Two days after Christmas back when I was in the fifth grade, I was given my first pair of eyeglasses. I’ve viewed the world through augmented lenses ever since. Poor eyesight runs in my family (on my father’s side), so getting glasses was like a rite of passage. But this past year, I’ve been through a lot with my vision. In total I’ve had to have three surgeries on my right eye since June. I won’t enumerate the specifics, but I had a hard summer, quite a lot of pain, a few emergency runs to the retinologist, and several weeks of compromised sight or blindness. Just two days ago the doctor was pleased enough with my recovery to permit me to get a new eyeglass prescription. I went to the optometrist today excited about new spectacles.

Why would I opt to write about this particular event this week? Well, for me as I write this, tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day and in this long and difficult year that has been such a challenge to almost everyone in more than one way, I am metaphorically cartwheeling with gratitude to be able to see. In fact, the new prescription is a refraction that will actually improve my distance vision to better than it has been my entire adult life!

As I experience wave and wave of thankfulness, I remember the multitude of friends and family who’ve been praying hard for me all summer. I am thankful for the patient endurance of my loving wife chauffeuring me around during all the times I was unable to safely drive. I am grateful to the many people who made allowances for my limitations over the summer. There were people who took care of church services when I couldn’t preach, there were people who actually read things for me because I couldn’t, and there were friends from all over the country (and some from around the world) who checked in on me without prompting. The support was not only palpable, it was highly visible.

I assure you the potential loss of vision even in one eye really compelled me to rely on God. Yes, I had very good specialists (three different surgeons) operate on my eye, but the risks were high, and the possible side effects list was scarier than an IRS audit! At every point I surrendered the outcome to God. If He elected to grant me healing and keep my sight in that eye, I, of course, welcomed that; but if, in His wisdom and love for me, did not, then I would accept that, trusting that His plan was best. Therefore, I am tremendously thankful for God’s healing grace and support during this process. After all, I have long believed the wisdom of the passage in Scripture which says: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 New King James Version.

Now, I can’t say that I was completely without anxiety, but I did follow the advice of this passage as best as I could. And now I write from the other side of those prayers. They have been answered and I am thankful.

Perhaps, my friend, you find yourself in the hot seat of angst about something right now? If so, I commend to you the importance of the Christian faith, of prayer and praying friends, and don’t forget to keep on praying always seeking the peace that surpasses all understanding. If you need people to pray with you, find a good Bible believing church and you’ll find loving souls to stand with you in prayer. And if you are one of those great souls who have been praying for others, don’t forget to reach out to them without them seeking you. It really encourages a person. God bless you each and all!

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