Written by Samarpal L., Indonesia, originally in Bahasa Indonesia
It was six years ago that I lost the vision in my left eye. Today, after much struggle, I can finally see God’s purpose in it.
I still remember the date: October 31, 2011. I was cramming hard for my mid-term tests on campus with a group of friends when we were approached by some senior students. They wanted us to join them in tawuran, which is a fight typically held by high school students.
They reasoned that as their juniors, we had to honor and obey them. If we refused, they would use their position as laboratory assistants to fail our laboratory scores. As a freshman majoring in mechanical engineering, I was eager to do well for my tests. I was worried that my grades would suffer and hesitantly joined them.
There we were, hundreds of us, trading blows on the street. In the middle of the tawuran, someone threw a stone and it hit my left eye. I was so shocked by the impact that I couldn’t register what had happened. I touched my face and realized that blood was gushing out from my eye.
My friends rushed me to the closest hospital. The doctor did a small surgery on my eye and sewed the eyelid shut. He told me that there was only a small chance for a full recovery because my cornea had been torn.
I could not believe it. I kept thinking about what this would mean for my future. I had been working so hard as I have always wanted to be an engineer. But now my dreams had been dashed. Surely no organisation would hire someone like me: an engineer with one eye.
My fears turned out to be true. After graduating, I went for interview after interview and was rejected time and again. Even though I passed the psychology and expertise tests with ease, I would always fail the health test. It became a familiar refrain: my prospective employers felt unsure about my disability. They could not see how someone like me could do the job.
I was crushed. It felt as if God had forsaken me. Why did He put me through this? Slowly, I began to question God’s goodness and my relationship with Him turned sour.
I tried to pray and continue doing my devotion, but I was full of bitterness. I could not accept the situation. In the end, I gave up trying—I stopped praying and reading my Bible for about three months.
God Working in Me
But God had not given up on me. By chance—or maybe not—I read an online article that turned out to be a true wake-up call.
It said “God is waiting patiently for you to come and greet Him when you wake up in the morning and before you sleep every night. Are you really that arrogant to choose not to greet Him?”
Reading that, I really felt God speaking to me. I was so focused on my disappointment and my negative circumstances that I could not see how God had been blessing me throughout my life. I realized that even with the loss of my left eye and my supposed promising future as an engineer, He was still good to me.
My heart was broken and I cried out to God. I wanted to rebuild my personal relationship with Him. I joined a cell-group, and the members encouraged and cared for me. Even when I felt disappointed, I trained myself to pray and read my Bible regularly.
One day, when I was reading the Bible during my daily devotion, I was reminded of Job. As I read about how much he suffered and how much God took away from him, I was humbled. Although he was put through so much physical and emotional hardship, there was not one instance in which he complained or blamed God for what had happened to him.
I felt so ashamed of myself and I cried. I realized that what I had gone through was nothing compared to what Job experienced in his life. I resolved to change myself and my attitude.
Learning to Trust Him Fully
Even though I still face difficulties in my life, I’m grateful that God gives me the strength to overcome them. He reminds me not to give up through the encouragement from my cell group, reading His Word and talking to Him through prayer.
Today, I am still jobless, but I am certain that God has always been with me this whole time. Yes, it is still difficult for me to achieve my dream of being an engineer, but I believe that God has prepared everything I need in this world. I’m sure He also has prepared a place for me in Heaven, so that I can be with Him always.
Through this incident, I’ve learned that God wants me to learn to trust Him fully, and not half-heartedly. To trust Him when our life is smooth-sailing is easy, but to keep trusting Him when times get tough is much harder. Even so, that’s exactly what He wants from us—to trust Him even through the difficult times.
That’s how I try to live my life right now. Even though losing my vision in my left eye was a bitter experience, I know that there might be more hardships to come that I’ve yet to face. While some people brush it off as bad luck, I believe that everything that happens to me is planned by God because nothing can happen without God’s consent.
Hence, it is so important to me to be grateful in every step of my life. It is just as the apostle Paul said “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)