Today’s post may be a repeat for those of you who were reading when I was posting at Testify blog. It was fresh on my mind today, as my mom had a check-up with her glaucoma surgeon yesterday. You’ll understand why when you read it.
Once you’ve met me, it doesn’t take much time to discover that I’m a perfectionist. That, in and of itself, isn’t necessarily a bad trait to have. It usually means I pay extra attention to detail, and hold myself and my work to fairly high standards. On the other hand, it typically means I don’t trust others to help me with much of anything. I am of the opinion that if I want it done right, I have to do it myself. I’m not really the “my way or the highway” type, but I usually know what way I think things ought to be done to achieve the result I’m expecting.
With that in mind, the past year has been a trying one for me. On May 3rd of 2010, my mom broke a bone in her hand and, despite weeks of physical therapy and praying for a miracle, it never really healed and she has lost much of the normal function in that hand. In August, just a few months later, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. When she first told me she had found a lump in her breast and we were waiting for biopsy results, I prayed and prayed for a miracle. She was expecting it to be cancer, but I begged God to just take it away, to let the biopsy show it was nothing more than a benign mass. He didn’t. October rolled around, and while she was in the middle of chemotherapy treatments she suffered some complications with her vision and ended up, for all intents and purposes, blind. Again, I begged and pleaded with God for a miracle. I cried and I screamed and got on my knees and just asked him to restore her sight. And again, He didn’t.
Three times in the span of a year I prayed for a miracle. I prayed harder than I have ever prayed. And in all honesty, I was angry. I had never understood how people could be angry with God until that very moment when I was on my knees begging Him to just let my mom see. After all she had already been through, didn’t she deserve that much? I couldn’t help but think of how many times Jesus had healed the blind in the Bible. I had all the faith in the world that He could heal her, but why wouldn’t He?
The problem was, I had placed my own limitations on Him. I asked Him to do the miracles, but I had my own ideas about when and how they should happen. You know, something along the lines of mom waking up one day with a fully functioning hand, no sign of cancer, and perfect vision. That’s not asking much, right? And when weeks, and then months, went by without the results I expected, I assumed His answer was a big fat, “NO.”
Then one day, I heard my mom say she had been praying for a miracle for her vision. She said she had asked for either an outright miracle, or one that would occur over time through the use of her doctors. She didn’t care which, she just had faith that He would take care of her. And in that moment, I realized how shortsighted I had been.
You see, even though Jesus healed many blind men, He didn’t always do it the same way. He healed them purely by his touch (Matthew 20:29-34), by their own faith (Mark 10:46-52), and once with his own spit (Mark 8:22-26). He even did that one in two steps! All very different methods to achieve the same result of miraculous healing.
As I type this today, my mom is cancer free, and, through the results of two different surgical procedures, she can see. It’s not perfect 20/20 vision, but she can see. None of it happened overnight, none of it happened immediately after I prayed for it, but He gave us our miracles nonetheless. Through His perfect methods and in His perfect timing.
I think we are all, at times, so blinded by our own expectations and solutions to our problems that we fail to see the miracles happening all around us. It is my prayer that we’ll all learn to trust His methods and His timing, no matter our request, and that we’ll open our eyes and our hearts to be able to truly appreciate when those miracles come in unexpected ways.