Today is four weeks since I have been laid up after smooshing a nerve in my back between my backpack and the surgical rod that has been in my back for 30 years. Youch! The first week, I was in bed or in the recliner 95% of the time, the second week, 75%, the third week, 50%, and now, 25% of the time. And guess what? When I get to 10% I want to stay there, hopefully not because I still have an injury, but because I have learned so much from resting and reading and thinking in this recliner in the past month, I don’t want to zoom back into my super-busy life speed. (My husband and I both think it might be a year before this pinched nerve really heals back to normal, so I may not have a choice on that.)
Let me share some things I have learned this past month, besides the fact that cats are so selfish they are elated to have their owners laid up so they can sit around and purr all day! By the way, notice that in this picture the fire is going and I am wearing my furry UGG slippers. That was a month ago in April, now it is May and in Colorado, that means an instant change from snowy winter weather to balmy summer. Spring just kind of doesn’t happen here. I rather feel like Rip Van Winkle in that I went down in winter and got up in a completely different season.
Here are the most important things God has taught me when it was just me and Him and quiet.
- I asked the Lord to show me what my purpose in life is now that I am not raising kids or writing books. I inquired of Him in the wee hours of the morning, and He very distinctly brought this verse to my mind:
But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women. It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, And don’t take yourself too seriously— take God seriously. Micah 6:8 The Message
Another version of the Bible puts it more concisely “to do justice, to love kindness, to walk humbly with your God.”
There it is! My God-given purpose in life, and I have been trying to live it out ever since that night and with God’s help, will continue.
- This past month, because of my convalescence, my thoughts went to healing and health a lot of the time.I think that because of the evangelical phonies who parade themselves as miracle-workers and healers and prosperity-givers, we as Christians have reacted with a polar response and shunned the thought of God being a healer of His people. It’s just not true. And as a result, we run to the medical profession first and foremost, and don’t even think in a serious way of asking God, the Great Physician to heal us.
And so the other thing I have been reminded of this past month is that although it is fine to go to a doctor, it is not fine to depend on the doctor. There is one Healer and one alone. And sometimes, God says no, or wait, to our prayers, but in recent times, it seems, many Christians don’t even give Him a chance by going to Him first in complete dependence as it relates to their illness.
John Piper shares an article entitled Asa’s Folly from 2 Chronicles 16. Here is an excerpt:
Look at verse 12: “In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was diseased in his feet, and his disease became severe; yet even in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but sought help from physicians.” Something tragic had happened in Asa’s life. In the 35 years of God’s blessing on his reign he had gradually (it seems) become a secular humanist 2,800 years before the term was invented.
When there is military threat, you don’t think of God, you think of money in the treasury and political alliances and armed forces. When there is a threat to your health, you don’t think of God, you think of doctors and medicine.
God doesn’t generally “zap” us into health or prosperity, rather He asks us to participate. With health, He invites us to partake of the incredible healing foods He has made, the fresh air and sunshine He has given to exercise in, and even the healing leaves of things like essential oils. With prosperity, He blesses good, hard, old-fashioned work that is done unto Him. That’s why Moses prayed in Psalm 90:17, “Let the kindness of the Lord our God be with us. Make us successful in everything we do. Yes, make us successful in everything we do.”
I hope I don’t ever forget what God has taught me on this couch. I know my purpose in life from Micah 6:8…to love the people who are right in front of my face and not be looking for any great “ministry” “out there.” And to seek humility before God continually. Also I know that not just in medical issues, but in all areas of life, God wants me to seek Him FIRST and to depend on Him ONLY, even if He may use other people or means to accomplish His blessing to me.
By the way, here is a picture taken yesterday on my very first little hike in a month. It was only about 20 minutes long and I had some aches and pains, but the bright sunshine and fragrance of the vegetation felt like a giant natural de-tox, so wonderful!