by June Friesen, photo by June Friesen,
As I look back over the years of my life many things have captured my attention and time. Those things have changed with time because of where I lived, my age, the age of family, events in the lives of people around me and in the world. While the past year in which we have experienced incredible changes not only personally but also within community these affected each one of us in different ways because we are unique and different.
In order to embrace healing as we move forward, there will no doubt be things in our lives as individuals that will be different. Each one of us will heal differently and at different times. As I think back to an event in my life that happened over ten years ago, I too had to make a definite decision that would/could affect whether I would ever walk again; or if I walked what kind of mobility I would have.
Hiking in Virginia, in the Shenandoah Valley with my daughter in law and granddaughter, a step on a leaf covered path had a branch hidden by leaves, my ankle turned, I fell, sitting right on my ankle and heard a snap. As I pulled out my leg I knew I was in trouble… stubborn as I am I crawled up to the cabin where my son awaited to transport me to the hospital. The whole story in itself is one miracle after another. However, the greatest miracle of all is that the orthopedic surgeon said the morning after surgery that it was a real mess and he did not know if I would ever walk again; or at least normally. As an active walker, I decided immediately that I would follow all directions given (as patients tend not to do) and within a year, I was not only walking but also running and jumping – not bad for being 60 years old and still today I can walk, hike, run and jump. BUT the KEY to all of that was following instructions plus prayer.
My friends, the key to all healing and wholeness, whether physical or spiritual, is following instructions. During the past year, we have struggled with a contagious disease that spread worldwide and has changed the course of every life worldwide. For many, it has also affected their spiritual life. The Psalmist shares some encouragement for us in Psalm 51.
Soak me in your laundry and I’ll come out clean, scrub me and I’ll have a snow-white life. Tune me in to foot-tapping songs, set these once-broken bones to dancing. Don’t look too close for blemishes, give me a clean bill of health. God, make a fresh start in me, shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life. Don’t throw me out with the trash, or fail to breathe holiness in me. Bring me back from gray exile, put a fresh wind in my sails! Give me a job teaching rebels your ways so the lost can find their way home. Commute my death sentence, God, my salvation God, and I’ll sing anthems to your life-giving ways. Unbutton my lips, dear God; I’ll let loose with your praise.
There are so many different pictures here and since each one of us is different, we will find the healing in our lives differently than another. Are you and I open to taking action in following God’s direction/instruction that applies to our particular situation? Maybe one needs to clear out the negative thoughts that have been nurtured during this past year. Maybe one needs to mend their spiritual relationship with God or maybe with another/other persons that have been hindered/broken this past year. Many times, I have heard the past year referred to as being a time of chaos. God has now opened the door for us to another year. God is offering to us a new beginning. God has given us all life experiences. These are all gifts that will enable us to find healing. This is an opportunity for us to enable a fresh start/beginning for God. Let us embrace God’s instructions to us so as the Psalmist ends – ‘our lips too will be unbuttoned and let loose with God’s praise.’ Amen.
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