When on December 25th, 2011 – the Christmas Day -- I got baptized at my church in the presence of God, His Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit; and I know they were happy to see my day. The world around me still did not have peace with me, but I was at total rest in Jesus, and it has been like this since then -- after hearing Jesus say, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” -- Luke 18:42. The Baptism was Him blessing me the fullness of sight to be able to see the entirety of the glory of His gospel.
This brought me home – at least, so I felt after my baptism by the Spirit of Jesus. According to the divine ordinance, I finally was at a place where I was meant to be. Praise God!
But look at how did it happen? It is not just a miracle, because countless miracles happened during this journey, but what overwhelms me the most is that God had a definite plan for me right from the beginning and I can see its footsteps all along the way. Surely, I was a participant in it, but I had no understanding or awareness of it. It was all God – His plan and His execution.
Thanks for these holy words that confirm our divine election even from before the foundation of the world:
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.
(Ephesians 1:4) – NIV
With the baptism, I felt as if I was home for good. My journey has found its destiny. I had arrived to my heavenly destination in these earthly abodes.
Today, when I think of it, I get totally overwhelmed by the fact that I was a born blind, but now I can see. Surely, I knew of gods and goddesses of my inherited religion and had knowledge of all kinds of supernatural myths of Hinduism, but had no idea of who God truly is? I did not have the sight to see His truth. Of course, I had the eyes, but I could not see. In fact, it gave a false notion of having a vision.
So when I think of it, I can see it quite clearly that I am the blind man of John chapter 9 whom the Lord Jesus gives the sight. I am the one whose heart screams with joy each day and says “…….I was blind but now I see!” -- John 9:25. Yes, I am that man! The way gospels describe this story, I see as if my reality is being unveiled in them.
Mark 8:22 says that “some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him…” How true that is! Many in my family, especially my wife and the children and several others among friends, prayed very sincerely and repeatedly pleaded to God to give me a sight to see His truth and change my heart to receive the love of Jesus. Yes, how true that is!
Surely, the prayer has a great purpose in life of a believer because it is that tool in his hand which God gives him to exercise His faith. Too bad, that most of us do not know how to apply it. Due to lack of patience, when prayers are not answered in time according to our expectations, we often quit on God and take the matter in our own hands. So we fail to receive the benefits of God’s blessing which He makes available to us through prayer.
What we do not realize that when you are blind from birth, no matter what people do and how hard they try, you are not going to be able to see. Even their mammoth efforts will fail to restore your sight because only God can do such miracle. So if the physical blindness is impossible for man to restore, can he ever do with the spiritual blindness? Can anyone make one see the truth of God without first God giving him the divine vision? This is why all such human efforts fail..
If we want one of our loved ones to receive Christ, we need to pray and persevere patiently in faith but with confidence that God will do right with him according to His will and we endure until He does. Meanwhile, we just continue loving the person bearing his unfaith with godly delight. Also, going into this beforehand we must know that becoming a Christian is only if it is in the choosing of God. So, may be it will happen, or may be not! But it is never that God did not hear our sincere prayers because He always does. However, we should never forget that for one to become a Christian is not in anyone’s hands but only in the doing of God.
The truth is that God never lets go any sincere prayer unheard or void; however, His response and the timing of response is according to His will and not ours -- which is where we lose out and quit on God and take the matter in our hand and do whatever we can do to help the situation in our own power and will. This is exactly what happened in my case. The people prayed but did not wait for my deliverance and quit on God. But God heard them all; He did not let go in vain even a single petition submitted on my behalf, and eventually, in His due time, He gave me the sight to see the truth of Christ.
God has proven to me, over and over, that when a longing heart prays, even for the first time, and keeps his trust firm in Him, God hears the plea and He begins to plan on how to deliver the best response. It is never that a prayer goes unanswered. It always touches the heart of the Father, always! So the prayers rendered for me bore their fruit – I am very sure of that – but too bad, it was too late for the ones who prayed but could not wait for God to respond, and they moved on.
Luke 18:28 says that, the man called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” That also is true, because even though I did not know Jesus or even God, but this truth cannot be ignored that when God got hold of me, I was a totally disheartened man crying out desperately for some divine intervention, frantically searching for some light in my dark world. I was screaming for help. And, it was then, that God showed up in my life. So, there is no denying of these facts as stated above.
However, the way I see is as John wrote in his gospel that, “As he (Jesus) went along, he saw a man blind from birth -- John 9:1.” And that is what I believe. Jesus saw me – a blind man from birth -- and He came for help; He came to hold my hand and save me – to give me sight so that I could see His truth. For me it was Him whose sight fell on me and it was Him who initiated this renovation in my life.
The disciples asked Jesus why the man was born blind. They were wondering about whose sins caused his blindness? Oh! How I rejoice in the answer Jesus gave: “ .. this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” (John 9:3). I ask: what more a man can wish for? What more meaningful his life could be but only if it could become a witness to the manifestation of the glory of God. I am a living witness of God’s mercy and kindness. In my crummy life, He manifested His glory and made His works shine by saving a shattered soul and restoring it in Christ.
Just the way the blind man did not recognize Jesus who has just cured his blindness, “Who is he, sir?” (John 9:36), I also did not know for years who had restored my sight, rehabilitated my soul, and renovated my spirit until Jesus Himself whispered into my heart, “I AM HE!”, and said, “You have now seen him (Jesus); in fact, he is the one speaking with you.” (John 9:37). Oh! It was Him who has been with me all along. And when the time came, He put His hands on my eyes and my eyes were opened, my sight was restored, and I saw my Savior standing right before me. (Mark 8:25).
I was born-blind and remained so until I received the sight of the Truth – the truth of Jesus – from the embodiment of the Truth himself, “I am the way and the truth and the life… -- John 14:6.” Before this, though physically I could see, but spiritually I was sightless, and remained sightlessness until I came to the knowledge and belief of why God gave His only begotten Son to die at the cross – “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life -- John 3:16.”
God wanted me to clearly understand the answer to the question: Why, God, why? Why did you send your son to this world to die at the cross? The answer, though simple and was ever before me till now, and yet was hidden from me -- which I could see only after Jesus awakened my soul to Him and gave me the spiritual sight to see His truth. And He did it not because of my good works or my self-holiness, but because of His grace and mercy. By giving me the heavenly vision He opened up my heart to the truth that He is the only power that can lift me from the gutter of sin and give me the standing before the throne of God on the Judgment Day.
After receiving the sight from the Lord to see His truth, my vision sharpened and began to see things that were invisible to me so far. What I see today overwhelms me with joy.
God brought me from India to US to reveal Jesus. I was born in a little village named Kathara in Utter Pradesh (U.P.), India, and God, in His love for me, brought me from there to put me in the hands of His son Jesus to keep me in His loving sanctuary forever even till eternity. But look at how this journey came about. There were so many sweet destinations in the way, but so were many bitter ones. But God’s mercy encompassed them all regardless of faulty walking and ill ventures.