I have not written for quite a while because I have been a bit under the weather, as the old saying goes. Somehow I managed to hurt my back two weeks ago, resulting in a badly ruptured disk between the L4 and L5 vertebrae. It has been an unpleasant ride, let me tell you. For a few days the pain was so intense that I could not sit, walk, stand, or even lie down without experiencing white-knuckle, teary-eyed, bad-words kind of pain. However, praise the Lord, since Monday I have been feeling much better. I'm finally off the brain-fog inducing pain meds and am able to function almost normally, thanks to those wonderful modern pharmaceuticals and answered prayer. After a week at home recouperating I came back to work on Monday to be greeted with an enormous pile of junk mail and my inbox jammed full of emails. It is amazing how quickly that stuff piles up.
I'm not telling you this to elicit sympathy; rather, just letting you know where I've been and why I've neglected the blog. Heaven knows, I'm not the only one around with back pain. I have discovered that it is a very common ailment, and many people have it much worse than I. However, being laid up like this has given me extra time to think and wrestle with the questions we all have when we are in pain; namely, "Why me, Lord? Don't You know that I have too many things on my plate to accomplish for You to sit around home waiting for my back to heal up?"
Obviously, patience is not one of the virtues I possess. I hate feeling useless. I hate waiting. I hate going to the doctor. I hate using my father's cane just to walk across the room. I hate not being able to drive because I am doped up on pain killers. Do you get my point? I don't know how to suffer gracefully. Please pray for me to mature in this area of my Christian life and to not be so performance-driven abd goal-oriented that I fail to see the greater fruit that God wants to produce in me through this little taste of suffering.
When I was thinking about my not being able to sit, walk, or stand because of the pain in my back and hip, I was reminded of a little book by Watchman Nee entitled, Sit, Walk, Stand a study of the Epistle to the Ephesians. In it he looks at these three little words and how Paul uses them in his letter to the Ephesian church.
SIT (Our position in Christ)--We are seated with Christ in the heavenly realms (Eph. 2:6)
("But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus, in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus." Eph. 2:4-7)
WALK (Our life in the world)-- We are to walk in a manner worthy of our calling ("I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, entreat you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called." Eph. 4:1)
- We are to walk in LOVE: "Therefore, be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma." Eph. 5:1
- We are to walk in LIGHT: "For you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light." Eph. 5:8
- We are to walk in WISDOM: "Therefore, be careful how you walk--not as unwise men but as wise." Eph. 5:15
("Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil." Eph. 6:10-11)
That's what it's all about. We have to keep remembering that from God's perspective we are already seated with Christ in Heaven. That knowledge gives us confidence to walk in faith and obedience until He comes back to take us home, and gives us the courage we need to take our stand daily against the nefarious schemes of the devil and the flesh.