Have you ever had major surgery and remember going under anesthesia? You’re lying on an operating table covered by a white sheet, in a cold room, a large overhead light glaring down on you, sterile tools and devices surrounding you. The medical team is hustling around plugging in tubes and machines are beeping while the team shares small talk about their weekend or the nightly news.
Someone dressed in surgical attire appears telling you they’re going to start an IV and place a mask on your face. They tell you to take a deep breath and slowly blow it out while counting backwards from 10. Ten, nine, eight, seven…..That’s usually all I remember until I wake up in the recovery room with the nurse calling my name over and over; “Tina, it’s time to wake up.”
Major surgery requires extensive recovery through rest and disengaging from normal activities.
I am one that thrives off of busyness. I like having a full day’s schedule and knowing that my day has purpose. “Recovery” time is a challenge for me. I don’t like to be still or quiet, it makes me uncomfortable and restless. I feel like I’m either missing something or not doing something I should be doing.
Right now, I’m in a recovery time. Life has gotten still and quiet… very quiet….almost uncomfortably so.
Recently I resigned after serving seven years at a crisis pregnancy center. It was seven years of intense ministry. My days were packed full and many of my evenings and weekends as well. I loved being there watching God show up to provide for the ministry needs while using us to share hope and His love with the women and men He sent. I imagined I would serve there until my final days or Jesus’ return…. whichever came first.
The reality is I got sick: physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I ignored all the warning signs and crossed boundaries that were meant to keep me healthy and from falling into what I call the “messiah complex,” you know, the “I’ll save the day” mentality.
What’s the antidote? Jehovah Rapha the Great Physician ordered….Bed Rest!
So here I am at home, not literally in bed thank God! But life is very different. My calendar’s no longer filled with back to back meetings, my email box is under 50 for the first time in years. No urgent phone calls to return or major decisions to make.
Oh believe me, I’m tempted to fill my days but a still small voice inside keeps me quiet. Most who know me, know that Tina and quiet don’t go in the same sentence. If I had my way I’d be back in the fast lane now that I’ve gotten some rest.
Even my daily time with the Lord seems quieter and I wonder, Lord are you still here? I don’t understand this quiet place of recovery….it’s so foreign to me, so I decided to ask the Lord about it.
I’ve never heard God audibly speak, though I have encountered Him.
Most times He speaks to me through His Word. Like I’ll be reading and all of a sudden the words jump off the page and plant themselves in my understanding. Usually to show me a certain area in my life that needs to be changed, healed or understood.
Or, there are times when the Pastor at church or from a podcast I’m listening to will start talking about the very thing I just wrote about in my private journal or poured my heart out to God in my prayer closet that morning. It’s not that they stole my journal or bugged my house, its Gods way of speaking to me letting me know He’s present.
I asked the Lord about this uncomfortable quietness….fully expecting Him to speak to me.
He spoke through a very clear thought: “Do not be afraid of the quiet or the stillness, trust Me, I am working deep in your life.” As confirmation, my mind was turned to verses from Psalm 23 “He leads me beside still waters…” Psalm 42 “Deep calls to deep…” and Psalm 46 “Be still and know that I am God.”
God isn’t wasting the quietness. He’s working in me asking me to trust and wait on Him.
The Great Physician is performing major surgery on my heart. He’s bypassing my understanding right now because the work is so major that if I were awake I wouldn’t be able to withstand the pain. He’s put me under His anesthesia while He works this deep work and honestly, I’m really OK with this because I know…..
Soon I will hear Him calling; “Tina, time to wake up.”
Like every good surgeon He will come and explain the procedures He performed and how He “fixed” the issue. Until then I will entrust myself to His care and follow the Doctor’s orders!
If you are experiencing a time of stillness, quietness, or struggling to hear God I encourage you to talk to Him about how you are feeling and to read the above mentioned Psalms 23, 42, and 46.