These last two or three weeks I've been dealing with the radiation sickness following some heavy duty radiation for cancer. Fortunately, just about the only side effect I experience is fatigue. Unfortunately that means sleeping anywhere from twelve to eighteen hours a day. That's been hard, because my normal schedule is to be in at least two places at one, often doing three or four things simultaneously. Alright, a bit of an exaggeration there, but you get the idea. It's been hard for me to gear down, to step back, not be as much a part of things as I have been, let other people step in and take over. In His graciousness to me, God has even used this a teaching experience. He's shown me that you work when you have the strength, not putting off what you may not be able to do later; and that you rest when you need to, harboring your strength for another time when you will need it again. It's a lesson in patience, and priorities, and timing, one that I thought that I knew well, one that I find myself learning all over again.
It's learning to swim with the tide working with the energy and time you've got, rather than fighting the natural ebb and flow of the thing. And it's something, I can see, that carries over into every area of life. For we are all less than sufficient for these things, the ministries that God has called us all into. We're less smart and capable and able than we think we are, and we're all working with less energy and time and talent than the job requires. Everyone one of us is learning to swim with flow of God in our lives, to work and rest at His move, and to rely on Him for the strength we do not naturally have.
Witness Elijah, a man of God on the run after a mighty victory in his life. The angel came to him and fed him, and allowed him to sleep, then fed him and gave him rest again. Elijah was told that he would need his strength, and at the right time, God began to move him again. It's a lot like that for the rest of us too. Learning to rest when God calls us apart, learning to feed our bodies as well as our hearts and minds, strengthening ourselves off of the life of God that is in us. Learning to move in response to God's Spirit as he calls and directs us. The intriguing thing for me in this is that it feels so natural, i wonder why I haven't thought to follow this very natural path with Him more faithfully before this.
I still find myself impatient with my own limitations now, and desiring to more fully engage with the ministry again, as well as life at home and service to my wife and friends. But I find this more natural rhythm, this dependency on His timing and strength, to be the greatest aid to whatever I possess in Him, the greatest aid in ministry and life, the most indispensable aid in accomplishing all He's calling me to do. I find myself learning all over again the very basic lessons of timing and priorities, and patience. I find , to my joy, that I'm learning to swim with the flow of God.