Bethel International United Methodist Church
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Something Good Can Really Come Out of It

On July 11th I had corrective surgery on my right foot that has caused me to become pretty much bedfast. It was a surgery to realign my foot. I originally thought about having it done in retirement. I couldn’t imagine slowing down enough to allow for a long healing. But an injury on a Belize mission trip in mid-February hastened that decision. I wasn’t going to be able to come out of a boot unless I had it done. Two stress fractures weren’t healing, in fact one was getting worse.

Very loving people within my church family told me in no uncertain terms to follow the doctor’s orders and that of Nurse Ratched, my lovely wife. So I decided to abide and gave it all to God. And, what should’ve been no surprise to me, good things have been coming out of it. Christ’s words have rung so true: “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor 12:9).

man cave4I’ve got my little “Man Cave” in our bedroom where my leg is continually elevated, my computer is propped up before me, and I can pray, read, study and even watch an occasional Hallmark Christmas movie in July. I have designed new sermon series that will take us through the end of the year and I will be writing cards, making phone calls, and praying with people as they come to visit. I’ve got caught up on sleep that had been sorely elusive for quite a while. Diane’s tenderness has been off-the-charts, far more than I would probably be able to do if the tables were turned.

And God’s faithfulness has once again been matchless. I’ve got two vials of pills prescribed for pain, nausea, and itching, and I basically have not had to take any of them. But it has taken complete surrender to the Lord, the doctor, and the treatment regimen.

How I revel in the cards, emails, food, movies sent, and visits from the grandkids! I am at utter peace with my walker (to get to the bathroom) and my bed. Next week I get a hard cast for 4-6 weeks, and then back into the boot before walking again on my own, God willing. And if not, or if there are setbacks along the way, that will be alright too. The views from this prone position have been pretty amazing.

I sometimes like to turn back to a poem by Wilferd Arlan Peterson called “Slow Me Down, Lord,” which is also a Hittite prayer well-known in Turkey. May you enjoy it as well.

Slow me down Lord

Ease the pounding of my heart
By the quieting of my mind
Steady my hurried pace
With a vision of the eternal reach of time.

Give me amidst the confusion of my day
The calmness of the everlasting hills
Break the tensions of my nerves and muscles
With the soothing music of the singing streams
That live in my memory.

Help me to know
The magical restoring power of sleep
Teach me the art
Of taking minute vacations
Of slowing down to look at a flower
To chat with a friend
To pat a dog
To read a few lines from a good book.

Remind me each day of the fable
Of the hare and the tortoise
That I may know that the race
Is not always to be swift
That there is more to life
Than measuring speed.

Let me look upward
Into the branches of the towering oak
And know that it grew great and strong
Because it grew slowly and well.

Slow me down Lord
And inspire me to send my roots
Deep into the soil
Of life's enduring values
That I may grow towards the stars
Of my enduring destiny.

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