In his fine book, Getting Through The Tough Stuff, Chuck Swindoll tells the story about an Episcopalian bishop named William Frey and his experience tutoring a blind student at the University of Colorado. The year was 1951. Frey said that every day he would spend a couple of hours reading to John.
“One day I asked him how he lost his sight. He told me of an accident that happened when he was a teenager and how, at that point, he had simply given up on life. ‘When the accident happened and I knew that I would never see again, I felt that life had ended, as far as I was concerned. I was bitter and angry with God for letting it happen, and I took my anger out on everyone around me. I felt that since I had no future, I wouldn’t lift a finger on my own behalf Let others wait on me. I shut my bedroom door and refused to come out except for meals.’
The man I knew was an eager learner and an earnest student, so I had to ask what had changed his attitude. He told me this story. ‘One day, in exasperation, my father came into MY room and started giving me a lecture. He said he was tired of my feeling sorry for myself He said that winter was coming, and it was my job to put up the storm windows. ‘You get those windows up by suppertime tonight, or else!’ he shouted, slamming the door on his way out.
‘Well,’ said John, ‘that made me so angry that I resolved to do it! Muttering and cursing to myself, I groped my way out to the garage, found the windows, a stepladder, all the necessary tools, and I went to work. They’ll be sorry when I fall off the ladder and break my neck, I thought, but little by little, groping my way around the house, I got the job done.”
Then he stopped, and his sightless eyes misted up as he told me, ‘I later discovered that at no time during the day had my father ever been more than four or five feet from my side.’”
You don’t have to be a theologian to connect these dots.
You are the blind child, frustrated and paralyzed by the hurts and heartaches of this life. God is the loving father, pushing you back into productivity. You don’t like it. You want to curl up and nurse the hurt. Bitterness and self-sorrow are your crying towel and pacifier. That’s the easy way. It’s the natural way.
God won’t allow it. And so, as a loving father chides his child into obedience, God graciously but firmly goads you back into action. You feel alone. Blind. Helpless. You aren’t. Trust me. As you grope your way through the trouble, God like that loving father, is never far from your side.
Deuteronomy 31:6 says, “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.”