Friday, January 19, 2007

Taking A Step Back

There are times when all of us have to take a step back - when life becomes so overwhelming we need to take some time to regroup and recoup our spiritual resources.

Whether it's because of illness, confusion, a loss of some kind or a spiritual struggle that has left us weak and breathless, we need to sit back with the Lord and let Him minister to us.

I visited a dear friend yesterday who had just returned home from the hospital after having back surgery. She must remain in bed for 2 weeks, only allowed to get up for 15 minutes at a time for bathroom breaks or to eat. The remainder of the time, she must remain on her back or side to alleviate pressure on the repaired discs in her back.

The surgery was a success. When she recovers, she'll be able to do everything she did before without the constant hard pain, but as until she recovers, she has to take time out from all those activities.

Fifteen years ago, God began a healing work in my emotional life. Like my friend, I had to take time out during the healing process to rest in Him - away from the pressures and stress of life. As a pastor's wife, it meant giving up all the positions I held in church and becoming a "pew sitter." What a hard thing for a Martha personality like myself. The only things I continued were my part time job, caring for my family and therapy - my support during this difficult time.

But the purpose of stepping back from all the responsibilities wasn't to just to alleviate the stresses of life. It was to make time to spend with my "spiritual doctor", listening. learning and receiving strength from Him. I needed the time AND His presence for the healing to be complete.

It's been many years since that time when I had to step back so completely from everything. Occasionally I still need a breather, a brief respite from the stresses of life. But I've learned during those times to retreat to a quiet place and spend the time with Him. An hour, a day or a week with Him brings my life back into balance again, giving me the courage and motivation to go on.

Thank You Lord for that time spent with You and Your energizing, healing touch!