In an online conference recently we were blessed to listen to a woman of ministry ask a prayer of healing over nearly 650 listeners. Through the responding chat it was evident many had received immediate physical healing. While waiting for reports to be collected, one lady testified of relief from swollen, painful joints: she now had full range of motion in her previously very restricted shoulder; and was able to easily stand and straighten her knees, one previously swollen, now noticeably smaller in size. Though at the time of the speaker’s original prayer I had not lifted up concern of the macular degeneration in my left eye, and cataracts in both, the thought occurred a short while later. And each day since I have wondered, “LORD, will You heal my eyes, too?”
Another woman of ministry for whom I carry much admiration and respect is Jennifer Rothschild. Blind with retinitis pigmentosa since the age of fifteen, she is a vibrant wife, mother, grandmother, and friend to many with a robust speaking, conference, podcast, music and writing ministry. She’s fun, funny and upbeat. While laughing she says it’s just part of her nature, her maiden name being Jolly. She has prayed for healing of her blindness; yet her physical eyes still do not see. Her husband’s arm helps to guide her as she walks with a signature white cane. She counts steps to help orient herself in her home; and has the gadgets that enable a blind person to live more independently. She does her own hair, applies her own makeup, manages her household. And though she is living life fully and abundantly, she admits she is challenged at times. She has asked God to heal her, a woman who is His faithful, joy-filled servant; and still He has not.
Wrestling with this issue of prayers that seem to go unanswered, new clarity dawned in my mind as I slowly awakened this morning, checking one eye then the other to see if my vision had cleared. Checking to see if God had done His job. (What? Where did THAT thought come from?) No, checking to see if He had chosen to bless me in that physical way, yet. As I lay there remembering the many affirmations of His love for me, and thinking of Jennifer’s book “Walking By Faith: Lessons Learned in the Dark”, my vision became crystal clear. I could see with joy, with a wide grin plastered across my face and soul, into bright eons ahead. And, like Jennifer, one who knows God has purpose in His timing and reason, I could see.
The glimpse was so lovely I jumped up to write about it, not waiting to hold still a little longer to keep looking, to sink into it farther, to let it imprint more deeply in my brain. I saw brightness and light, joyfulness, delight, like a roadway going forward ever on, without sides or barriers, yet with definition, the brightest light at the far end of the road. All was filled and formed with light, nothing else was needed at this point. The light was, and is enough. The purity of the vision, the clarity so brilliant as it burst into me, was like an invitation, a breakthrough. Clarity, light, freedom from whatever darkness I have been in. The kind of vision I have been seeking all my life. More and more clarity. Was it physically visual or all in my mind? I’m not sure.
Walking into the Kingdom of God where no darkness of any kind resides, comes through the door of Jesus Christ. It is true! He has lived, died, rose again and continues to overcome, push back, slay the darkness. In John 8:12 Jesus declares, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” I accepted His invitation to walk through that door in 1970. The journey has been one of continual learning, and growing to trust Christ with every aspect of my life. Like layers of an onion, there is always more to peel away as He and I go deeper into the core of me. As the light of life shines to clarify my vision of who I am and how to walk this road, there is always something more to learn in navigating relationships, embracing my imperfections and failings, addressing the awful grip sin had on me, receiving forgiveness, healing from dashed expectations and pain, wrestling with the unexpected and with disappointments, figuring out how to move forward, learning how to really live out “new life” in Him.
A huge factor in recent months has been recognizing how many lies I have been hearing and believing from voices in the world, lies that attack my value and worth as God sees me, lies in my mind to keep me from believing. Lies like the original one hissed by the father of lies in the Garden of Eden: “Has God indeed said . . .? You will not surely die” (see Genesis 3). As I grow closer to the person of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, I am learning how to banish those lies, and to live joy even when life seems to be crumbling all around me, my loved ones, or the world. How to keep on keeping on in those hard places that just do not seem to change, despite prayers and my efforts to fix the things. Like Jennifer, I know this earthly life truly is but a blink in eternity.
So I blinked, then blinked again, one eye, then the other. Yes, that shadow in my central vision still floated there, sometimes more, sometimes less. Yes, the blurriness of cataracts appeared to remain. Yet my vision is changing. I am seeing more clearly. The light of life is shining brightly in me, a beacon, a lighthouse through all the tumults of this worldly walk. I am seeing a brilliant path ahead. Thank You, LORD, for the vision You give! For all the light I need to walk with You through every step of this journey home! Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!