Tomorrow morning, June 7, I will be undergoing surgery on my lumbar spine intended to correct some problems that have been worsening as I have aged.
Following the six hour surgery and time in recovery, at some point I will be challenged with the words,
“Get up and walk.”
I hope in that moment to hear the voice of Christ and not just the nurse. I will need Him as Peter needed Him when he began to sink beneath the waves. It will be a moment of synergy – the surgeon will have done his part, Christ will do his part, and I will have to do my part. A good friend, Dr. N. Eike, says the surgeon’s job is to remove those things which are preventing healing from taking place: a wonderful perspective.
I will not be posting any blogs for a few days as I convalesce. I have been working on a blog series which I hope to begin in a week or so on PRAYER.
It is something I will be relying on and wrestling with in the next few weeks as my activities will be curtailed for at least one month. A measure of how well I am recovering might be how soon I am able to resume posting blogs. I’ve been told for the next 30 days there will be very limited activity, so I’m not sure what to expect in the recuperation process.
Meanwhile, I ask for your prayers.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones that you have crushed rejoice.
I am hoping that my bones will be rejoicing after surgery! The Psalmist is both bold and hopeful. He boldly expresses his belief that it is God who has crushed his bones – he is not blaming God but acknowledging God’s will in the world. The Psalmist then asks in hope that God will now allow his crushed bones to rejoice. It calls to mind the Book of Job the Long-Suffering:
And Job said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return; the LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong. (Job 1:21-22)
As I prepare myself for surgery, offer up holy words from THE WISDOM OF ST ISAAC OF NINEVEH:
“Before you fall ill, search out a doctor for yourself. Before difficulties come upon you, pray; then, when the time of distress comes, you will discover prayer, and it will provide an answer for you.”
“When you are ill, say ‘Blessed are those who discover the purpose set by God in the things that God brings upon us for our advantage. God is bringing this sickness for the sake of the soul’s good health.’”
“If you believe firmly that God cares for you, then you do not need to worry about the body, nor need you be concerned about discovering ways how to conduct your life. If, however, you doubt God’s care, and want to look after yourself without God, then you are the most miserable person imaginable.”
I have lived and wanted to live in such a way as to look after myself and not to be looking for or dependent on God’s care. Now I am to submit my body and soul into His hands and trust in His care. It is a step of faith.
“Into your hands, O Lord, do I commend my spirit,
bless me, have mercy on me, and give me eternal life.”
(The above icon was done by the hand of Daryl Cochran. He gave it to me as a gift in preparation for my surgery.)