As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.
John 9 1-3

I was born free of any disability, and I stayed that way for the first 18 months of my life. I ran around all over the place, and I had this fascination with water. Then, one day, I managed to elude my sitters and make my way to the pool. No one told me I didn’t know how to swim, I quickly discovered I couldn’t. Some unknown amount of time later, my poor mother discovered my limp body in the pool. The 911 call was timestamped, and the time the paramedics resuscitated me was recorded. My heart had been stopped for over 45 minutes! Then began the 3-and-a-half-month coma the doctors promised would never end. They swore up and down I‘d be a vegetable if I survived at all. I had multiple terminal infections, and one time, the doctors pronounced me dead for all of five minutes. Some of you know the whole story because you lived it alongside my folks. Emmanuel Faith prayed for my healing, and the Lord healed me. To those who did pray for me, I want to say a massive Thank You!

I eventually noticed the Lord chose to heal my body incompletely, though. He healed me from death to a very specific point: no more, no less. In high school, I would have given anything to be healed just a little more. My body has always felt like something to contend with; it seldom felt like me. I had hoped that God would complete the healing somehow, but I had to face the reality of this being a permanent thing. I can’t tell you how much I hated being so different, I despised not being able-bodied in ways even toddlers were.

I remember just clinging to my faith at school during lunch. I became aware of my desperate state, and I began looking for victory. The Lord tended to my broken heart by delivering brothers to prop me up and listen to me. Slowly, I’ve made peace with this, and then the Lord showed me I can use the whole situation to do some fairly amazing things. The Lord freed me from big sorrows, and I came to understand that we are meant to be much more than survivors in this world. We are meant to triumph over the darkness, and with his help, we can accept and conquer the hardest things.

I didn’t really ask for this life, but God is very good, and I’m stoked to see what the future holds. We just gotta anticipate the blessings more than we fear the cost! I have found God teaches us the most epic truths in the hardest stuff so we can anticipate epic stuff when we feel the darkest and do battle with it

Jonathan Duncan

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