Friday night and Saturday were supposed to be a "spiritual retreat" for us. We went up to Evanston, IL to stay in a hotel and spend time in prayer and meditation. But Friday night and most of Saturday were really rough for me...my vision was blurry and I was in pain. It took me about 3 hours to fall asleep and on Saturday, I spent 3 - 4 hours laying down with my eyes closed to give them a rest.
I write all of this not to seek out sympathy, but to share the lessons God taught me over the last 24 hours. I was very frustrated when we arrived in Evanston... I had been looking forward to this retreat and having time to relax and renew. Instead, all I could think about was my eye and how uncomfortable I was. I was discouraged that it seemed like our spiritual retreat would be ruined for me. However, God took a bad situation and used it for good. Here are a few things I learned through this experience...
- God speaks when we are quiet and still. Most people who know me know that I don't sit still very well. Even when I have free time, I fill it with something. With my eye, I was forced to lay still for hours... I couldn't even read or study or watch TV. So Nate read scripture to me and I spent time praying, meditating (we read some of Richard Foster's Celebration of Discipline) and napping. In the end, it was very restful and spiritually rejuvenating. God used the situation to remind me what it means to actually rest. Hopefully, he won't have to use injury to teach me this lesson again in the future!
- Oh, what joy the blind man must have felt... When Jesus heals the blind man (recounted in Mark 22), Jesus told the man not to tell people about his healing experience. It must have been so difficult to keep that inside! When I was without sight for only 24 hours, I was desperate to get my eyes back to normal. 24 hours! That is nothing compared to a lifetime. I can only imagine the joy the blind man felt and how much he wanted to shout it from the mountain tops.
- Our bodies are fragile. My eye was injured in such a quick instant. And just as quickly, any of our bodies would be taken from us. How much more should we use every day to glorify God and live out the gospel! I forget this all the time and I assume that each day, I will wake up alive and healthy. Instead, I should be living with a sense of urgency, striving to use my time of earth as well as I can while I am still here.
- It's ok to depend on someone else. I've always been pretty self-sufficient and independent...but being incapacitated meant I needed help from Nate. It was really freeing to ask for help and receive it. It's probably no surprise that I act self sufficient in my relationship with God, as well as my relationships with other people. Being forced to depend on Nate reminded me that I should also function with dependence on God. Simple concept, but hard to put into practice. In life, I act like I can see clearly and make my own decision, when in actuality I truly am "blind" with sin and need God to lead me.