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Posts Tagged ‘back operation’

I have discovered I am quite an independent person. I don’t like to admit even to myself that I need help. And I certainly don’t like asking for it. To me, it seems I am inconveniencing others or treating them as less than equal when I burden them with this or that mundane request. Yet it’s something I have had to do in recent times.

I came home from hospital last week, after having a back operation. While there, I felt very blessed by the gracious way the doctors and nurses attended to my every need. I recall with thankfulness how my lovely neurosurgeon came to explain what he was about to do just prior to my operation. I remember the patience of the nurse who tried to make me comfortable that first difficult night after the operation. I am so grateful for the one who helped me take my first shower and for the kind physio who walked slowly alongside me as I took my first steps outside my room. And all the while, I was learning a new skill—that of humbly receiving help.

Here at home, I am still learning. I now realise the folly of trying to get up from our too low lounge without calling for help from my husband. And I know I can’t change that dressing in the middle of my back myself. I am getting used to giving simple cooking instructions without feeling I should just get up and do it myself, rather than allow my husband to stumble through unknown culinary territory! I have had to learn to receive wonderful casseroles from a loving daughter who is so tired herself as she prepares for the birth of their second child. And with grace, I accepted that lovely bag of goodies left on our doorstep by a friend who has so much illness to deal with in her own family.

Already I can see something of what God is teaching me. I am beginning to allow others to do their job and not intervene. I am beginning to learn to show gratitude for their servant heart and to value who they are more fully. I am beginning to receive that love others want to show me as they minister to my needs. And I am beginning to learn to ask for help more readily, knowing this does not make me any less of a person and realising I can in fact bless the one who helps.

And finally it is beginning to dawn on me that I am learning something about my relationship with God through all this as well. It is God’s heart to care for me—and that heart is so full of perfect love, compassion, patience and healing. As my loving Father, God sees my every need and delights to use all sorts of means to provide for me. It is a huge lesson all over again in receiving from God’s gracious hand. And I am learning to rest in the midst of it and open my heart to all that wonderful healing mercy that’s coming my way right now.

How about you? Is it time for you to learn to receive too?

Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him! Isaiah 30:18

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I’m not so good at waiting, I’ve discovered. How about you? I want this or that now. And I’m definitely not so good at living in the moment—at noticing what I have today and appreciating this particular point in time rather than feeling frustrated as I look ahead to a time that is not yet here.

I’ve discovered this with a vengeance this past week. I have been unable to do many things I normally do because of a severe lower back problem. Instead, I have had to lie down most of the time and simply wait for my specialist appointment and that operation planned for this week. Now I imagine this period of my life wouldn’t have seemed so long, except that I am in some pain. Anyway, I should be used to waiting. That is part and parcel of a writer’s life—waiting for feedback on a manuscript, waiting to find a publisher, waiting until that book is finally released. But I must confess I have become a tad impatient at times, even with those around me, sad to say, who have only been trying to help.

Then one day, I read a sobering account in Luke 19:41-44 about something that happened as Jesus was heading for Jerusalem, knowing he would die there:

As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and your children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”

What sad, sad words! How clearly they show the depth of Jesus’ love for the people and for us. But it was his few, final, desolate words that spoke to me most. To me, they encapsulate Jesus’ deep grief that the people had missed their opportunity to know God. But they also spoke to me personally on a different level. In my frustration at having to wait this past little while and not be doing the things I want to do, was I missing something God wanted to teach me? Was I too not recognising the time of God’s coming to me?

I stopped then and reflected. I prayed and acknowledged God’s presence with me and in me. I stepped back into God, as it were, began to see things from a far different perspective—and soon realised how blessed I am. I have loving, caring, prayerful family and friends around me. I have a specialist I can access easily and a hospital I can go to. I have pain medication and a comfortable bed. But beyond all that, there are things God wants to teach me in this time—and I am so humbled. I don’t want to miss this moment in my life that may never come again. So right now, I am all eyes and ears to see and hear those reminders and revelations from our loving God.

How about you? Are you all eyes and ears too?

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