“Resolution One: I will live for God. Resolution Two: If no one else does, I still will.” - Jonathan Edwards -

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Update

Not to be narcissistic, but I wanted to update everyone on the eye situation... Specifically because I know that some of you are praying for me....

I go back to the doctor this week, but at this point I have fair vision in my left eye, and can sit at the computer, albeit briefly... Sometimes the progress is hard to remember when you are stuck at home, and in bed for long periods of time... However, I feel that my strength gets better everyday, and my ability to see is constantly improving...

Very soon (Bugs), I will be back at it... :-)

God Bless, and thanks for your prayers...

Ray

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Eyes

As some of you may know -- I recently experienced a retinal detachment in my eye. It has been quite an experience, and has forced me to spend some serious time with the Lord before the Passover Season.

I will get back to the feasts as soon as I have more eye strength -- but for now I wanted to thank everyone for their encouragement, and prayers and post a few notes on the situation.

The retinal detachment was complete, and it appears that it was due to my severe nearsightedness for many years. As my eye doctor said -- "Its life"... :-) However, I had an excellent surgeon perform the surgery on me, putting in place a scleral buckle to hold everything together. Improvement was dramatic initially, but now it is incremental, and interesting. For example, two days ago I saw color and was overjoyed, and today I can see writing, albeit very faintly. Everyday a small improvement occurs, sometimes the improvement is almost imperceptible.

As I have meditated on what all this means to me, and what the Lord has pointed out to me, I have found myself comparing this recovery period to our Christian walk.

First -- we are blind, much as I was several days ago. Messiah speaks of spiritual blindness in John 9:39 -- Jesus said, "For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind."

In my case it took a skilled physician to bring about sight, and again we see in Scripture that it speaks of Messiah in Luke 4 -- "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."

Then once the 'surgery' has been done -- the first thing you notice is that suddenly you have light reception -- When the Spirit regenerates you, then you have light coming into your life. For a while, the light is all that you think about, it permeates your being. But, over time we can become so used to the light that it no longer has meaning.

Now, this is where it gets interesting -- Everyday there is small, almost imperceptible changes, as I noted. If I did not remember where I had been the day before, I could get discouraged, thinking there was no progress. But I always determine where I am (from a sight perspective), and the next day I check to see if there has been change.

In our Christian lives we can be overjoyed at the initial event of light pouring into our lives, but grow discouraged as the work of the Spirit takes place in our life in many small ways that we don't notice. Without examining our lives, we have no idea as to the work going on in us. If I did not examine my eyesight everyday, I could be convinced that NOTHING is going on, and I am not getting any better, but because I have determined to examine myself, I can see the small changes that eventually make up big changes.

And, we take for granted some of the more beautiful things that go on in our lives because of the work of the Spirit. Let me give you an example -- when I first saw color a few days ago, it was incredibly vibrant! What was I looking at? A rose, a simple rose that I would have, a few weeks ago, walked right by without even taking a second look. But NOW! The color of the rose is amazing, and I am still fascinated by the colors. Yet, I know that as time goes on, the color will fade again unless I make it a point to notice the rose and enjoy its color.

The same is true in our lives -- when we first notice a wonderful change that the Spirit has wrought in our life, we are overjoyed, but over time we become jaded to that change, and forget. We MUST contemplate the great work that the Lord has done in our life, if we become jaded, then our faith becomes nothing more than a rote ritual, much like noticing flowers along a roadside, or the color of a blue sky.

And everyday, I make small improvements. In much the same way -- everyday in our Christian life we find small changes that are almost unnoticed.

Galatians 5:22 - 26: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

In my life, I remember the initial joy of light pouring into my soul. I also remember noticing changes in my relationship with my wife and others, but over time I became somewhat oblivious to the continuing work of the Spirit in my life. I became self-centered, and consumed with me. But if I look back on my life over time, I see that the Lord has been doing a work that I never realized; I had forgotten about the beauty that He had injected into my life. How the fruits of the Spirit, not perfectly, and not completely, but over a period of time, have come to blossom in my life.

I don't want to go on and on, but this period of 'blindness' had opened my eyes to many other things as I have meditated on the Word of God and spent time in prayer with our Lord.

Thanks for listening; and I would suggest that you take stock of your life; examine where the Lord has made changes in you that have brought glory to Him.