June 15th, 1998


thoughts on selfish ambition

James talks of not receiving because we ask with wrong motives. I have been struggling with this verse a lot. I want to be able to see. I want it with everything in me. I want to be able to tell people that God heals today. There is a large part of me that also thinks my life would be so much easier if I could see. I've been feeling guilty about that--it's selfish to want an easy life. I don't NEED healing like the blind beggars in the Bible. It is true that the unemployment rate is 80 percent for blind people, but I am provided for and can make it in society. The fact that it causes emotional pain beyond description doesn't matter. I can make it. I should not desire healing for the sake of improving my life.

This is not what selfishness is. Selfishness has to do with placing my needs BEFORE the needs of others, and selfish ambition has to do with giving credit to myself RATHER THAN God. It has nothing to do with wanting a better life, acknowledging my emotional or physical pain. I am not called to sacrifice my well-being. Jesus already did that. I am called to use my well-being to benefit others. Yes, being able to see would make my life easier. As my life became easier, would I concentrate more on myself or others? Would I offer to assist others in the ways that I would like to be assisted? Would I read for them, help them with transportation, champion their rights, work to make the world where I live more accessible? I don't have to deny myself the benefit of God's blessing to serve others. The issue is whether I want it only for myself or for myself and others.

Lord, I said that I would not let go until You bless me. I do not believe I have imagined the improvement I have noticed today. I am asking for a complete healing, verifiable by medical examination, that I may share the knowledge of Your power and grace with others and that You will provide relief for this emotional pain as well. If You want me to continue on with a physical disability for a time, please give me the strength I need and take this anger. I don't want to ask for Your blessing in anger. I want to ask in faith and to be at peace. I don't want to wait with the intention of accusing You of not caring about me. I want to wait with patience and trust.

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What can I learn from the woman with the hemorrhage?

There is a woman mentioned in the Bible (Mark 5 to name one place) who suffered a hemorrhage for 12 years which resisted treatment by many different doctors. I have often compared this to my eye condition. I have gotten lots of treatment with occasional improvement but mostly continued deterioration due to every complication known to be associated with this condition. What I am about to say may apply to the seeking of healing, but it applies, I think, to the seeking of many other things as well.

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