Before I continue in my story, I must tell you a fact or two about my father. At the age of 14 years old, my father was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. Throughout his life, he always took great care of himself to try and offset the physical problems that were promised to exist from this hindrance. By the time he married my mother, he was required to take an insulin shot every morning. By the time I was old enough to take piano lessons, he had lost both his eyes to blindness as a result of the disease. Years after that, his body ultimately began to break down, his kidneys and heart began to fail him, and he passed on to be with Jesus when I was a young teenager. Unaware of all he truly endured due to childish naivete, I have always felt extremely blessed that during the short part of my life that my father was alive, I happily and selfishly had him home all to myself to enjoy as my daddy and playmate... I was his little princess and we loved every second we were together.
Before his vision got worse... before his eyes had to be removed, he slowly and graciously gave up the things he had always known and taken for granted. He no longer would be able to work in his job downtown, drive a car, watch a movie, see a sunset, or experience the simple freedom to go anywhere he wished without an escort or the aid of a cane.
Although my parents were faced with a great challenge to raise their two children AND deal with all the emotional and physical matters surrounding blindness, from my perspective as a young, blondie-blonde ball of fluff... to have daddy home all the time was HEAVEN! Sure, we all had to learn quickly to keep everything in its place so that he would not trip and fall over toys. But daddy also made it fun... He would institute "blind days" where my brother and I would be blindfolded for a period of time so that we too could experience the "fun" and try and maneuver as daddy was learning to do.
So fast forward back to my piano lessons. One Thursday, on our walk to my lesson, my daddy was hanging onto me with one arm and using his cane to "feel" ahead on the sidewalk. He normally wore a cowboy hat, because earlier he had learned it was a great way to protect his face and head against any unwelcome damage in case he accidentally walked into something. The height and wide brim were perfect for such a need. As strange as it sounds, daddy's blindness was as normal to me as breathing. He and Momba had always made a point to keep my brother and myself in tune to his health issues and then work together as a family to overcome any inconvenience it may produce. So, my dad's blindness was just another "thing" that made our family unique.
Anyway, as we walked down the sidewalk, I noticed a small branch hanging from a nearby tree. Because I didn't consider my father as "handicapped" in the traditional sense, my stinker side saw an opportunity to zing him. When we reached the small branch, I stopped walking and yelled in haste, "Daddy, JUMP!"... to which my poor father without hesitation....well, jumped!!! The small branch bopped the top of his cowboy hat and I giggled. After which, he realized that I was pranking him and started to laugh as well. He then hugged and tickled my sides and we proceeded on to my piano lesson where he could enjoy the live performance of his only daughter. Later, this little story was told and retold (and even published in a few newspapers who were reporting about my father) because God had used my father to become a great speaker and witness for Christ to the blind community. God used my daddy's blindness as a means to teach others with similar disabilities how to still LIVE an abundant life in Jesus.
So, now to today... as we continue our study on God's armor, let's think about fitting our feet with the READINESS that comes from the gospel of peace. Are you ready? Are you prepared and available for service, action, and progress for the sake of God's kingdom? If God stops you in an uncertain path where you cannot see what is ahead... and if He tells you to JUMP... are you ready to JUMP without hesitation? Do you trust His leading? I promise you, God will never try to pull a fast one on you. He will never attempt to zing you. He will never be a "stinker" like I was to my good humored father. No, God always has good intentions and a plan to get you safely where you need to go so that you may best serve His glorious purpose. All you need be is willing. Despite any handicaps you may feel you have, God has a purpose that you alone were created to fulfill for the sake of His Kingdom.
As Christians, we should lace up our shoes and always have a mindset of eagerness to walk where He needs us to walk. We should be prepared for God to do a great work in us. We should be ready to do whatever He tells us, without question... always seeking His ways with an earnest mindset so that no matter what trials we may face, we will conquer them all in Jesus Name.
Ladies, remember that you are not your own. No matter how hard things may seem, if you have claimed Jesus, you belong to Him... and He can clearly see everything that is ahead of you. So, secure His TRUTH around you... clothe yourself in His RIGHTEOUS authority... and BE READY to follow His guidance at all cost! Even if you can't see ahead... trust Him and march on!
And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them. (Isaiah 42:16)
© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson
P.S. For those interested, here are some of the articles written about my wonderful Daddy...