Another Miracle

Jan. 23, 2014

Luke 4:40

At sunset, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them.hip replacement 

On Fri., Jan. 17, Rick finally had hip replacement surgery. We first saw a surgeon about two-and-a-half years ago. He said Rick would know when it was time to have surgery. When we saw the same surgeon on Jan. 2, he looked Rick in the eye and said, “Rick, it’s time to have surgery.” Fortunately, we already had it scheduled.

Hip replacement surgery is routine these days. We were told one percent of joint replacement patients have post-operative problems with infection. Most feel immediate relief from arthritic pain and deal with surgical pain.

So has been the case for Rick. When he returns to the surgeon next Friday, Rick intends to be ahead of where most people are two weeks post-op. He is more than religious about doing exercises. He pushes himself daily to see how far he can go. Today, the therapist finally told him to hold back so he does not cause additional inflammation and slow down the healing process.

While joint replacement is routine, Rick and I have been reminded daily that his recovery is nothing less than a miracle. Yes, the doctors and health care providers have been properly trained and followed protocol. I believe the miracle began long before Rick, when some person had a thought instilled in their brain to attempt a joint replacement … and did.

Often, miracles look like the exact opposite of a miracle. Miracles are the slow recognition of life, God’s life, taking form in a person and context. When we are caught off-guard by something, this is a miracle. I expected Rick to do well after surgery. I have been caught off-guard by how quickly he has rebounded. Theologian Karl Rahner was once asked if he believed in miracles. His reply: “I live on miracles. I couldn’t make it through a day without them.”

Do you live on miracles? Do you purposefully find situations when something happens unexpectedly? Surrounded by an air of mystery, you are amazed and awed? Jesus has healed many, many kinds of “sickness.” I envision a wide swath of “illnesses,” including hip replacement. May I never underestimate the miracles he performs daily in my and others lives.

Lord God, thank you for the healing miracle that Rick has experienced this past week. For those who have also felt healing of some sort, I give you thanks and praise. May I seek and see miracles in my daily life. Amen.

Blessings –


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Another 365 days

Jan. 1calendar1, 2014

Psalm 90:12

Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

I’m more reflective these days. A year ago today was my Dad’s funeral. In the last 365 days, much has changed in my life. I said good-bye to my Dad. I left the ministry. A beloved brother-in-law passed away unexpectedly. I became a caretaker for my in-laws and stay there several days a week. I help more with our three youngest grandchildren. When Rick’s Mom died in November, another series of changes triggered. I am back in the ministry part-time, serving two churches until June 30. With a couple hand-full of part-time jobs and serving ministries, my life has become rather full! And this was supposed to be a year “off!”

As I try to keep straight where I am supposed to be, where my computer plug-in and calendar are and if I have clothes in the right location, I remind myself that I chose to do these various things. Each time I accept another role, Rick and I have tried to discern with wisdom whether this is an opportunity I should accept or not.

When I was in my 20’s, I remember thinking about what my Dad had accomplished by this time in his life. I thought he could have achieved more with his life than he had. He was a smart man, but without a college degree. I was determined to accomplish more with my life than he did.

Today, I view this completely differently. My definition of success and accomplishments are completely different. I now realize I will not make large changes within the world. My energy is put towards trying to affect small changes within a smaller group of people. I also realize affecting change is much more difficult than my more idealistic 20-something would have ever acknowledged.

My days are filled with great variety. Balancing it is my full-time job. People often say, “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.” I completely disagree with this. I believe we have more opportunities and situations in our lives than we could truthfully ever deal with. Why? So we do not become completely dependent only upon ourselves. We need reminders that life IS harder than we can deal with by ourselves. This is where faith steps in. Do we allow faith to guide our decisions and choices? Do we pause and discern God’s desire for us? God will use us, whether we always make the most desirable choice. I prefer to avoid some obstacles by pursuing God’s will more often than relying on my own will.

I am being more reflective these days, if even for only a few minutes at a time. I deeply desire to make the most of every day I am blessed with. Truthfully, I do a better job of this on some days than others. Rarely at the end of the day do I say to myself, “Wow! I got everything done I intended today.” Most days, I fly by the seat of my pants. I often look at the clock and think of how much I can really get done in the next three hours.

In weaker moments, I honestly wonder, “How important is it that I get X, Y or Z done?” Sometimes, there are imperative things to accomplish. I have to be ready for Sunday worship. I want to fulfil commitments. Too often, the things I let slide are the things I know are most important: exercise, time with God and devotional reading.

Where will my life be 365 days from today? I have no idea. My deepest desire is to remember to number my days and seek God’s wisdom every day. I cannot do it alone. I don’t want to do it alone. Thanks be to God that I don’t have to do it alone.

Almighty God, thank you that I am not always aware of what lies around the bend in my life. While we may think we want to know, we influence our future through free will. May we daily seek your wisdom and guidance in our lives so that we do not become idols only to ourselves. Guide our choices. Inspire our lives. May we see every day as a present. Amen.

Blessings –


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