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The Big “E”

Let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving
    and sing joyfully about his glorious acts.

Psalm 107:22 (NLT)

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I love a good puzzle whether it’s the kind spread out on my game table or a good mystery or thriller. Give me a new Vince Flynn or Daniel Silva book and I’ll see you in a couple of days. I’m always fascinated by the title of a book and why it was chosen. As I read the story, I look for clues to the answer and see if I can figure it out.

The same thing happens when events or situations in my life seem to be puzzling. I want to figure them out because I like to have control. Isn’t that it really is all about? Yet the only one who is really in control is my Heavenly Father. Most of the time, He asks me to simply trust Him but sometimes, He lets me see the path we traveled to get there.

A year ago, my ophthalmologist told me that I would not be driving in five years due to the progression of macular degeneration in my eyes. That was a real blow and I shed many tears. When I mentioned it to my primary care doctor, she encouraged me to get a second opinion with a retina specialist. I left my appointment with this new doctor encouraged that the future was not as dim as I thought.

However, this last weekend, I noticed that the vision in my left eye was really bad and all the straight lines looked wavy. Not good. An emergency appointment on Monday revealed that the dry macular degeneration in my left eye had developed into wet. I could barely read the big “E” and it looked like it was floating in a fishbowl. The good news is that wet AMD can be treated.

My mother had the same eye condition and was part of a trial for the drug Lucentis about ten years ago. This medicine was injected into her eyeball and really helped her. She didn’t live much longer to enjoy the benefits of her restored vision but I always thought that she may have done that for me. And she did.

New medicines have been developed that do an even better and I had my first shot this week. My vision is slowly clearing and hopefully, will be back to normal soon.

I’ve been reading Ann Voskamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts, for our Bible study this semester. I had just read the chapter on how do we handle the hard gifts of our lives — the ones that don’t make sense or meet our expectations. We give thanks–eucharisteo–In the good times and the hard times.

As I sat in the waiting room, anticipating the shot in my eye, I prayed for peace. I remembered that singing is a way to offer thanks so I started singing,”Great is the Lord” in my head. It calmed my heart. And the shot? I never felt it. Each day I see things a bit more clearly.

So why the verse at the beginning? It mentions a sacrifice of thanksgiving.

I find that I can thank God for the good times, the victories, the answered prayers. For me, it’s not a sacrifice because I feel like giving thanks. The test of my trust in God comes when things are not going so well. Will I give God thanks then?

Yes, and amen.

 Great is the Lord,

He is holy and just

By His power we trust

In His love

Great is the Lord

He is faithful, and true

By His mercy He proves

He is love

Chorus

 Great are you Lord

And worthy of glory

Great are you Lord

And worthy of praise

Great are you Lord

I lift up my voice

I lift up my voice

Great are you Lord

Great are you Lord

 

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