Icy rain fell on that December morning. And the gloomy day reflected my heart. I sat on my bed wondering how I’d be able to face the day.
My little boys romped in the kitchen. “Mom, he’s taking all the cereal,” one of them called out.
I took a deep breath. “Help me, Lord,” I whispered to an empty room.
Hubby was at work and I had the care of the most precious gifts—my active 3, 5 and 7-year-old sons.
With my fingertips, I felt the edge of the bed and took careful steps toward the dresser and then to the door to exit into the hallway.
The hereditary disease took 18 months to close my vision completely. My world became dark gray. But the prognosis was even darker. “Only a miracle,” the ophthalmologist had said, “could return your eyesight.”
Nostalgia of my sighted days haunted me and reality was painfully cruel. I made my way into the kitchen. “C’mon guys,” I said to three rowdy little boys who opened silverware drawers and tried to reach bowls from the cabinet.
“Everyone, sit at the table,” I said. “Be still so Mommy can get all we need for breakfast.”
I poured milk into bowls of Cheerios. And I was careful not to overflow them, a mess I had cleaned up more times than I wished.
But what I needed to clean up with more urgency was my attitude. My outlook had to change. It had to. It was Christmas. With every ounce of determination, I set off to decorate the house. I reached into storage boxes. And one by one I pulled out decorations. I ran my fingers and determined what each one was and took careful steps to place it in the proper spot.
“Are you sure I can’t help you?” My husband said.
I squeezed his arm. “Thanks, hon. Wrapping the presents was a huge help. You did enough.”
Christmas morning came and three pairs of little feet bounced around our bed.
“I want to open presents!” one of them called out.
“Me too!” his brothers echoed.
I fumbled to find my robe, slipped it on and followed their cheerful voices.
As we entered our family room, pine scent filled the air, and the joy of my little boys filled my heart.
“Okay, we have to do this in order.” I instructed. “One at a time.”
“Me first!” our youngest shouted. “Wow! This is cool!” He screamed. I glanced in his direction, but a veil of gray covered my view. Everything in me longed to see the expression of his little face.
What did he open? What made him so excited?
The more they ooh and aahed, my desire to see even a glimpse overwhelmed me.
I rose from the couch. “I’ll be right back.
With arms stretched out following the wall; I headed to my bedroom. My eyes burned as I fought tears.
Help me to cope with this, Lord.
His answer came in an odd way, a lovely and clear way. It came through my son. “Mom,” This is the best gift ever,” he screamed. “How did you know I wanted this?”
I inhaled a deep breath, wiped a tear from my cheek and gave a smile. How did I know? Of course I knew. I certainly did. I could fill their needs and comply with their desires. I didn’t need to have sight to know what was in their heart. What made them sad. What delighted them. What they feared and what comforted them. Thank you, Lord, You let me see them with my heart and care for them with my love.
That night while all slept, I gathered a few pieces of wrapping paper they had left on the couch, and sat. In the still, quiet silence of my soul, Christmas came alive for me. God had given me a new, beautiful way to look beyond my blindness and see the depth of His love.
How wrong I had been to act as if Christ had never been born. As if He didn’t perform miracles. As if He didn’t take my every tear, my daily worries, my sin and insecurities on that cross. As if the tomb wasn’t empty and the throne wasn’t full of His presence and grace.
Yet, it’s that grace that gives meaning and power to these three promises:
1. God’s Word prevails even when our world turns black. He said in Psalm 119:105 that His Word will be a lamp to our feet, and a light to our path. And with that promise He erased darkness, gloom and uncertainty.
2. Jesus’ healing comes in different forms, stages and ways. "What do you want me to do for you?" Jesus asked him. The blind man said, "Rabbi, I want to see."
Jesus brought physical sight back. He didn’t do so with me. But, in His divine wisdom, He knows what we need most. I had asked what I wanted. Yet, He gave me what I needed. I needed to see who He is, how He brings peace and how He paves the way to a rich life in spite of what we lack.
3. He promised He would provide all we need. “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33.
Seeking God doesn’t require physical vision, complete health or a life free of troubles. But instead, a heart full of devotion and obedience.
No matter how many Christmas’ sweep by, God’s reminder remains the same. Each tear we cry has a purpose. Each trying stage has a divine reason. And in His capable hands, each icy rain of adversity is transformed into the warmth and sparkle of His grace.
Although physically blind, Janet Perez Eckles has been inspiring thousands to see the best of life. She dedicates her life to serving Christ through her work as an international speaker, author and radio host.
Publication date: December 21, 2015