Thursday, May 2, 2013

LOGGING ACCIDENT (PART 2 OF 3)


(for Part 1, please scroll down to the end of this post)
 
That night I went to bed wondering what the morning would bring. I slept in the room next to our bedroom so I would not disturb Vivian. I felt that I slept as well as I could reasonably expect, but even though I was in the next room, Vivian said I made a lot of noises during the night. Despite all of the bandaging of my face, in the morning my pillow was spotted with blood. Nevertheless, I still had the feeling that I was going to heal well, although I knew that it would take some time.
When I got up in the morning, my face had begun to swell. However, I could still open my eyelids with my fingers. When I did, I was much relieved to learn that I could see. The first thing that I saw with my injured eye was the concerned, yet very beautiful face of my wife. It was a bit blurry, but it was very distinguishable and in
color.
I think Vivian took this photo two days after the accident
I look like Rocky Balboa after the fight in Rocky I

I told Vivian, “I can see you, but you look blurry. You are like a tree, but walking around.”
This was in reference to a passage of the New Testament where Jesus had healed the sight of a blind man. In that story, Jesus was in the village of Bethsaida, where some people brought a blind man to Jesus and begged him to touch the man. Jesus first spit on the man’s eyes before laying his hands on his eyes.
Jesus then asked the man, “Do you see anything?”
The man responded, “I see men, but they look like trees, except they are walking.”
Jesus then laid his hands on the man’s eyes again. When the man again opened his eyes and looked intently, his vision was completely restored and he saw everything clearly.
This man very possibly had not been blind from birth, since he first made reference in his very blurry vision of men looking like trees, which he had seen before he lost his sight. Also, when Jesus healed him completely, the word that is used for the healing is that the man’s sight was restored, that is, brought to its former state.
I have long liked this account of the healing of this blind man for the very reason that it was not an instantaneous healing. Certainly, we may say it was almost instantaneous, since it all happened very quickly. Yet, there was also a process to it. First the man was partially healed, and then healed completely.
Neither was my healing instantaneous. Of course, I would not even call it a miraculous healing in the same sense, but it was a healing nonetheless.

Another biblical story that came to my mind was that of the Apostle Paul regaining his sight. Paul was struck blind by a great light that flashed from out of the sky. This light was in connection with the appearance of Jesus to Paul in a vision, by which Paul was converted from being a persecutor of the church to a believer in Christ, and one of the church’s most articulate and active apostles.
Paul was blind for three days. His healing came about when God sent a man named Ananias, who laid his hands on Paul. In this case, we are told that “something like scales” fell from Paul’s eyes and he regained his sight (Acts 9:1-19).
In Paul’s case and perhaps also in the other man’s case, blind men who previously could see were restored in their sight. In both cases, their restoration seems to be miraculous in nature. I do not mean to compare my situation to these two men, except that their examples helped to give me confidence that God would bring my sight back when he determined the time to be right.
But there is something else about Paul’s healing that I wonder about and that I should mention. Although his sight was restored, I am not absolutely certain that he never again was affected by the results of the appearance of the bright light and his temporary blindness.
Some time later, Paul wrote of a physical ailment of some sort that plagued him for the rest of his life. We really do not know what this ailment was; only that Paul metaphorically referred to it as his “thorn in the flesh” (2 Corinthians 12:7). Of this thorn in the flesh, Paul said that he prayed to God three times that the Lord might take this ailment from him.
The answer that Paul received from the Lord was not the one that he wanted. Instead of healing him, the Lord told him this: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Although this was not the answer that Paul requested, he learned to not only be satisfied with the result, but even well contented in the response that he received from God. Paul writes, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV).
I am not certain that this disorder concerned his eyes, but it is my suspicion that it was. When Paul went to Galatia, he was detained there because of a “bodily ailment.” In fact, it was because of this very difficulty that Paul preached the gospel to these people for the very first time.
Paul does not elaborate on the nature of this ailment, only that he gave testimony of the people of Galatia that they did not despise or loath him because of his situation, but received him “as an angel of God.” He also said that the people received him so graciously that he knew that if it were possible, they would have “gouged out their own eyes” and given them to Paul (Galatians 4:13-15).
It is this statement that leads me to wonder if Paul suffered some lasting difficulties with his eyes. I do not know for certain, of course, nor do I know that if it was so, it was because of what happened to him on the road to Damascus when he was struck blind be the great light. The only thing that I do know for certain is that this bodily ailment, this thorn in the flesh, caused him to depend more heavily upon the grace of God.
As the Lord had told him, “My grace is sufficient for you.”

I will put on Part 3 of this short series (the final part) in a few days 

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