Nine months have passed since my eye surgery.
Nine months have passed since a surgeon assessed in the middle of eye surgery what he could do to improve my vision. Nine months since he spoke those magical words, “Mrs. Wingate, I think I can guarantee that your vision will be better than ever.” Yet even after nine months, I’m still having fits with my bifocals.
The improvement the surgeon promised didn’t happen instantly or even overnight. Many of you have walked that journey of recovery with me and know of my initial struggles and excited discoveries.
- I had to lay face down for a week.
- I spent a month fighting infections, elevated eye pressure, and annoying sutures that refused to dissolve.
- I waited another month for new glasses.
- I spent more months adjusting to the improvement. Half the time, I feel like I’m playing an invisible trombone, trying to find exactly how far to hold things.
The joy of discovery has been oh, so worth the inconvenience!
What’s happening now?
Life is not yet back to normal.
- Glare is still a huge issue
- Doctors have not yet fine-tuned my close range needs. Should my bifocals be set at a 15 inch range or eight inch range?
- I put in an order for two new pairs of glasses three weeks ago. Since they are so unique, they haven’t arrived yet.
- My vision has improved enough that I can see what I can’t see. I’m aware that it’s possible to read McDonald’s menus but I just can’t quite make them out.
- My head is still on perpetual swivel as I’m checking out what new part of the world I can discover. Fortunately I haven’t tripped on anything.
- I want to trade in my adult three wheeler that doesn’t work on our overly curved roads for a regular bicycle. We just haven’t been able to make it to the bike shop yet.
We ARE making progress.
Last month, we went to the renowned University of Iowa Eye Clinic where I visited with a low vision specialist. He prescribed two pairs of glasses that will meet my reading and mid-range needs and will minimize glare.
I hope the wonder never ends. When I shared with a friend that I feared the day would come when I no longer noticed new things I could see, she wisely counseled, “Just make yourself look for one new thing a day. Keep noticing.” Good advice!
My eyesight transformation is a bit like the salvation process.
At the point of salvation, Christ cleanses us of the sin that has blurred our view of God. To use my doctor’s terminology, he clears out the debris field. Scripture makes it clear that baptism is a beautiful picture of this process.
“ and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God.[a] It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” – 1 Peter 3:21 (NIV)
“When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, 5 he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.” – Titus 3:4-5 (NLT)
Transformation doesn’t happen instantly or overnight. It has taken years, no decades, to learn how to follow Jesus and love Him as much as He deserves. Some stubborn character traits and behaviors aren’t dissolving as fast as I’d like. The more I see of Jesus, the more I realize how much I don’t see.
The day Christ performed surgery on our souls was only the beginning.
We’ll spend the rest of our lives adapting to the changes salvation has brought.
- Healing from the wounds of sin takes time
- Discipleship means a process of reorientation as we learn to follow God’s ways instead of our own.
- As we grow in our relationship with God, we’ll find there is so much we don’t know about Him and how far we have yet to go.
- Some days the way to obey and trust God seems clearer than others. Obstacles get in the way, blurring my vision of my Savior just like a mismatched pair of bifocals.
And yet, we’ll feel giddy with our experience with the new life:
- The thrill of participating in a community of believers,
- Excitement over finding Bible verses that truly are relevant to our lives,
- Once we lead someone to the Lord, feeling a compulsion to do it again,
- the emotional pull of worshiping God for all He has done for us.
It would be nice to retain that enthusiasm of our eardly days of faith. Sadly, many Christians become comfortable with their new life. The memories of the difference between the old life and the new fade and life settles into a new normal. Yet it doesn’t have to be that way. As we grow in our relationship with Christ, the view of who He is and all that He has to offer becomes more clear and beautiful.
My friend’s advice also works for our relationship with Jesus . Do you still want to experience that wonder and delight you felt when you first accepted Jesus? Do you want it to get better with each day closer to Eternity?
- Be intentional in finding joy in your relationship with God.
- Look for something new everyday—a sunset, a new verse, a prayer answered, a chance to entrust even the smallest of problems into the Lord’s capable hands.
- Record it, rejoice in it, and share your discoveries with your brothers and sisters in Christ. They’ll catch your joy and find yet another reason to revel in the transformation Christ brings.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come; The old has gone, the new is here!” – 2 Corinthians 5:17
Someday, I will have perfect vision. And so will you. When the saved in Christ reach the other side of Eternity we will all see better than we have before. We’ll have all eternity to discover just how glorious, awesome, powerful, and loving our God is.