"I Know That My Redeemer Liveth"

 •  10 min. read  •  grade level: 7
The sound of many voices coming from a wine hall in one of the narrow streets of the city with which our narrative is connected, is in great contrast to the quietness around. A few marine officers are together with their friends, drinking wine and discussing various subjects. Our readers would no doubt have been shocked to hear the conversation of these young men. In their presumption and semi-intoxication they went so far as to mock at God, His Christ and His Word. They cursed and blasphemed, and were not afraid to mock at the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The most arrogant of all these men was an officer of about 25 years of age. This young man had once professed to be a Christian, and had for a little time walked according to his profession. But gradually a change had come; he had left the narrow path, and had finally gone so far as to deny the Lord who had brought him. Now he was the one who, without the least sense' of shame and fear, denounced and blasphemed the blessed name of the Lord Jesus. His resurrection he called the greatest nonsense that had ever been made up.
He had just now risen from his chair, the filled glass in his right hand, to open his mouth once more in blasphemy and mockery. Not a word had as yet come from his lips, when suddenly he put the glass down, falling with a mad exclamation back into his chair.
"Who put out the light?" he angrily asked his comrades. "Who dares to do such a thing when I intend to speak?"
"What is the matter with you?" rang the voices together. "Are you going to commence your speech by a fairytale about the eternal darkness?"
"Light! Light !" cried the officer, "I am not joking. Is it not pitch-dark? Who is mocking me?"
All jumped now to their feet, staring at their comrade.
"Could he have lost his eye-sight?" they asked each other. But, no, that could not be possible. How could he become suddenly blind? Yet thinking it to be a joke, they sat down again, and, concluding to cure him of his joking, some held a lighted candle and matches before his eyes, near enough to burn the hair of his head.
Unfortunate man! The smell of burning hair told him his call for light was in vain. Instantly the awful fact became evident to him—Your eyesight is gone forever. You are blind, blind!—dead and buried to this world which you have loved so much. Henceforth there is no happiness—nothing for you to enjoy, for all is dark. There is nothing left for you of all the glory of this world but a sad recollection of it and a shattered life.
Like mighty peals of thunder, these thoughts stormed upon him, and settled with awful heaviness upon his soul. With an unearthly cry which penetrated the very bone and marrow of his friends, the one thus judged of the Lord, broke down, falling to the floor. His friends, no longer doubting that this was terrible reality and not a mocking joke, lifted him up and carried him to the hospital.
Here the poor man awoke, after some time, to new heart-rending exclamations of terror and remorse.
The physician had little hope of his recovery, explaining the incident with the fact of a severe hemorrhage of the blood vessels of the eyes.
"The only thing that perhaps might help, would be perfect quietness and rest, inwardly and outwardly," was the encouragement from that side.
This seemed to the stricken one equal to being doomed to life-long blindness, for how could he obtain inward rest, being in a state bordering on insanity. Again and again he sought to end his life, so that it became necessary to have him constantly watched.
Not many days after the sad occurrence, the mother of the unfortunate man arrived, having been notified. She lived in a distant town. The shock which the unexpected news gave her, and the painfulness of the meeting of mother and son need no comment.
"Mother, I am lost !" exclaimed the son in a tone of deepest remorse, when he heard the voice of his mother, who in the past had admonished him so often, and in her loving way had drawn his attention to his evil ways and to the end of such a course. She bore the misfortune of her son with great calmness and resignation, for she had learned to see God's hand in all things, and she hoped with all confidence, that God's only purpose was by this sore affliction to draw her straying child out of dreadful misery to Himself.
"No, no, my son," she exclaimed, "you may yet be saved." With these words she pressed, with tears of sympathy, the head of her comfortless and despairing child to her loving heart.
The following day she took the sufferer, on whom the mother's presence had a wonderful and calming influence, out of the hospital, going traveling for a while. She sought the advice of some of the best physicians, but all declared the case to be hopeless. When every chance for his recovery had vanished, she returned to her country home. Here she would care for her son, pray for him and read the Word of God to him. Perhaps God might give grace to the unhappy man to come to himself and see his condition before God as a lost and guilty sinner. He was as yet in a terrible state. Sometimes he would lament about his fate in mad helplessness, then again deep melancholy and dejection would take possession of him.
