I found myself at the ophthalmologist’s office for a second time this week. Doing so basically guarantees me a “mom’s afternoon out”. Normally, I embrace this with great relief, even under worrisome circumstances (hey, sometimes a girl is thankful for some time alone). If a mom like myself finds herself with a few hours to kill in a doctor’s office, I usually relax on my iPhone, read a magazine, or people watch. Last time I even brought Japanese flash cards with me. Problem is, when you’re at the eye doctor with your pupil’s dilated, you can’t see, at least up close.
So there I was, sitting in a dark room with one small recessed light shining down from the ceiling over the eye chart monitor. One small light, no glasses, no contacts, eyes dilated & burning from the eye drops….alone. Even if I wanted to rush over and stumble through my purse for my phone, it was useless, because I wouldn’t be able to see it. Against all my attempts to busy my mind, I was left helpless to embrace those long minutes, one after the other, alone with my thoughts (and some really fancy eye equipment thingy stuff).
And so I sat.
Hmm. So, this is awkward. People pay big bucks for some alone time. It’s what I daydream about. But here I was, and the thoughts began:
“What if I go blind by the time I’m 50?”
“What if the tears in my retinas return, even after they are repaired this week?”
“I don’t want to spend the rest of my life seeing a retina specialist every single year to prevent detachment and possible vision loss.”
“What if I can’t find a good retina specialist in Japan who speaks English?”
“What if I move to Japan and then I’m forced to spend the majority of my life there without eyesight?”
“What if I can’t see my children’s faces as they grow up?”
Then I realized it. I was helpless. No matter how hard I tried, what miracle foods I ate the rest of my life, no matter how much I exercised…..my eye sight will not improve over time. My natural predisposition has set me up to fail. My retinas may tear again. I may one day be faced with vision loss. And there is nothing I can do about it. Then the American spirit in me died for a minute (because hey, we can do anything, we’re pioneers). I, Kaytlin Brock, am helpless. I will need to use this as an opportunity to trust the Lord as my provider. He is my sustenance. He will give me what I need.
Then the Lord met me in that dark, isolating room. He spoke to my heart and said “your helplessness is a gift”.
The Lord knows Kaytlin Brock. He knows that without something to remind me that I need him every day…I won’t need Him every day. I can’t get that hymn out of my head “prone to wander, Lord I feel it”.
Lord, thank you that I need you! I need you every day. What a gift!
From Jesus Calling by Sarah Young (April 18th):
Peace is My continual gift to you. It flows abundantly from My throne of grace. Just as the Israelites could not store up manna for the future but had to gather it daily, so it is with My Peace. The day-by-day collecting of manna kept My people aware of their dependence on Me…if I gave you permanent Peace, independent of My Presence, you might fall into the trap of self-sufficiency.
19 But my God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)