The Road I Travel — Pat Bester

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Pat Bester, Presentation at First Baptist Church, March 17, 2013

It was so good this morning to hear John saying, which to me is so true, “Whatever we go through we don’t go through alone; the Lord goes through it with us.” And I was very, very aware of that last year – that I was never alone.

A year ago I had to have surgery, and the treatment that I had afterwards, unfortunately damaged both of my eyes, which isn’t usual at all. And I was hospitalized for six weeks and given treatment. In the beginning it was every hour, day and night, that I had to have drops or ointment in my eyes. And then I had to have surgery on my right eye, that was the most damaged, to prevent any further damage to that eye.

So I couldn’t see through that eye, except for some movement and light and shapes, faintly. The left eye had an ulcer in it and to prevent that getting further irritated, my left eyelid was sewn closed and just a very small corner left open so that I could see through it. And it was difficult. The treatment was painful and uncomfortable. And eventually it was every two hours that I had, then three hours, and eventually it was three times a week.

During all this time I just felt that I was never alone.

I could feel the Lord’s presence with me. And at times when I really felt weak and low, I suddenly could feel just being lifted up, almost as if I was above the situation. And I know it was all the prayers that were said for me. I was so conscious of that. And I had heard people say that they were lifted up by prayer, but I experienced that. And it was wonderful to know that the prayers continued all the time. It wasn’t just for a time and then disappeared.

And all the visits, and all the cards, and the kindness that were shown to me by the doctors, the surgeons, the staff at the hospital, it was just a wonderful experience. This was all new to me because I had never been in hospital or had any surgery or treatment. And I learned a lot through this.

Then I came home and continued going to the doctor and my eye surgeon once a month, and nothing improved – slightly, slightly. But when the left eye was opened up I almost saw less than I did when it was stitched up. And it was explained to me that because it was a wider thing, so it wasn’t so concentrated. And it was difficult going every month and being told there’s no improvement. It never got worse, and I thank the Lord for that, but it just didn’t improve.

And then, about three, four months ago, we had the healing service here. And I came forward, and Martha came and sat with me, put her arm around me. And we were prayed over and anointed with oil on our heads. And James prayed there with me and anointed my head. And quite a few of us came forward.

And then when the time came to open my eyes after we prayed, this feeling of “I may be able to see better now,” – but it didn’t. It still looked the same.

And then Mark said these words that had such an impact on me. And he said, “Healing doesn’t necessarily have to be instant. It can take time; it can be through treatment; but it is nevertheless still healing.” And that gave me such a good feeling.

And I just felt I must now pray and thank the Lord for the healing.

I must accept that – that he has healed my eyes. Healing will take place, and I must thank him for this. And in fact I couldn’t read anything unless I had magnifying glasses which I had got. And that strained my eyes to read. So I would take my little daily reading and read that portion through the magnifying glass, and then my eyes were tired.

And this particular morning I sat down, quite a while after the healing service, and I picked up my book, and the magnifying glass was lying next to me. And as I picked up the book I thought, I can see something. And I picked it up higher, and I could see the words – not clearly, but nevertheless I could read that whole portion without a magnifying glass.

Well my heart just jumped for joy. And I thought, there’s healing. There’s healing.

Then the next day I thought, well maybe that was just really a one-day experience. And the next day, and the day after that, I could still read that. And as I say, not clearly, but nevertheless, enough to be able to read.

And do you know what that reading was that first morning that I could read without the glasses? It was on faith. And the heading was: “Faith is being sure of what we hope for, and being certain of what we do not see.” And I thought, yes, I can’t see the ending, but I believe, and I have faith that the Lord is going to completely heal me.

And I thought of the Israelites when they came to the Red Sea and the Jordan, they had to go forward in faith. They had to put their feet in the water, and then the Lord opened up the path for them to go through.

And I began thanking and praising the Lord for the healing that I believed was going to continue taking place.

Then I had to go and see my eye specialist again; in fact I couldn’t wait to go and see him to tell him the good news. And now I was certain that there would be an improvement in my eyes. And before I saw him the assistant tested my eyes, and the right eye that I’d never been able to see much through at all, except movement and slight, slight images, when she closed my left eye, and I looked at the chart, and I shouted “I can see the big E.” And I had never been able to see the chart, even, never mind reading anything on it! And I could read the next two lines.

I was so excited I could hardly speak. I don’t know who was more excited – her or me!

And then when I went in to my eye specialist, I said to him, “Did you hear the good news?” And he said yes. And he had a smile on his face. Because I felt so sorry for him having to tell me each time, there’s no improvement. And there was a slight improvement in my left eye as well. I could read another line.

And I was so happy about that, and I just know the Lord helped me and gave me the courage when I met people, to tell them that I believe that it is the Lord who touched my eyes and healed my eyes. And I am convinced that this healing is going to continue.

One of the little verses that was really precious to me while I was ill . . . I couldn’t read my Bible or anything, and the Lord brought verses to mind that I had learned some as a child, and some many years ago. And all these precious verses came to me. And it was such a comfort, and gave me such courage.

“Rest in the Lord; wait patiently for him; fret not yourself.”

And one of these was “Rest in the Lord; wait patiently for him; fret not yourself.” And I just knew that I must wait on the Lord, and in his time he’s going to restore my eyes fully.

Thank you.