Prayer For A Heavenly Vision
A heavenly vision
Since he was a teenager, Jerry Graham has been gradually becoming blind. He has a genetic eye disease with no cure. In all of this, Jerry has gained a heavenly vision.
God had a different plan
“Of course, I always hoped that my vision would get better,” Jerry tells me. “Inside, however, I sensed that God had a different plan. The thing I wanted most of all was to know that I was pleasing to Him.
On one occasion we had a prayer meeting at church. One by one people got up and asked for prayer for one thing or another. Someone said: ‘Jerry, what do you want?’ What I wanted most was to understand more about God.
I can tell you that He heard and answered that prayer!
“I was well aware that God was doing something in me through all this—I didn’t want that to stop, even though it was through much sufferingThe Bible often mentions suffering. Though this can refer to outward, physical suffering, in the New Covenant it mostly applies to the suffering that occurs when you deny your own sinful lusts and desires and put them … .”
“I often visit a nearby lake that has walking paths. That is a good time to pray. I specifically remember one day when I felt particularly down, and I remember walking and praying to God in my need. At some point I was looking up and thinking, ‘There are no problems up there in heaven.’
“Then that verse came to me in 2 Corinthians 4:17-18: ‘For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.’
“That was a liberating light for me, and it strengthened me powerfully. My circumstances didn’t change, but my heavenly vision did.”
A widened circle of friends
Today Jerry is able to do many things that other people do: he goes on walks, babysits his grandson and cooks. His white cane helps him navigate, and he has found ways to stay in contact with his friends.
After church he often finds a place to sit in the coffee bar or outside on the patio. He says, “People just come up and sit down with me.I have had some really good conversations that way, and since I couldn’t choose who that person was, it has widened my area of contact with people.
Sometimes this can get humorous: I have often discovered that the person I was talking to was the wrong person, or had since walked away. There I was, talking to the air!”
“I think about what I am gaining”
“It pays for me to think about what I am gaining—not what I am losing. I have friends everywhere, all over the world. I have thankfulness and an increasing degree of contentedness; I have people whom I care for and who care for me. I have never lacked anything I needed in this world—actually I have much more than I really need.
“I can look forward to an eternity together with the best and most amazing people who have ever lived on this earth. Do I lack anything? No. But there is suffering in this life. It’s just a question of where my ‘vision’ is.
“I might live another day, a year, or 30 years. I might get my vision back some day and maybe not. As long as I can learn of God, what difference does it make? I’m receiving the most valuable things from Him already. If I was to gain the whole world, and yet lose my own soul, what good would it do me? That would certainly be an eternal loss!”
“No temptation too great”
Despite his condition, Jerry is confident in God and in God’s Word. He tells about a special verse, 1 Corinthians 10:13, that has helped him: “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”
“This verse is a powerful spiritual weapon. God says that He will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able, but all our human feelings tell us the opposite: This is too much for me, or I won’t be able to endure this, etc. Whom should I believe? For me the answer is obvious: ‘Let God be true but every man a liar.’ Romans 3:4.
“We have to believe either God or our own feelings, and it’s obvious that God is true even when our many feelings vacillate. I think that everyone who loves the truth understands this. It is also written that we are not debtors to the flesh. All those thoughts and feelings can come, but we don’t have to be a slave to them.
“This is really a liberating word! I hope that everyone in the world can grasp it! Then Satan with all his lies will be silenced forever. That will be a happy day!”
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
A Divine Vision Changes Everything For A Teen Paralyzed In Car Crash
Life changed in an instant when Ryan Estrada crashed on the way to school. He was devastated. Then he had a divine encounter. And the paralyzed teen’s heavenly vision transformed his entire outlook!
Ryan Estrada of Richmond, Virginia was driving to school one rainy morning when he lost control of his car when swerving to avoid a cyclist.
“I remember swerving past the biker and there was another car coming in the lane so I had to swerve back into my lane,” he recalls. “I remember losing control of the wheel, hitting the mailbox and then hitting the tree.”
As Ryan’s body hung out the window, lifeless, he immediately knew something was wrong. He couldn’t feel anything. In fact, the two “angels” who came to Ryan’s rescue by calling 911 thought he was already dead.
“Vehicle in the ditch with someone hanging the vehicle not moving. Complainant thought they were deceased,” reported emergency communications from the morning of the accident.
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As it turns out, Ryan couldn’t feel anything because he suffered a broken vertebrae in his neck and a severe spinal cord injury. This led to paralysis of his hands and legs. For his mom, it was heartbreaking.
“It was easily the worst day of my life to see him in the emergency room so helpless and crying,” Caroline Estrada, Ryan's mother, said.
But it completely devastated Ryan. That is until he had a divine encounter!
Paralyzed Teen’s Heavenly Vision
As Ryan prepared to head into surgery, he was feeling pretty low.
“I was about to go into surgery and the whole day I was sad, crying, bummed,” he said.
But then something incredible happened. And the paralyzed teen’s Heavenly vision changed everything!
“I remember my uncle, I saw him in heaven,” Ryan explained. “And he told me that I'm going to get through the surgery and everything is going to be alright, so I knew from that moment, I was smiling. I looked over at my mom and told her everything was going to be OK — You know uncle Jack, he's got me.”
Pictured: Ryan and his Grandpa Credit: WTVR
Ryan also saw a grandfather he’s only ever seen in family photos. The two never even met on earth. Yet, there he was in the paralyzed teen’s Heavenly vision!
“I think it means Heaven is real and God's real and that I'm here for a reason. I didn't die for a reason,” he said.
RELATED: Boy Dies, Comes Back From Heaven After Seeing Siblings He's Never Met
And while the accident has cost him so much, this divine encounter helped Ryan gain the most important thing – faith.
“I think it happened to regain my faith. I wasn't really a religious person the last year going through depression. But ever since the accident every day [I’m] praying.”
Change Of Heart Despite Circumstances
Since his divine encounter, Ryan’s outlook has completely changed. It’s the kind of change that comes from finding your true Lord and Savior.
“As desolate as it may seem he's actually the happiest Ryan I have seen in a couple of years,” said Caroline.
While doctors are happy to see Ryan hopeful, they also caution him to prepare for the worst. But the transformed teen now faces his paralysis with complete optimism. He trusts God to see him through and believes he will be walking again in six months.
He also believes God has a bigger purpose in all of this.
“We don't know that reason yet,” his mom said. “After seeing pictures of his car there is a reason Ryan is here he is going to make good on his promise to touch lives in some way.”
And as Ryan works on his recovery, support has flooded in from as far as Ireland after friends set up a GoFundMe page. The donations will help the Estrada family prepare for Ryan’s homecoming, as he’ll need specialized equipment a motorized wheelchair, a wheelchair accessible van, a chair lift for the stairs, and so on.
But thanks to his faith in God, Ryan faces all of these challenges with optimism. So, please join us in praying for his recovery. Ryan, we look forward to seeing what else God has in store for him!
“I honestly don't know why I am here, but I can't wait to find out,” said Ryan.
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