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God...still Sovereign after all these years

We returned to the US on December 2, saw the retinal surgeon and cataract surgeon on December 3, and had the first surgery on December 16.  I (Jeff) had the oil removed from my eye and a "scleral buckle" placed-- a small silicone band around the white of the eye, up and behind the eyelids and eye muscles.  Yes... painful. My eye pressure was undetectable before the surgery.  After the surgery, I had some pressure but still very little vision (could only count fingers).  Three weeks later, I had cataract surgery which improved my vision to 20/200 in the right eye (my left eye is seeing 20/15!).  The images I see, however, are distorted and don't align with the left eye-- so I have double vision.

On January 29, I will have the capsule around my lens opened by a laser and the surgeons will re-evaluate my pressure and the retina.  We are awaiting a "plateau" of my vision and subsequent release from the surgeons to return to South Sudan.  

Whether the plateau will be a "mesa" of useful vision or a "broad valley" of blindness in the right eye, we don't yet know.  We do know that our God is good, He is God, and He is working out His best plan for us and for His House of Hope.  We don't need to know the big picture, and it isn't our right to know-- He is God, and we aren't.  This is the essence of truly trusting Him-- a lesson we keep thinking we have learned, but then we see that we still don't trust Him completely.  Negative news tends to emotionally set us back.  We keep repeating to each other-- "God...still Sovereign after all these years!"  Sounds funny, but in practice, don't we often act as if we think His Sovereignty had an expiration date? (or "expiry date" if you are not from the US!)

We do sense we are to return and continue work in South Sudan at His House of Hope Hospital, with or without vision in my right eye.  But whether this trial is to end as a "thorn in the flesh" (2 Cor 12:7-9) or a "your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your affliction" (Mark 5:34), we don't yet know.  If a thorn, we thank God for humbling us and teaching us that He can work through our weakness to show His power-- this is His gift to us ("My grace is sufficient for you...").  If healing happens, we will be humbled at His display of power and thank Him for restoring my sight.  Either way, we know His priority for us to know Jesus and follow Him (Mark 8:34-35), and we are grateful that He continues to draw us into deeper communication with Him.  

Truly, this is a small difficulty.  We know there are many in South Sudan that have experienced far more hardship than we have, and they often don't have access to alleviate their suffering or obtain medical care. Such was the man whose 7 year old daughter died at our hospital.  As he wept, our staff tried to console him, and he was angry.  We thought he was angry because he donated his blood, paid for the transfusion costs, and yet she died.  Then he shared that she was the last of his eight children, all of whom were now dead.  We know nothing of the suffering that many have seen.

What difficulties are you facing?  Are they driving you to abandon all to follow God or are you trying to preserve the life you know?  

"For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it." -Jesus, in Mark 8:35

Last Updated on Saturday, 24 January 2015 21:14

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