Recently, I had one of the strangest things happen to me.  I woke up one morning and my eyesight had changed overnight from farsighted to nearsighted.  I picked up my iPHone and could see it clearly where the night before I needed my glasses to make out anything clearly.  What a strange miracle I thought!  Then I looked up and it was all foggy when I tried to see long distance.  Ouch! In church I could not see the words of the songs on the screen, but could read my Bible clearly without glasses.  The week before the reverse was true.

Such an immediate shift caused some consternation to be sure.  But three doctors’ appointments later a natural explanation was at hand.   I had been given the drug prednisone by my general doctor for a skin rash.  That drug spiked the sugar in my system enormously.  As a result, the lenses in my eyes absorbed excess water and other materials.  This caused the lenses to bulge which changed the refraction in my eyes.  Hence, I went overnight from farsighted to nearsighted.  Of course, my doctors took me off the prednisone and I was put on medicine to help my system regulate the sugar.  The retinal specialist told me that it would take about six weeks for my eyes to return to the state they were in before the change occurred.  After the six weeks were up, another miracle of sorts appeared.  My eyes were actually “better” than they were before I had the recent problem.  All of my astigmatism was gone.  The very slight offset to my farsight was gone.  My far off sight was now perfect.  Even my close up sight was slightly better.  I thank the Lord for this even though I did not enjoy the process.

Life is like that sometimes.  Difficulties can actually lead to better times.  We cannot universalize this.  But sometimes it is true.  This should give us hope when the bad times come.  God has a purpose in our lives and through a change for the better or by giving strength to endure (remember Paul’s thorn in the flesh mentioned in 2 Cor 12), he will carry us through.

As I thought about these things during the process, I was reminded of the issue of faith healers.  I have had people respond negatively to me when I preach against faith healers, most of whom I believe are charlatans.  While I believe that God heals today through prayer, I don’t believe that the spiritual gift of healing is given to anyone at the present time.  I am a cessationist relative to the sign gifts in light of my two beliefs that there are no more apostles and only apostles could pass on the gifts to others.  In my view, it is simply the way that God has designed history to go.  Some of the sign gifts will emerge again during the tribulation period to come (recall the Two Witnesses in Revelation). In the case of my eyes and the recent process I went through, I can still see God at work even though the events can be explained naturally.  However, I would not say that all events have natural explanations.  God does not need natural processes but he sometimes uses them.

My ultimate hope is the resurrection of my body if I die or its glorification apart from death, if I am alive when Jesus raptures the Church (1 Thess 4:13-18).  A belief in this future hope makes it easier to endure the major and minor ups and downs of this sometimes very unpleasant life.  There will come a time when my eyes will never shift overnight from farsighted to nearsighted but remain 20-20 forever.