2 Chronicles 25:1-28; Romans 12:9-21; Psalms 23:1-6; Proverbs 10:13-14
Psalms: “The Lord is my shepherd; I have what I need. He lets me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside quiet waters. He renews my life; he leads me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even when I go through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for you are with me; your rod and your staff — they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Only goodness and faithful love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord as long as I live.” (Psalms 23:1-6 CSB)
This past Sunday, as I was walking into church with guitar in hand to rehearse songs for that morning’s worship service, I slipped on some ice in the parking lot and broke my ankle. In that brief moment, all the plans that I had for that day and for many days to come were shut down. Yesterday, I had an appointment with an orthopedist and learned that my treatment and recovery period is going to last for eight weeks or more. That wasn’t the news that I wanted to hear, but it is the truth nonetheless.
Over the past few days, I have been filled with a sense of thankfulness. That might seem a little odd, but it’s true. Through this entire ordeal so far, the grace of God has been so present and so full. When I fell and broke my ankle, I was not in pain and a sense of calm washed over me (if you had seen my ankle, you would know what a miracle that was). Someone was immediately there to carry me inside and get me help. One of the worship team member’s husband offered to take me to the ER, and graciously stayed with me for a few hours until my wife arrived. Worship rehearsal went on as scheduled, and someone quickly jumped in and led a powerful time of worship in my place. Throughout this entire time, I haven’t been in any significant pain, even with the nurses in the ER set my ankle and wrapped it in a splint.
Another thing that I feel from time to time is fear and trepidation. I tend to be a person that is not given over to extremes, so I tend to minimize challenges and think them to be not that bad. But the past few days haven’t been easy or enjoyable. I am having to relearn how to do so many things now that I am limited to one good leg and two crutches… and maneuvering with one leg is really tiring. I have never had major surgery before and don’t really know what to expect. The thought of being in a splint and non-weight bearing cast for the next eight weeks is really discouraging if I think about it too much. Will my ankle fully heal? Will I have the strength in my ankle to do all the things that I enjoy when this is all over with? Is the surgery and recovery process going to cause pain that I haven’t had to experience yet? These are all questions that pop in my mind from time to time.
As I read through Psalm 23 this morning, it ministered to me and encouraged me at a level it never has before. I had to stop reading a few times as tears came to my eyes and the Holy Spirit comforted me and reassured me with these words of truth. The Lord IS my shepherd, and because of that, He will see to it that I will have everything I need. As I follow Him, He will lead me to peace and plenty. Though the path I must go down is a little frightening, He will be there with me all along the way to comfort and protect. Though circumstances have been successful at sidelining me for a time, that is not my future. As I follow the Lord, He will bless me in the face of those things that seek to minimize me. He will continue to cover me with His anointing, overflow my life with His grace and life, and allow me to be fruitful. As I trust Him and follow Him, I can be assured that only His goodness and faithful love will pursue me, and I will always be welcome in His presence. Yes, the Lord IS my shepherd, and for that I am eternally grateful and at peace.