Thursday, April 02, 2009
Faith And Healing On A Shoestring
In this blogging world, where many of us try to understand God's plans for us, a few friends I've met here gently remind me when I've veered too far from them.

When I'm not sure what's best to do, I tend to look for places, quiet little havens that feel safe, while I should be dealing with however life is, instead of running from it. This journey began when I realized my knee needed surgery that was done two months ago, and we're not done yet.

On my last checkup, the doctor said to give it another month to heal, which means another month of unrelenting pain. I've worked hard at the therapy, a month or more of it, but it is time to take control of how it's done, and what it costs. Very soon I am switching to a more affordable plan, cutting therapy to twice a week, which will ease the high co-pay cost of it, and then begin water therapy at the local rec center, which is free for seniors.

I don't think healing is complete without doing some soul therapy. My first step in this was to join a Bible study, (to at least get me out of the house once a week), where we learn more about being "In Step with God", the title of our text by an outstanding minister, Dr. Charles F Stanley, the pastor of a Baptist church in Atlanta, Georgia.

We get more from this Bible studying than learning academics. Because our pastor leads it, we enjoy more time with him. And we get to know others in the group better. It helps me, to be more aware I'm not the only person with problems or worries, or dealing with daily pain.

Our pastor is a kind and helpful man. The first night we're there he arrives with armloads of Bibles, and sets them on our table. I immediately spot one that's just right for me, and do a trade of Bible books I'll bring from home, for it. It's a New King James version by Broadman and Holman, "The Experiencing God Study Bible", first copyright in 1982, by Thomas Nelson, Inc. It is obviously well used. Many penciled in notes, and wide margins, left and right, leave lots of room for this doodling Bible student. It's not that I don't have a Bible. But I prefer its age marks to a new one. Something about knowing another soul traveled with it before me makes me feel I'm in good company.

In our study class I am in a generational mode. Old enough to be someone's Grandma, but smart enough to learn from various ages, even the young ones, There's a comfort in knowing that fellow Christian travelers pray for us, and understand our problems and concerns, a little like Jesus probably would.

When you've spent much of your life almost glued to a time clock, and suddenly have more time than you ever conceived , although it's a welcome relief, there are times you almost don't know what to do with yourself.

One thing I did know for sure, I would not waste time on meaningless TV, whose sole purpose mostly encourages compromising values of decency, or measuring success by the proverbial almighty dollar. Why would I waste my time on such junk, when there's perfectly good books just waiting to be read, and the best of them, the Bible? Many's the time I've set out to read it, but gave up, because I couldn't seem to connect it in a way to understand the parts of it.

I went to my favorite book store, at a nearby thrift shop. Looked for something that would help. Didn't find it. Then remembered from the Bible study, that sometimes it is good to not try to make things happen, but to wait awhile. So I waited, and a few days later, checked again, and this is what I found:

"What The Bible Is All About", An easy-to-understand Survey of the Bible, by Henrietta C Mears, the Billy Graham Crusade Edition, Copyright 1953. Autographed by him.

This is the most helpful book about understanding the Bible, that I've found. Why someone donated it when they did, to the Goodwill Store I happened to shop at on that day, I leave to you to decide. I just know it's exactly what I needed when I needed it, and certainly in God's plans, since He wants us to know His Word better.

My knee still hurts most of the time. I've never taken so much medicine for pain. The job I thought I'd soon be doing may have to wait, or never be. This house I hoped to make a profit from, could become a huge loss, but my worn old Bible tells me God does not foresake those who love Him, and respect His Laws (made for our own benefit), and honestly try to do our best.

Outside my door one can sometimes see the robins searching for their daily "bread", and when I check to see how friend, far away Linds is doing with her leg, I discover she's trying to operate earth moving equipment as bright and yellow as her early flowers are. I got so excited about her driving that thing, I just about fell into her long rows of flowers, but forgot to try to find out more about her longtime leg problem. But maybe that's what we need to do, not dwell so much on what we can't do, but zero in on what is happening in others' worlds, and what we might do to make someone's better.

I flip to another part of the world where God nestled friend Mary, because school children there need her in Australia. If that's not enough to encourage my weary soul, another special blogging friend, Darlene, in Ohio, often sends cheery notes, as well as does another christian lady, Jess, in Arkansas does. Busy as she must be, working long hours to help her family get through this depression, she still takes time to encourage me. While these may not seem like huge things, when days are hard to get through, a surprise gentle word, a reminder that someone is thinking of you, grows like a frolicking balloon that makes you forget your worries or pain, like these friends obviously do.

Reminds you that our Lord's still in charge, cause they just showed part of Him to you, and that's good enough for me. Tomorrow's concerns can wait for their day. Today I'm just basking in the caring.

  posted at 4:43 PM  

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Name: Judith

Location: Colorado

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