Aren't You Listening, God?

I prayed about my eyes every night. Why wasn't God healing me?
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I got my first pair of glasses when I was 5. They weren't pretty. The frames were bulky and brown, and even my first lenses were as thick as hockey pucks. And they were heavy—they left marks on my nose and around my ears long after I took them off.

Over the years, I tried to get used to the teasing—being called "four-eyes" and "microscope face," and having kids grab my glasses right off my face and run away. Through junior-high and high school, my eyes got weaker and my glasses got stronger. My parents bought me an alarm clock with three-inch, glowing red numbers, but I still couldn't see what time it was without my glasses. Going to the beach was the worst. I had to take my glasses off before I got in the water. And every time I got out, I'd have to wander around, squinting at strangers, until one of my friends saw me and led me back to the group.

My eyesight wasn't bad—it was awful. I typically prayed for only one thing every night: that Jesus would give me new eyes.

And I believed he would. It did say in the Bible, "Ask, and it will be given to you …. For everyone who asks receives." I knew Jesus loved me, and I believed he would fix me … if I asked enough times.

Enough Faith?

By the time I started high school, my grandma was praying for my eyes every day. She even took me to her church for prayer sometimes. There, the church elders would put their hands on my head and over my eyes, and they would pray for a long time. In those prayers, someone always reminded God there were two or more gathered there, praying in agreement for my healing. Nothing ever happened. The adults would smile at me and tell me that if I had enough faith, my eyes would be healed.

So I started praying I'd have enough faith to be healed. Still, nothing happened.

Wasn't God listening to me?

Maybe poor eyesight wasn't important enough to God. I felt disappointed with him. Maybe he didn't care. Or, maybe my spiritual vision was fuzzier than my physical vision.

A Shortsighted View

I always thought of God as my daddy, someone who cared for me and wanted the very best for my life. A good father should give his kid everything, right?

But even my earthly dad didn't always grant my every wish: He had to say "no" sometimes. Every time we'd drive by a fast-food restaurant, Dad and I would start this argument:

Me (inhaling the glorious scent): "Dad, get me a burger."

Dad (considering the pound of grease contained in such a meal): "No."

Me (whining): "C'mon, Dad! I'm hungry!"

Dad (calm, but firm): "We'll eat something good as soon as we get home. You eat too much junk food."

Me (annoyed and whiny): "I do not!"

Dad (annoyed and very firm): "You had a donut for breakfast, pizza for lunch, and" (pointing at an empty bag on the floor) "an entire bag of kettle chips after school. No burger!"

I honestly was hungry. And I wanted to satisfy that hunger as soon as I saw a way to do it. But my dad knew my real need—nourishment—and saw a better way to meet it.

God knew my real need, too. I did need a repair—not on my eyes, but on my heart.

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