Here I am on a beautiful Sunday afternoon sitting in the urgent care waiting room. Going to the doctor is never a fun way to spend my time. In fact it takes a lot for me to commit to making an appointment with a doctor. It typically means that I am dealing with an illness or an injury. When I was younger, I believed that doctors had magical cures. I believed that they would see me, give me their diagnosis and then write a prescription that will make it all go away (within a 24 hours). We all know those types of diagnosis rarely exist. Instead of an easy solution to our “problem”, the doctor gives a diagnosis and we return home with prescriptions and typically directions for rest.
Yes you are right, the doctor is not the distraction, the illness or injury is the distraction. Whether we go to the doctors for ourselves, our children, our loved ones and even our pets, it is an unexpected detour that interrupts our lives. Caring for illnesses or injuries of ourselves or others requires us to rearrange our lives for a period of time to help with the healing process. It typically involves rest and changing the focus of the day’s priorities. Sometimes I think the Lord uses times like this to get our attention.
It was no different for me this time. The doctor diagnosed my severe pain as an overworked knee, which has the same recuperation path as a sprain: take pain killers and stay off of the injured area! This is to rest the knee so it can heal. Before I left, he fitted me with crutches. I guess I have been very blessed in my life as I have never had crutches before. Crutches are great for keeping weight off my knee, but they are not convenient when trying to carry things or even go up and down stairs. Not to mention the extra strength that is required from the arms. It’s as if I am learning to walk all over again. Every move is carefully calculated; where to put the weight, how to turn, which foot goes first and even how to carry things is a challenge.
I have very little patience with all if this. Simple tasks morph into multi-step projects. Other tasks seem impossible and require dependence on others to accomplish. Spending my days staying seated with my foot elevated appears fruitless. I am used to taking a walk and carrying things up and down stairs to accomplish my daily goals of fitness and organization. Now I need to occupy my time sitting in one spot. When I am sick, it is easier to rest because typically I do not have the strength to do anything else. With a knee injury, this is much more difficult. My energy is high, but the pain is what reminds me that I need to heed the doctor’s advice.
We all have illnesses, injuries that we deal with from time to time. Sometimes we heal from quickly and some change our lives forever. When we are required to slow down for illness or injury, God is there to give us the strength, patience and wisdom to use the time wisely. Wisely does not necessarily mean accomplishment of required tasks. Wisely, may mean rest, rejuvenation and time to heal. As we rest, we not only renew our physical strength, but we renew our mental and emotional strength as well.
The verse that has been swimming in my head during this time is the familiar one from Isaiah. They who wait. . . What does it mean to wait upon the Lord; to seek Him during our time of need. We don’t need to allow our injury or illness to distract us from Him, it can be the very source that exposes our need for Him. The remainder of the verse is one of inspiration, strength, healing. What will happen when we wait on the Lord? We will renew our strength, we will rise up with wings as eagles, walk and not be weary, run and not faint. What strength, what hope, and what a marvelous promise our Lord gives to each of us. Try saying this verse as a prayer when you are feeling exhausted by stress, by injury, or by illness.
Lord, I am feeling discouraged by the detour of this _____________ (you name the distraction). Help me be patient with my limitations and realize the strength you desire to give to me. Help me to wait on you Lord, so I can renew my strength. Through You, I have the power to rise up with wings as an eagle, I can walk and not be weary, I can run and not faint, teach me Lord to wait. Amen.