The LORD Alone Opens the Eyes of the Blind, PART 1
When I Am Weak, Then Am I Strong

Just a few weeks after my promotion to Assistant Superintendent of the Springfield, Ohio Wastewater Treatment Plant in June of 1971, we began a major contract construction project to upgrade preliminary and post secondary treatment processes. By 1973, I had written procedures for the new equipment and processes to comply with Ohio EPA regulations, and I directed process and safety training for the 24/7 continuous plant operations staff. By mid-1973 my eyesight had declined so much that I had trouble reading print even in the best lighting conditions. I had been using felt tip pens to get high contrast for my notes and draft reports as I tried to keep up with my daily tasks in supervision and management. It was becoming increasingly difficult for me to review the daily logs and laboratory data that was all hand entered by various personnel on preprinted forms. Had I not been in a management position, I would have been past the point of remaining employed due to my vision disability. The many sight-related job duties that I had in previous positions on the Operations staff and in the laboratory would have been inaccessible to me and not amenable to alternative techniques. The Lord's timing was already at work in my life, but at this point I was not acknowledging Him. The Psalms are a rich repository of emotional expression, and there was a very applicable verse for me, but I knew it not. Psalms 38:10 "My heart panteth, my strength faileth me: as for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me."

I was discouraged and depressed, and I was expecting that soon I would be forced to leave the work I enjoyed, and go onto disability retirement at the age of twenty-seven. The Plant Superintendent and the Assistant City Personnel Director (who had previously been on my Operations staff before his promotion) both encouraged me to seek rehabilitation before making a decision, because they believed I could remain on the job with assistive technology and with their full support. I reluctantly prepared to enter a state rehab program in January 1974, but did not really have confidence that I would be able to continue in my position. The only thing I knew for sure was that I did not want to be blind! Without knowing the Lord personally, I could not then take comfort in a verse that later would become very precious to me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." As I end this description of the early part of my sight loss experience and how it affected my work career, my desire is that this next verse be fulfilled. Psalms 19:14 "Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer."

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Published 7 August 2007