The mother did what only a loving mother-heart can devise. Untiringly she sought to comfort him in his affliction, and ever and again would she speak of the love of the Savior who is calling the laboring and the heavy laden to Himself to give them rest. At first the sufferer resisted strongly, but this was followed by a state of indifference. All this was nothing for him, it did not concern him at all. Again at times it seemed as though a beam of light was penetrating the darkness of the heart and mind, but they were only momentarily.
Yet the mother would not cease to read and pray, and the Word of God proved its wonderful power at last here too, as it has done so many thousand times.
One evening, while the mother of the blind man was occupied with the Word by herself, her son for the first time asked her to read a little to him. Gladly she consented, and opening at the book of Job, read the 19th chapter. When coming to the words.
"I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon thee earth :" he begged her to stop. Had he not mocked and blasphemed about the resurrection and everything pertaining to it so many times? How could there be a Redeemer for him! Sadly he shook his head. Job with all his afflictions could be happy and say:
"I know that my Redeemer liveth," but he! alas! with him all was dreary and dark.
"O, mother!" he cried, "how can I believe that my Redeemer lives! That Jesus is living, I know, for He has shown me His power, but how can I be delivered from my sins? Have not I for myself closed heaven's door, how can I ever enter?"
Deep and hopeless anguish came from the voice and words of the unhappy man. But the mother lost not her confidence in God; she knew He was a God rich in mercy and of great compassion. Again she spoke to her son about the infinite love of the Savior that receives the greatest sinner and washes him clean from all his sins. The blind man listened silently; he had heard it so often in the past. It now caused him to see more and more what a great sinner he was. O what a load of sins he had piled upon his soul in blaspheming and mocking such a Savior; but it was so different today. Although he saw, in that light which reveals the secrets of the hearts, and lays bare every thought, the great load of his sins in a deeper measure than ever before; yet he realized at the same time also, the infinite love of God as revealed in Christ, and this gave him boldness to go to Jesus just as he was ; and how strange—how beyond human comprehension—that very moment when his heart was yielding to that blessed One, a deep peace took possession of him and filled his whole inmost being. With rejoicing lips he exclaimed,
"I know that my Redeemer liveth."
The good Shepherd had found His sheep, and there was rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God.
Two years have elapsed since the young officer has suddenly been stricken blind. In spite of the severity of the affliction, mother and son had received many spiritual blessings—at least, during the latter part of the trial. Hope was budding now in the hearts of the two thus blest, for did it not seem as though the blind son had at times felt something like scales drop from his eyes ? Then it seemed to him as though he could penetrate the darkness and see his mother's dear face. But it had only been for a moment. Yet, with God all things are possible. He had caused His divine light to shine into the benighted soul of the poor man, should He not be able to restore to him the light of his eyes ? So they waited and hoped with patience upon the help of the Lord.
Mother and son had spent a day of much blessing together. Although just two years had passed by since the sad occurrence, yet the recollection of it only caused their hearts to give thanks and praise to God for His grace and goodness, to use it thus for their eternal blessing. A long time they had sat together, speaking of the darkness into which sin had plunged man, but also rejoicing over the light which God had caused to shine in the believers' hearts. Unitedly they had given thanks and praise to the Lord and then retired. The following day the mother led her son into a meadow near the house, where an abundance of sweet smelling violets were blooming. The blind man enjoyed the balmy air and with deep draughts he inhaled the rich aroma pervading the atmosphere. But although he knew God as Creator of a scene telling forth His power and goodness toward man, yet now he knew Him in a nearer relationship, and again his lips opened in thanks and praise in remembrance of His rich mercies toward such a one as he was. Lifting his hands heavenward, with face upward, he exclaimed,
"It is enough, Lord, I know that my Redeemer liveth."
At the same moment a strange sensation came over him. Brightly the sunlight entered his eyes. He was blind no more. He saw again ; saw the sweet face of his dear mother, and with unspeakable joy, he fell into her arms. Their hearts overflowing with praise and thanks, mother and son knelt down amidst the sweet spring flowers to give thanks again to God who is able to work such wonders by His grace.
"The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:99The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9).
"Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matt. 11:2828Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28).