Walking By Faith and Not By Sight - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

11/3/2002 - Tyler

Walking By Faith and Not By Sight

A night at the Harrison house is not that different that most others. Dad helping with studies. Mom having fun with the kids. But a first glance can be deceiving. Mom, Catherine Harrison, is blind.

"The doctor told me I would not see the face of my child as a man," recalls Catherine.

It was six years ago that Catherine learned she suffered Retinitis Pigmentosa. A disease that eventually leads to permanent blindness.

"It just kind of gut you," recalls husband Craig Harrison, "just emotionally, what do you mean...kind of an unbelief... you just ache."

An ache the Harrison's never really expected. Catherine's diagnosis came just a few months after the Harrison's had returned from Nigeria. Answering a call from God, they served almost three years as medical missionaries in the African country. Days without electricity, clean water, even food...they had no way of knowing how they were being prepared to depend upon their faith.

"I thought I was going to save all these people," recalls Catherine, "to present the Gospel and tell them about Jesus, and really what happened was God took our family, took it apart and put it back together in a way in that was useable for him.

Back together and home in American, the Harrison's would find that renewed faith as the rock they would cling to when they learned Catherine was going blind.

"All we knew to do was pray, right then and there," remembers Catherine, "My husband and I held hands and began to pray and the scripture that kept coming to my mind over and over again was you going to have to learn to walk by faith and not by sight and God promised me right then, I'll teach you to do it."

Catherine is now the teacher. Walking by Faith Not by Sight became more than a personal conviction. It is the title of her newly released Bible study she authored with her husband. A study the Harrison's believe has been God's purpose all along.

"I really didn't know what the plan was until I asked for healing," says Catherine. "And when I asked for healing and He said no I have a purpose for this and its for you to teach other people how to walk by faith and not by sight and you can't do that when you depend upon what you see. You have to depend upon me and that is what vision is."

"But because we have a hope in a God that is bigger than us and bigger than our problems and who has this ability to take what we see as horrible circumstances and makes them good, that's why He deserves our praise and our honor and our glory, because he can do that, he can take the things that would gut us...and makes it good," says Craig.

"I never once asked why me," says Catherine, "and people ask me don't you just want to ask God, why me, I was a missionary, I did all you asked me to do, why me why are you picking on me... And I never did. I considered it a privilege that he would allow me to be responsible for the plan that he had."

Catherine admits she has her good days and her bad. Its still difficult when people stare and whisper. She prays that the children that have defended and supported her so strongly will never resent a God that took her sight. But Catherine still believes, the vision she has for God's plan in her life is worth the losing the sight that grows dimmer every day.

"When I would tell me story to people," says Catherine, "and the would come to know the Lord or they would get it, they would understand that life has a purpose, it made worth it. It made it worth losing sight to get vision to see other people learn and grow from it makes it worth the price you have to pay.

**Editors Notes: The Harrison's Bible Study, Walking by Faith and Not By Sight is available in Tyler at the Discover Life Bookstore at Green Acres Baptist Church.

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