Lessons from the couch (1)

Over the last few years, I (Pete) have had issues with tendons in my right leg. Normally, this means a couple of days of stiffness before it clears up. However, on December 31st, things flared up while I was walking and haven’t settled down. So far there hasn’t been one day in 2018 where I’ve been able to walk normally. Having seen a surgeon, I have now been signed off work for at least 6 weeks while I wait for scans and see a specialist in Aberdeen. On Monday, it will be 5 weeks since I was able to walk, stand or sit up, for any length of time. I’m pretty much stuck on the couch.

It has been, and looks like it will continue to be, a very frustrating time. Yet, I see God in it and wanted to share some of what I’m learning.


A couple of Sundays ago, I started to read Ezra (as you do) and was struck by the picture of God it paints. God’s people have been in exile in Babylon for 70 years, hopelessly unable to free themselves. Yet, Ezra is written after the Lord raised up Cyrus – the Persian king – to defeat the Babylonians. The story begins with God stirring Cyrus’ heart to send His people home. This fulfilled what Isaiah had predicted 150 years earlier. Ezra 1 reveals God to be the Lord of heaven and earth, He’s the ruler of kings and of kingdoms. The events of history are under His control, He’s got the whole world in His hands. Through Cyrus, God was working out His plans and purposes.

That vision of God brings me comfort. It reminds me that God is in charge of my circumstances. He’s the only person who knows my full diagnosis. He could have stopped my leg from getting injured. He could choose to heal me even as I type. But for now, I’m on the couch. Why? Because, for now, God wants me on the couch. He has got me exactly where He wants me.

That doesn’t mean I don’t seek healing, through medicine and prayer, but the truth of God’s control over my life, laces my frustration with purpose. This time is not wasted, God has purpose in it, and with that I am content.

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