Monthly Devotion

15th January 2013

Psalm 5:11
But let all who take refuge in You be glad, Let them ever sing for joy; And may You shelter them, That those who love Your name may exult in You.
The last few weeks have slowly but surely focused my attention on an operation that I am having to have done. The date, 8 February. By the time you read this, it will be history already, but I thought I wanted to share some of the thought patterns that I have experienced in the run up towards this.
In my own life, I have experienced this quite a few times. In 1995 I had an accident with a saw and cut fingers off my left hand. This led to 6 operations to fix my hand, to trans-plant nerve from my leg and arm in-to my hand and so on.
I am no stranger to operations, and being “put under” is something I know of very well. Two years ago I underwent another operation to re-move a problem disk in my neck, and I am now prepared for another to be removed.
There is so much that can go wrong. They will work so close to my spine, and yet, when this is done correctly, it could take away the pain in my back and arms that I have experienced non stop for the last 4 years.
So I have mixed feelings about this. The pain I am experiencing says to me, ‘get it done’. The thought of what to expect the few days after the operation and the consequent work of recovery almost says to me, ‘I wished it never happened to me’. Not least do I wish this would ever happen to anyone else.
I have had so many people already either visiting me, calling, texting, messaging and even some cards from folks concerned about me. I would like to thank everybody for your messages of care and prayer. I know that God wants to help every person who ever had difficulty.
I know that the devil wants to accuse God of being unfair, so God doesn’t just jump in and help. He waits, and when there is a petition, as there is with all those who pray for me, God does His thing.
But there is more that I want to say about this ex-perience. I want to tell you how much this Psalm means to me. Psalm 5 talks about those who take refuge in Him. Sometimes we feel so hopeless and helpless, that we just need to allow ourselves to trust in somebody else to take care of us.
On the previous occasion when I had an operation on my neck a few years ago, the doctor told me before they put me under: “Now we are going to work close to your spine, you’d better lie still”. I saw the humour, and when they woke me up, the first thing I told him was: “Dr., did I lie still enough for you?”
Sometimes we just have to be able to trust those who will take care of us, and pray that they will have a steady hand in their job. But I have more, I can also find refuge in the Lord, knowing that what ever happens, He will take care of it. Things may not even turn out the way I might want it to be, but I can rest assured, God is in charge.
This is the time when I can live my faith. This is the time when I can ask God to reveal Himself to me, not that I need something special, but at a time when I feel that I am not necessarily in charge of what happens, that I can rely on Him. This goes further than just what I experience in the hospital. It also applies to my work, my church members, my responsibilities and so on.
As I experience this, I need to trust. I need to trust the Lord, my family, my spiritual family and so on; and this is when I am living in expectancy, expect-ing all sorts of miracles, small and big.

[Jim Botha]


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