He is the Sovereign All-Ruler over all Creation, and nothing could touch my life unless He Personally allowed it to do so. I knew He loved me with a fathomless love, and all that He allows to touch my life is necessarily the very best, very kindest, most loving thing that could be possible be. I knew that He only allows adversities for His Own good purpose, and that He makes all things work together for good for those who love Him. But I didn’t know I would actually have to embrace in my heart and life what I had only known, until now, in my mind!
I knew that God could stretch out His hand and heal my eye if He wanted to; I had fervently asked, but He hadn’t. Finally, I came to the realization, and acceptance, that the Lord consciously and deliberately allowed this to happen, and for His own good purpose. I became able to say, “Lord, I don’t understand, but I trust You.” I had to finally get to the place where I could say to the Lord, and know that I meant it in my heart, “Lord…there is nothing You could ask of me…to be for You or to do for You…that would be unreasonable, or too much to ask, in light of what You have Personally done for me in redeeming my soul. If I am to become blind, then I accept that as Your will. Lord…just show me Your plans, Your purposes, Your will for me in allowing this to happen, and work in me by Your Holy Spirit both the desire to obey Your will and the power to do Your will.”
My absolute surrender to God’s will, and acceptance of His will…when I said in my heart, “Not my will, but Thy will be done”…took place on Monday evening, September 15th. That was the place where my Father had all along wanted me to get to…the same place His Divine Son Jesus had gotten to in the Garden of Gethsemane that night when He uttered these words: “If it not possible for this cup of suffering to pass from me unless I drink it, then not My will, but Thy will be done.” The following Tuesday morning, when I awakened, I quite suddenly noticed I was seeing a whole lot better out of that left eye! I remarked to the Lord, “Wow! I see better out of my damaged eye than I do out of my right eye!” The following Tuesday, September 23rd, I had an appointment with my new eye doctor…the one who said, “You will NEVER see any better out of that eye.” He was dumbfounded! The reading on the damaged eye was now a clear, sharp 20/30 with no double vision, and was corrected by refraction to 20/20! I had the new eyeglass lens for the left eye made (the prescription was much weaker than what I used to wear), and, sure enough, I was now seeing with clear 20/20 vision!
I wondered whether the Lord had miraculously restored my vision out of a damaged eye, or whether He had healed the damage, resulting in restored vision. And so I scheduled an appointment for Monday, September 29th, with another Ophthalmologist/surgeon for an independent examination/evaluation of my left eye (I did not advise him beforehand of anything that had taken place, other than that there had been cataract surgery done on that eye). His prognosis? “The eye is in very good condition, and you are seeing well! You have 20/20 vision” A miraculous healing confirmed! Hallelujah!
I don’t know whether in the depths of your heart you really believe there is a God in Heaven or not, but this I do know…my eye was damaged beyond repair, and now it is no longer damaged but perfectly fine. [Read John 9:1-38] Oh Lord!…I have gazed attentively upon You in the sanctuary, and I have beheld Your Power and Your Glory! Formerly, my ears had only heard of You, but now my eyes have seen You and have seen Your Glory! Because Your steadfast Love for me is better than life, my lips continually proclaim Your Glory! My lips shout for joy as I sing praises to You! O Lord, I will open my lips, and my mouth will declare Your praise; with singing lips my mouth overflows with Your praises! Surely, I will enter Your gates with thanksgiving; I will come into Your courts with praise! Hallelujah!