Pastor's Blog
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September 17, 2015, 12:00 AM

BACK SURGERY CHRONICLES: Hurry Up and Wait…

If you’ve listened to me preach for a week or two or read anything I’ve written through the years, you know that one of the places God shows up for me is in the ordinary experiences of life. Whether I’m at the beach, or in the woods, or in my office talking with a friend on the journey, I see and hear God’s presence in the breath by breath moments of life.  With that in mind, God has revealed himself over the past 10 days as I’ve gone through back surgery and recovery from that procedure. Let me share some of the things the Lord has shown me through this experience, beginning with the dominant theme of my life right now: waiting…

This back surgery journey began the week before Labor Day with a visit to Dr. Raymond Sekula, who looked at some recent MRI’s of my lower back, identified the problem, and then said, “I can help you, and here’s how.” He proceeded to describe the surgical option that would eliminate my pain and restore my mobility. It seemed like the best way to go, so I said yes and surgery was scheduled. Tuesday, September 8th arrived. I “surrendered” to anesthesiologists, nurses, surgeons, pain medications, and sleep. The next day – September 9 – reports from the day before suggested surgery was a great success, and that now we simply had to wait for healing to happen. Certain parts of that healing happened pretty rapidly: release from the chronic pain I was in, standing tall again, walking normally, management of the pain related to the surgery. But healing came – and continues to arrive - much more slowly in some other areas of my life: “internal plumbing” returning to normal function (understand?), getting up and down from a chair or the bed without some real pain, and most significantly, simple energy to function – the smallest things wear me out. I’ve been assured that healing in these places will come, but they cannot be rushed. They are systems of the body that just have to heal on their own schedule – in their time. All I can do is rest and move, move and rest as Andy (physical therapist) has directed, and wait for healing to happen.

Waiting for anything to happen has always been a challenge for me. My brother says my mother and I both have the patience of a gnat. That has proven true in this journey of recovery, especially as my mind and spirit are ready to reengage life and ministry, but my body says, No Way! I must simply wait for physical strength to catch up with mental and spiritual energy. When my mind and spirit say, “Let’s go!” but my body says “Sleep!” I crown the winner when I wake up from a nap. Sleep will not be denied these days. And all I can do is wait for the healing to happen.

As my frustration builds about waiting, God has reminded me that waiting is a good thing – something He has designed. Psalm 27:13-14 (NIV) says: II remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the lord.” And the New King James Version of one of my life verses reads this way: But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31) The truth here? Waiting is not wasted time. It is, rather, trusting that in time God will act. Blessing will come, strength will be renewed, and weariness will be overcome. But God does the blessing, and the renewing, and the overcoming. My job – our job – is to wait. But waiting is not idle twiddling of our thumbs. Waiting exercises faith and chooses to trust that God will act in his time – in the right time – and the outcome will be far better than anything I or we try to create by rushing through things.

So, pray with me: “Teach me, Lord, to wait……” And as always…

Keep Lookin’ Up!
Pastor D.



Comments

09-18-2015 at 11:01 AM
Pat Mann
J. I, Packer, "Knowing God" wrote the following: "Wait on The Lord" is a constant refrain in the Psalms, and it is a necessary word, for God often keeps us waiting. He is not in such a hurry as we are, and it is not his way to give more light on the future than we need for action in the present, or to guide us more than one step at a time.
So as I agree with this, I'd say, wait, rest, reflect and may the Spirit of God continue to make known to you, his will, his word and his presence. Be blessed.
09-18-2015 at 8:18 AM
Stephanie Mills
Morning Pastor David! So true! I feel your frustration about just waiting. God gave Tracy Burkhart the verse, "Be still and know that I am God" a long time ago. I heard that loud and clear during my four weeks of no walking. How "funny" that when we had a painting party for Mary's birthday a few weeks ago, the picture was of a cross and that verse. Hmm. Even now though walking is great with a boot, I'm frustrated by not being able to do everything I want to do. Three more weeks of this boot and then a month of therapy. It will be well worth it, but the patience required is monumental. I've learned to not push too hard or you get setbacks. So, try to enjoy the small things, take it easy, and do what your doctors and body tell you to do. You are a man who rarely rests, so take this time to heal and spend time with your family. Praying for you!
09-18-2015 at 5:18 AM
Tom Young
David
While I hear what you are saying, my experience in "waiting" for the body to heal has always been a time for me to reflect and move forward with my mind. I has with GOD"S help come up with ideas change how I/ we will handle financial, family, organizational, and personal issues. I believe HE has planned for that to happen for me, and perhaps for you also. Take advantage of the opportunity, as once you are back into the swing of things, the window will have closed.
Tom Y..
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