Patrick had been praying for a miracle. For years.
You see, Patrick’s life-long friend Justin had serious health challenges.
For well over 20 years, Justin had been living with a degenerative disease that was much like ALS. Shortly after the trauma of a car accident when he was 16, Justin’s body started to weaken. First it was a foot, then both legs, then he was confined to a wheelchair. As the years passed, he also lost the use of his arms and hands.
Justin was trapped in a decaying, helpless body. And Patrick prayed that God would restore the use of Justin’s arms and legs.
One day, Patrick overheard a conversation Justin was having. That interchange marked a pivotal point in Patrick’s life. Here’s how he describes what happened. (emphasis mine)
"And the gentleman asked Justin, “If you knew you could have your hands and feet back right now and be made, quote, unquote, “whole,” would you choose it?” And I’m thinking that’s a stupid question. Like, of course, right? But Justin said, “No, I would not.”
So, in that moment, I’m thinking, wait a minute. I’ve been looking at this all wrong. I’ve been fighting a fight that Justin hasn’t been fighting. I have put my stake in the ground. God, this is what has to happen, without actually understanding what was happening right around me. Because the miracle already happened. It wasn’t about having hands and feet back. It was about embracing this struggle with grace and dignity. That’s a miracle."
Patrick did get his miracle. It just didn’t look like he thought it would.
If I were asked the same question, what would I say? If I were given the opportunity to have my eyesight restored to ‘normal’, at this point, I would jump at the chance. Even though I’ve had several years of declining sight, I keep forging ahead with my own solutions—more lights, a larger computer monitor, larger text settings.
But when I hit the wall, and despite all my efforts my life dramatically changes, I will have to choose. Do I complain, live frustrated and bitter? Or do I embrace the struggle? Do I allow God’s grace to change me, knowing He is working a miracle in me far more valuable than my eyesight?
Maybe I won’t wait for that day. I need to embrace God’s grace today.
What about you? Perhaps you’ve been in deep need, desperate straits, and know your way out is totally and only in God’s hands.
What miracle do you need? In what area do you sense you need to embrace a struggle with grace and dignity?