This past week was one of those weeks. For starters, the downstairs ice maker quick working and it’s been one of those appliances that has given us problems since we moved in. Andrew suggested that we not invest in fixing it and maybe even replace it with a trash compactor. It was a good idea, but still not an optimal solution since I am embarrassed to reveal how much we have already spent on repairs for this thing. In fact, Andrew pointed out that we could have bought a state of the art refrigerator for our lower level kitchen that would crank out as much ice as the stand alone unit we now have.
But that was only the beginning. Several outdoor electrical outlets quit working and the irrigation system needs a service call. It seems every time I turn around, something else is going wrong.
Then, I learned a few days ago that several people who are near and dear to me are struggling with terrible issues. Most of them are health related or financial – either for themselves or for family members close to them. And I have had more requests for prayer than I can recall in quite some time. Of course, I am pleased to pray for people – and this week people have also been praying for me and our family. It is always appreciated.
I had an appointment earlier this week to check the progress on my knee and I am pleased to report that it was cathartic to throw my brace away – actually, literally, in the doctor’s office. One of the things that I mentioned to the doctor’s assistant is that while I realize they are focused on my physical recovery, I was not prepared for the mental toll that this injury has taken on me. I know that I was kind of thinking that the surgery would mark the end of the bad stuff and the beginning of healing.
But I don’t think that I ever really heard the medical professionals, although they told me what to expect. As the weeks have past, it has become more apparent to me that being unable to be physically self sufficient really played with my mind. I have been given a little more latitude with my freedom each month and I continue to make progress, although I still can’t walk up a flight of stairs. All in good time… Patience has become my friend…
But I would be a liar if I tried to convince you that I haven’t been anxious. It has kind of crept up on me throughout the last several months and it is only now that I am really feeling the relief that comes from knowing that I really do feel that some of my independence is returning. I wouldn’t, make that couldn’t, go on a hike or spend an afternoon shopping, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
One thing that has come out of all this is that I am more sympathetic for those people who have struggles with physical limitations. This is the longest that I have ever been incapacitated and I had no idea of the mental and emotional impact that I would have to overcome. And I know that my condition was temporary. I can’t even imagine what people have to get used to who are debilitated permanently or suffer from chronic pain.
When I look at all things considered, God had me covered this whole time. He knew the struggles I would encounter, both physical and otherwise. And He has softened my heart toward others in the process. I think that is the big lesson here.
The verse for tonight is one of my favorite ones from my studies in seminary. Peter tells us, in 1 Peter 3:8, “Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.”
Those are words that all of us should hear loud and clear. Not only that, but by adhering to these commands, we can help improve the quality of life for ourselves and for others. My encouragement tonight is that God does not want us to live anxious lives – in fact, quite the opposite. My prayer is that we will all be more contemplative in addressing the issues that touch us – and that we will live in humility. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…