Some have gotten used to surgeries happening regularly in their household but not me. A few weeks ago we had two of our boys in surgery in the same week. One was planned. The other was a surprise. They added to a very busy and emotionally intense season of our lives.
In the middle of the week of surgeries I was feeling stress that I knew, as I looked ahead on the calendar, would not soon be over but rather heightened. God revealed that He was doing surgery on me: cutting out some of the supports I had leaned on rather than on Him. Like one of the surgeries, He was cutting out the excess in my life that I didn't need (according to Him) because that excess was putting pressure on nerves that brought pain and eventually could bring death to parts of me.
He showed me that though I should make a time of solitude, prayer and quiet reflection, Bible reading and meditation a regular and necessary habit of my life, it was my every day life that should be living these things. Can I call on my Heavenly Father to pick me up and hold me in times when "people" become too many and too much? Can I make prayer a habitual breathing throughout my day? Can I contemplate the actions and interactions I live throughout the day presenting all of them to God, my Father, for His perspective? Can I use memorization of God's Word as a way to carry His Word in my heart, ruminating on His Word throughout the day till it becomes part of me.
The biggest question I had in my heart and mind was whether I could rest even in a season like this. As I searched Scripture, the Bible told me I could. It seemed clear to me from Hebrews that rest had to do with obedience and it was very closely tied to Sabbath. Stress was there, lack of sleep and anxiety were also there, but rest came from unexpected places and even, at times, from places that I didn't like.
God's grace is amazing. In the midst of all the chaos of the season, at the height of the New Hope Uganda homecoming, elders and management were asked to come forward in the Sunday morning (afternoon by this time) worship service. People were invited to come forward if they wished to be blessed by their leaders. The estimate of people that we asked God to bless one by one was somewhere over 400. For about 4 hours we stood and blessed and I experienced Sabbath rest in the midst of the constant flow of people.
Bestowing God's blessing on children, staff and community people was one of the greatest blessings of my life.
Joy was revealed as I looked in the eyes of those who came and saw a glimpse of the way Jesus sees them. The Great Physician had completed one of His many surgeries on me.