The shift in my vision was slow, barely noticeable at first. Even though I had to cock my head at a crazy angle to read or see TV, the thought that something was wrong with my sight never entered my mind. Surely, I reasoned, there must be something wrong with my glasses, perhaps an invisible scratch or an earpiece needing adjustment. So, I carried on cocking my head when necessary. Then one day what had been merely annoying morphed into full-blown distorted vision. My right eye was unable to see any shape without it appearing to resemble an hourglass. A trip to a retina specialist confirmed my fear: something was decidedly amiss.
I wish my reaction to this news had been neat and tidy, and I could nonchalantly slip in a handy little formula for dealing with life’s interruptions. How pleasant it would be to share with you the firmness of my faith and my unwavering trust in God.
The truth, however, reads differently. Prior to the procedure, my hidden thoughts were mutinous. The loss of vision and ensuing procedure couldn’t have come at a worse time. I was busy with Bible study, Encourage, and a host of other things. The disruption was unwelcome.
Many days have passed since the surgery; I am officially post-op! Perhaps now would be a splendid time to write a happily-ever-after ending to this story. I can’t. There is no ending—not happily or otherwise—because I am smack dab in the middle of it. Full visual acuity has not yet returned. In the days following the procedure, I went from stoicism to indifference nicely laced with a dash of grousing. Mind you, I wasn’t suffering in excruciating pain, just inconvenienced and forced to rest. Shame on me.
Then March 1 happened.
While most of you were at church that morning, I was at home reading John 9—the story of the blind man, healed. A friend had posted John 9:3 on her blog, so I turned to the Gospel to read the passage in context. What a surprise God had in those verses as I read them.
Jesus’ disciples were linear thinkers, cause and effect thinkers, and in one sentence Jesus blew their paradigm out of the water! He doesn’t answer the questions the disciples worried over, “Why has this man been blind since birth? Whose sin caused this?” Instead He offers these words, “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.” All the years of blindness culminated at that one moment. One man’s lifetime of blindness would be the way others could see! John Piper says, “God doesn’t waste anything. Every millisecond, every misery, in the path of obedience is producing an eternal weight of glory.” NOT ONE THING is being wasted! Everything matters.
There I was, reading my Bible with the crazy vision a vitrectomy produces, I had an epiphany of sorts. Is it possible that even in this little thing I’m in the midst of, God wants His power to be visible in me? Could this light and temporary affliction be producing more than repaired sight?
The process continues. I must sit with this until my heart sings with confidence that God wastes nothing, ever.