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A week and a half ago I had cataract and corrective surgery on one eye. As the eye heals my vision in that eye continues to improve so that my once extremely near-sighted left eye is becoming closer and closer to 20/20. Meanwhile my right eye continues to be extremely near-sighted without correction and 20/20 with correction which includes a bi-focal lens.  My glasses have become glasses as the left lens was removed following surgery.

My new “bionic” left eye should be a source of joy to me except that it wants to argue with my right eye. I have been continually evaluating each situation and deciding which eye(s) to use… Driving calls for my glasses and bionic eye, while indoor activities are more pleasant without the glasses.  Reading and using the computer are a draw considering my bi-focals are less effective than they used to be and I have been able to pull my glasses off to read anyway. I now feel cross-eyed when wearing the glasses.

Sunday morning I had a pity party as tears rolled down my cheeks during the worship service. I will not be able to have surgery on my right eye for several months for various reasons, and this could turn into a year or more, maybe never. So I have begun to feel very betrayed by my doctor who didn’t prepare me for this battle between my eyes which has become so distracting.

We have campmeetings this week at Hemingway Campground, so I have been wrestling with my anger toward my doctor as well as wrestling with depression and despair over the possibility that this disorientation may go on for some time. Meanwhile I recognize that I have been continuing to draw more and more into myself.

I feel myself coming under conviction – my attitude has not been bringing glory to God. We sing “His Grace is Sufficient for Me” and I see my hypocrisy in my complaining spirit. I am allowing my eyes to rob me of my joy in the Lord. Doesn’t God’s word tell us to give thanks in everything? (1 Thessalonians 5:18) I am resolving to praise God for my eyes, and to wear my glasses with greater resolve that my eyes will make the necessary adjustments with God’s help. I also desire to walk more closely with Jesus so that I may sing “His Grace is Sufficient for Me” without reservations, with his joy bubbling in my heart. As he promises in his word may I draw near to him so that he will draw near to me. (James 4:8)

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     1  One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, he was being carefully watched. 2 There in front of him was a man suffering from dropsy. 3 Jesus asked the Pharisees and experts in the law, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?” 4 But they remained silent. So taking hold of the man, he healed him and sent him away.

     5 Then he asked them, “If one of you has a son or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull him out?” 6 And they had nothing to say.  Luke 14:1-6 (NIV)

This was not a cordial invitation to a banquet. Jesus’ invitation was a setup in which the Pharisees hoped to catch Jesus breaking the law. Jesus knew their motives, and silenced them by asking questions they could not (or would not) answer. Jesus first asked if it was lawful to heal on the Sabbath. This was the “test,” the reason Jesus had been invited to the banquet in the first place, and Jesus simply challenged them with the question of the day. He then offered an appropriate example of “work” that every one of them would do on a Sabbath. Would they help an ox out of a ditch if it had gotten stuck in it on a Sabbath? Of course they would, but none dared admit to it. Therefore they could say nothing when Jesus healed the man with dropsy.

Has Jesus given blanket permission to disregard the observance of the Sabbath (now observed on Sunday in most Christian churches)? Not hardly. Most of our excuses for not honoring Sunday as a day of rest have to do with convenience, not emergencies. Jesus was confronting the Pharisees in their hypocrisy.

Do we have a hypocritical spirit when it comes to honoring the Sabbath or Sunday as a day of rest? Are we quick to criticize those who work on Sunday (or Saturday), yet by our own choices of what we do on Sunday (or Saturday) do we require others to work? Do we expect stores and restaurants to be open for us on the day we say we honor as a day of rest? Do we choose to clean house inside where no one can see, but criticize our neighbor who is mowing his grass?

Lord, help us to see our own motives clearly as we choose how we will honor you. Help us to not have a critical spirit when we look at others. “Create in me a clean heart, O God.” (Psalm 51:10 NIV)

Copyright © 2008 by Janice Green

Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

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