There are times that nature moves quickly and with an intensity that man can only watch and admire. But, nature can also move slowly and with a deliberation that allows us peace and unruffled living. The swans at Bellingrath Gardens, in Alabama, provide a peaceful scene in which quiet contemplation is possible.
The swan must exert herself under the water so that she can majestically glide over the water, but she is able to do it with truly “unruffled” feathers.
How do we respond to things that upset our schedule or which create a problem for us to overcome? Do we have peace? Are we unruffled? While we might have to work at the response to the situation, do we worry and fret all the while? What about while we are at work or have family troubles, do we stress and complain or do we have peace, even in chaotic circumstances? What about healing? Do we squirm because we are not as physically able as we want to be? Are we willing to submit to His loving care and see what He has for us, even if that includes physical pain?
The past two years have been an exercise in waiting for me. I retired so that we could have time to do things like travel and visit family around the country. Nine months later, I had a left ankle break that required surgery and over 9 weeks of non-weight bearing; then there were months of physical therapy as I healed from that event. I then had meniscus repair surgery to my left knee with resulting physical therapy, and I am just now beginning therapy after having surgery for a total right knee replacement. Each of these medical situations has found me, at times, accepting and, at other times, frustrated.
My schedule was stopped cold. Now all I had to do was to heal. Wait, and yield to the caregiving provided to me … frustration and humiliation at not being able care for myself, even in fundamental ways, had to be let go so that I could appreciate the effort and care being rendered on my behalf.
As an example, I came home from the hospital on Thanksgiving Day and the next day my daughter Liz and my daughter-in-law Mandi prepared an incredible Thanksgiving Day meal for 12 people, served in our dining room, and all I had to do was to get up the steps and walk to the table. This was the first time that I had relinquished the holiday meal to others. I praise these two wonderful women for their efforts which were absolutely successful, and I am thankful for the great celebration we had together. (The day of our Thanksgiving Day meal was our wedding anniversary, so it really was a celebration!)
Then too there is the wait for the doctors to practice their skill with still more waiting for the healing to come. Multiple doctor office visits and many more physical therapy sessions, with even more to be scheduled and endured. Wait, be calm and do the therapy so that healing will be complete.
There have been times when I wanted to scream “Doesn’t God know that we had plans? Doesn’t God know that this is messing with what I thought He wanted me to do? Doesn’t God care …?”
Of course, the answer is that “Yes, God does know. In fact, He knows everything!” That is the very definition of omniscience! What I need to know is that He is sovereign and He is in control of everything. That is the definition of omnipotence! And, God does care — the cross is our confirmation of His love, mercy and grace for us.
What I need to remember is that I am not God.
This time of testing has a purpose, unknown to me, but important to God. Perhaps He has something that I am to learn about Him, about my life in Christ, about myself and the best way for me to do that is to experience this diversion that I would not have selected on my own.
In Mark 4:39 Jesus was with His disciples in a boat on the Sea of Galilee when a storm arose. His disciples were terrified and they woke him pleading that He help. Scripture says:
“And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.”
This became a teaching moment for the disciples! It should also be such for us, for me.
The Almighty God who spoke the world into existence (Genesis 1) and His Son, Jesus Christ, who could stop the storm instantly by commanding “Peace,” has promised to provide peace to us in our time of need through the third person of the trinity, the Holy Spirit.
Isaiah 26:3 instructs:
“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.”
Jesus promised that we would have divine help through the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
“These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”
We are not guaranteed a life of ease as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, but we are guaranteed eternal life with Him and His presence through the Holy Spirit in the here and now. Such peace will transcend the frenetic pace of the world and calm our hearts if we read His Word and listen to the Holy Spirit’s instruction. If we turn our eyes upon Jesus, He will help us to learn the lessons that He has ordained, and He will encourage and support us even as we go through the difficulties attendant with those lessons.
Blessings to you. May you find Peace through your relationship with the King of Peace, Jesus Christ our Lord and may His Spirit reside within you to comfort and strengthen during difficult times, even physical therapy!
Father, thank you for loving me so much that you are working in my life to transform me into the image of Jesus. Forgive me when I rebel and don’t want to go down the road you have ordained. Help me to remember that I am yours and that you are sovereign and in control of all things. Thank you Heavenly Father for your Son, my Savior and Lord, and thank you for sending the Holy Spirit to instruct, guide and comfort as we go along our way, even if it is to physical therapy.