I confess. Recently, I had an “I wish I could see better” day.
Have you ever had one of those days? Tired of fighting the frustrations of your particular weakness? Wishing you didn’t have to struggle in silence as the world rolls merrily along, oblivious that you are having difficulty keeping up with the rest of them? Not liking the fact that sometimes you do have to sit out from what everyone else is enjoying, not able to go where others are going, or having to put in twice the effort to be half as good?
For all the talk of the strengths “different-abled” people have, physical weakness is reality. For the most part, our heads and hearts are accepting, even thriving, as we rest in the knowledge that God has us covered and we do have something to contribute to our fast-paced world. A double dose of reality is that there are days when we just don’t like it.
My personal struggle is limitted eyesight. For my grandpa, it was missing out on conversations and so much more because he was hard of hearing. For my mom, it’s memory loss and for so many others, it’s swimming upstream against a constant flow of unrelenting pain. And then there are several dear friends who are having to do life alone without their mates. Two is better than one, three are stronger than one, so being one is twice as hard and you feel three times as weak.
My trigger this particular day was email. Reading through email on a daily basis is eye fatiguing even with the best of programs. Imagine my frustration when I downloaded the app for Google mail for my IPAD only to find it was in micro-fine and faded print. Even an enlarged version left my eyes aching for several minutes afterwards. What most people don’t understand is that magnification solves only part of print problems for the visually impaired. High contrast and thicker fonts help so much. So I whined to the wall, why do my eyes have to hurt when reading email on a 7-inch tablet and everyone else breezes through messages on their handheld Smartphones?
I often joke about my limited sight on Facebook. This day, I decided to be transparent. “I’m having an ‘I wish I could see better’ day. But it will be all right. I’ll soon get back to my ‘I can do all things through Christ’ frame of mind soon.”
Finally I grumbled to the One I should have gone to first. “Lord, I wish I could see better.”
I believe the Holy Spirit directed my next thought: “I wish you could see better too.”
Okay, hold it. Where did that come from? And is there any Scripture to back that up? That’s my modus operandi to know whether I’m hearing God accurately.
A few moments before in the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead, Martha had gone through this same struggle in front of her Lord. “If you had been here, Jesus, my brother would not have died.” Emotion. Wishing life were different, better. This is hard, Jesus. Then she jumped to the right answer, the expected answer. “I know God will give you whatever you ask.”
Jesus pressed her. “Your brother will rise again.”
More right answers. “I know he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Yeah and I know I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. But Jesus, it doesn’t help the hurt now.
Jesus replied, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live even though he dies. And whoever lives and believes in Me will never die (John 11:25,26).”
Then he went to the tomb and wept. Jesus wept because death stinks. He wept because people he loved had to suffer hurt and loss and dying. They had to suffer those things because sin messed up the world and it would take a high cost to make it all right. Even though Lazarus would soon come back to life, he still would eventually have to die again. Jesus was the final solution – His death and resurrection were just weeks away – but this was the here and now and it wasn’t pretty.
Let’s turn that last sentence around. This is the here and now, it’s not pretty, but Jesus is the solution. He’s got a plan, it’s a great one and someday, it will all be better. In the meantime, He who can and will put all things right, walks this journey with me.
“Oh yes He cares, I know He cares
His heart is touched with my grief
When the days are weary, the long nights dreary
I know my Savior cares.” – Frank E. Graeff
That’s good enough for me.