My vision has been very poor for the last couple of days, like it was before the surgery. I said that I could accept blindness now if that was what was in store for me. I don't know how to explain the odd thoughts which were in my mind this morning. I probably should have written them down. It was almost as though I could hear voices saying things to me. The idea was that my surgery had been a failure, and that since I said I could accept blindness then I have no right to ask God to heal me. Had I done something that would interfere with healing? Have I been overactive? I felt guilty for those possibilities as well.
Then, out of nowhere, the thought of suicide came. What on earth? I have no desire to commit suicide! How dare I think such a thing? I have a God to live for and lots of things still to do! But the image of being able to rest my body from the soreness in the eye and the plague of opening it to an unseen world nagged at me. I reasoned that if hell was worse than the suffering of my soul over this vision loss which may be temporary, then I would rather not go there. But the voice-like thought said, "You won't go to hell if you commit suicide. You're a Christian."
But if I am a Christian there is no need to commit suicide. Besides having tasks to finish and people to love, I couldn't commit suicide honestly. It would have to be done in a way which would appear natural. First of all, I have no means to do this. Second of all, my last act would be a lie. I couldn't do it.
I am still struggling to understand why such a thought would even enter my mind. I was not feeling hopeless. I was frustrated, certainly, but far from hopeless. The only thing I could think of is what Christians call spiritual warfare.
People of most faiths perceive the world to be hanging in a balance between good and evil. The task for us who live in the world is to use our faith to both accomplish good and obtain the reward of blessing. For the Christian, the ultimate blessing is eternal life in a heaven where there is no imperfection. This reward is obtained through faith in Jesus Christ, evidenced by a life which displays certain characteristics. When one believes in Jesus, certain things will follow. It is not a matter of our trying hard enough or doing the right things to show that we believe in Him. It is a matter of our belief being such a part of us that it affects the things we do.
Spiritual warfare, then, is the attempt by the enemy of God to interfere with our belief in and commitment to Him through Jesus Christ. Not all Christians are willing to discuss the problem of spiritual warfare openly. Like most concepts, it can be and often is misused. There are people who attribute every sickness or difficulty in life to spiritual warfare. This is not the case with me. What I consider spiritual warfare is the intrusive thoughts of suicide and the guilt I feel in asking God for healing. I ask my earthly friends and relatives for many things--and I don't always get what I want. I never assume this to mean that my friends and relatives do not love me. Why should I assume this of God? No, it is not true that I may not ask for the blessing of continued healing just because I am willing to accept whatever the answer must be.
What, then, does my prayer accomplish? It doesn't change God. Only God makes up His mind. He may hear them and act in response, but ultimately what He does is His decision. My prayers are simply like the cry of a child in the presence of a Father.
Crying is cleansing. Often when a person is feeling depressed, crying will lead to a better mood. Even if nothing is done about the cause of the depression, feelings have been expressed. Prayer should accomplish the same thing. It should bring about a feeling of peace in knowing that feelings have been expressed and that regardless of the outcome they were heard.