The first item on my list reads: ‘Everything takes longer’. Can you guess what this list is about, or what the next item might be?
Would I add visit the optometrist more often? Or try to avoid knocking my fragile skin? And I’m sure watch out for the cat skittering underfoot would certainly make it onto the list.
Maybe you think I have a disability? Or is it only old age? Yes, that’s it. I’m beginning to think it might be ‘coming on’, rather like a cold. But kindly, and slowly, of course! In recent years, when I’ve come upon a seemingly insurmountable difficulty in my body, I’ve reassured myself that young people have health issues too. When I was thirty or so, I had some of them, and they ‘came to pass’.
This week I’ve had a sore leg. It’s not that I’ve let myself go. My body still works…but more sedately! My reflexes aren’t as speedy; my eyesight treats distances like cold honey on a frosty morning, and other changes have appeared. I’ll leave you to name some of them if you like!
Anyway, last week, when I was weeding our peas and strawberries, pulling out chickweed and other undesirables from our garden, I felt a small prick on my body. I forgot about it until the end of the day, when I noticed that my previously perfect leg was hurting when I walked. I pulled up my trouser-leg and was shocked at the swollen, red and angry area above my ankle. Oooh! What’s this? Had a spider or a mosquito injected some alien stuff into my leg? (Sorry, no photos here, dear readers!)
Maurie prayed for me, and we ate our evening meal, then I went to bed early. Next day, my leg was still bloated and red, so I saw a doctor. ‘Cellulitis’, she said, which didn’t cheer me up at all. I told her about the gardening – a small red puncture wound was now visible on my leg and she thought I might have been bitten.
She doesn’t like prescribing antibiotics, and I don’t take them unless it’s necessary, but she gave me a prescription in case my leg wasn’t better by the next day. We went to church next morning and also in the evening, but my leg still hadn’t improved. I purchased the pills and began to take them. They seemed to have no effect, so I raided our flourishing aloe vera plant and slathered the gel on my delicate skin. It immediately felt better and soon, it looked better!
After about ten days, it was almost normal in the mornings, but swelled up if I walked about too much. So I reminded myself of a favourite God-truth: we have the resurrection life of Jesus Christ in us. What a wonderful benefit, so I claimed it!
I knew God hadn’t ordered this problem, but I now had an opportunity to rest, to sit around and think about important things. I asked him, ‘Why didn’t you stop that critter from attacking me, Lord?’ No clear reason came to mind, except the commonsense one that God would use the situation to give me a bit of a break…from the computer, the vacuum-cleaner, and the weeding!
That’s what the doctor said, ‘keep out of the garden!’ I’m thankful that there was a bonus in all this, because I discovered that she’s a lovely Christian. God has his servants in unexpected places! Now I can focus on learning that the resurrection life of Jesus isn’t necessarily a fast one, and so I’m learning to ‘live it slow’.