Wednesday, May 18, 2022

When you need comfort

In my continuing eye surgery saga, as I recently faced my second cataract procedure, my anxiety amped up. Reasons were that because of a head trauma in the area of the left eye several years ago, medical professionals had warned me the surgery might not be possible. I was already rapidly losing sight in that eye—a process that would continue if left unchecked. This in addition to the issues I faced after the first surgery escalated my concern (wrote about those here).

Early the morning of the procedure, a friend texted me these words from Psalm 146:8 “The Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous.” In reflecting on the verse, I knew the verse could refer to spiritual sight as well as physical, but in this case, I was holding on to a literal interpretation. And yes, I had let concern weigh on me, bowing me over, so good to be reminded that God lifts that from us. As to the last part of the verse, none of us are righteous on our own, but God’s word states that we have the righteousness of Christ. He loves us not because of our deeds but because we are His—because of what He has done for us in Jesus. Comforting.

A few minutes later, before I left for the surgery, I read these encouraging words in Streams in the Desert, “. . . but you need not fear when your prayers and faith pile up; for after a while they will be like a flood, and will not only sweep the answer through, but will also bring some new accompanying blessing.” This procedure had certainly been prayed over. And when I picked up the Upper Room, the writer reflected on Jesus’ words in John 16:7  about going away and sending the Holy Spirit, “Jesus assured the disciples that they would not be left alone; the Holy Spirit would be their comforter during difficult times . . . to lessen our worry and to calm our fear.”

One of the verses in John Newton’s “Amazing Grace” is “The Lord has promised good to me, his word my hope secures. He will my strength and portion be as long as life endures.” That morning, God had promised good to me and secured my hope through his word. I left strengthened for what lay ahead.

Medicine for the procedure is supposed to produce what some call twilight sleep, but it never quite works for me, and I have fairly good recall of the event. As the surgery began, I listened for any indication from the doctor that there might be a problem, but none ever came and just as he had concluded his work, a song came on in the room, one from back in the day. I listened for a moment and couldn’t believe what it was—Johnny Nash’s “I Can See Clearly Now.”

“Wow, what timing for that song. Was that played deliberately?” I asked.

The doctor and nurses laughed as they said, “No.”

But you see, I believe it was done deliberately and divinely orchestrated. I can see clearly now echoes in my heart.

This experience reinforced what God has done a gazillion other times in my life—no matter what we face, God never leaves us alone, and gives us everything we need for any difficulty. And if things had gone other than they did, God would have given me grace for that path, as well. 

If you’re looking for comfort as you face a challenge, 2 Corinthians 1:3 tells us He is the God of all comfort. And to that fact, I am willing to testify.

Beverly Varnado is the author of several small town romances from Anaiah Press including her latest, A Season for Everything. All are available at Amazon. A memoir, Faith in the Fashion District,  from Crosslink Publishing  is also available as well as her other books, Give My Love to the Chestnut Trees and Home to Currahee. She also has an Etsy Shop, Beverly Varnado Art. 

To explore the web version of One Ringing Bell, please visit bev-oneringingbell.blogspot.com

Beverly Varnado copyright 2022

 

 

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