I love being a pastor. My life is filled with amazing people and their stories all tangled up with my story. Today my chin is on one pillow with my forehead on another, 4 inches above my phone. As I try to speak this post into the blog, I take sips of my tea-that I couldn’t brew myself- through a straw without raising my head. I will never again take for granted the ability to sit on my little bench in the back porch enjoying my tea. I am waiting.
On the last Wednesday of August, the retina of my right eye suddenly detached. Three weeks into recovery a piece of scar tissue came loose and then a second surgery. I started all over. Four days after that, a third surgery. At this writing, 5 weeks after that first terrible tear inside my eye, I am still laying face down and waiting. The eye is stable but the ultimate outcome is uncertain. I have another 10 days to wait and, I pray, See.
Hardly the trials of Job but I sit here waiting for unseen healings, relearning how to live as I wait. From a scriptural perspective, waiting is essential to faith. From personal observation, waiting sucks.
Luke4:3 “For forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry.”
Type “ 40 days Bible verses” in your search bar and you will Find someone in sucky surroundings waiting for that waiting to do God’s work. Even Jesus was not exempt. This post should take minutes, but may take days. I am being reinvented. There are no options. I wait. Waiting in Christ is never a waste! What is God teaching you in your dark night? Here are Some of the Truths that I found during a season of waiting. Try these-add your own in a reply.
Relearn to pray. Cry out to God And struggle through To find new intimacy through prayer search the psalms. An fearlessly pray the words of people that have been there.
Treasure those people close to you and tell them often that they are appreciated and loved. Accept their help. It’s hard for me and humbling BUT the hand of a friend may be the hand of God. Simply say yes and thank you. It’ll be enough for now. You can contact them later.
Fight with all of your might against self-pity and dark thoughts. Your life depends on it.I’ve been listening through the Psalms over and over. It reinforces this very Important thing.
Live life and shorter increments. I am living An hour at a time , I get a five minute break each hour. And for hours at a time, when I stop and put in eyedrops, this makes time manageable
Occupy your mind. I could not watch TV! Recorded books for free from the library. The Bible Can be read to you by some nice person on the Internet. (Thank you Biblegateway).
Never miss an opportunity to encourage a person in need. Don’t compare wounds, just be there for someone else. You experience connects you to the injured. You have been there. I had much weakness revealed and personal darkness challenged. Share you healed heart.
I have been in the dark and now see the possibility of a greater light. I love with a pastors love and I have been strengthened through this time of waiting, some of it with reluctance. Faith has taught me that this season will not last forever. When my faith was so fragile, Jesus kept a tight grip. I am a grateful disciple.
Anything that you’re going through can be over come. God is with us all. We have never been left alone but sometimes we can only see this by looking back on this time.
I am a better person for this month of darkness and changed forever. My eye will always be at risk for injury-I trust that Faith will be there when it is needed.
You are stronger than you can see while the battle rages. Don’t give in and don’t give up. Faith is real. God is with you and so am I. You are the beloved of God.
(By the way: Glory and thanks to God and Friendship UMC. Also, Thank you Dr. Shawn Kavoussi, his assistant Catherine, and the Houston Methodist hospital. You went far beyond what you had to do. Through you all, I can see )
(C) Alan van Hooser, “thethoughtfulpastor”, 2021, all rights reserved.