God is in the moments of our lives, the needs, the concerns and also our joys. He will care for each one who turns to him. For a couple of years, Lloyd and I have been praying almost daily that God would bring healing to my knees (osteoarthritis). We asked him to work either a miracle healing or to work through doctors and to set a time for surgery if that was his way of working. When May 4 th was finally given as a date for surgery, we felt God had chosen the timing. I began a new regimen of exercises and walking and riding the stationary bike in preparation. We went shopping for the equipment I would need: the anti-embolic stockings, the slider board for exercise, the walker, the raised toilet seat and special chair for showers and my unique cane. (This cane has been admired by doctors and physio-therapists and others. It has the broad base so the cane stands alone and it even has a little light in the handle.)
I went to the information sessions offered, the pre-op meeting and arrived at the hospital on the morning of the fourth. I was not worried: God had chosen the date and the manner of healing and I knew he was in control. I went into the operating room in peace. On the second night in the hospital while I was resting, I sensed God’s presence as though he touched me; he touched my spirit. I felt a wonderful peace and slept well. When I returned home, I tired easily and went to bed sometimes quite early (I still do). One night as I rested, I heard him say, “Be still and know that I am God.” He knows how long healing will take. He knows when I will be ready for a shopping weekend with Vicki and Dave and Lloyd and he knows when I will be ready for the mission field again
I am so thankful for God’s word which promises, “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you.” Psalm 55:22.
What are braces? There are about 20 different definitions or uses for braces in Spanish. The best one for now and this blog would be un aparato ortoprdico – an orthopedic apparatus. A brace might be a pair of birds, something to hold up a pair of pants, a support beam in a building or an orthopedic device. For a week, I have been dealing with a knee brace which is designed to give support and strength to my knee during recovery from Knee replacement surgery. While the brace provided support at the same time, it was restricting in terms of movement and uncomfortable when swelling took place.
In Acts 27:17, Paul and his shipmates put ropes around or under the boat they were in because of a fierce storm. The ropes were acting as braces clamping or holding together the ship. After three or four days, the ship ran aground and was destroyed. Although the ship was destroyed, the braces had held the ship together to the point that all aboard were saved from the storm and made it to shore as God had promised.
What do braces have to do with a missionary trip or experience? Again there are many possibilities. When the roof went on the enramada at Damajagua, columns had to be built to support or brace the roof. Secondly, a team needs to be held together and work together for the common goal of sharing God’s message of salvation. Team members need to support each other and build on the individual gifts or strengths of each member. A mission venture needs to be based on braces or supports such as the scripture and prayer and following God’s will.
This week, I have joined working on a cross stitch book mark. I love to see something develop as each stitch is made. The design has at its centre a cross and beside the cross a hearts. A vine with pink and lilac flowers winds around the cross. The scripture verse included is from Proverbs 3%: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.”
I have a fairly quiet week knowing that surgery on my knee was on the agenda for Thursday. I have read through the material, gathered the supplies I need to take to the hospital: the special stockings, a sheepskin and an inmobilizer. I have done my stretching and strengthening exercises faithfully. I am ready for the shower with special soap and my bag is packed with the loose shorts I need for therapy. Last week I attended the pre-op session and I feel at peace about the whole thing.
Why do I feel at peace? I have the assurance of prayer from many people in three countries. I have done all that I can. I realised as I worked on the book mark, that I am trusting in the Lord and I know all will go well.
“Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.” King David when confronted with his sin by Nathan cried out for mercy with these words to God. How wonderful it is that we have a God who can restore relationships and bring rejoicing out of pain.
This week I was given a date for a total knee replacement operation; I have waited a long time for that decision. While there has been and will be pain yet for a while, I look forward to restoration and renewed mobility to do God’s work. While I wait, I minister through social media and wait till I can return to the Dominican and walk pain free. Many years ago I broke an ankle that kept me off my left foot for three months. However God enabled me to go to the Dominican that summer and minister. (Only limitation no more motorcycle rides). The following poem written at that time expresses my hope and delight in God’s power to renew and heal.
intricately designed, wonderfully made
broken, splintered, shattered
A spirit once singing its joy
now dejected, deflated
defeated, Utterly crushed
A whispering refrain
wells up, “Rejoice.”
First feebly –
growing to a crescendo
“Let the bones you have crushed rejoice!”