Ps. 23:1- 3 "The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in the paths of righteousness for his names sake."
It's his "go-to" verses every time he takes a walk down that broken road.
We walked into the surgeon's exam room, again, to get some surgery staples removed. My gut tightened. I knew from previous post-op appointments that this was tender time for my husband, the patient patient.
From the way he describes it, the feeling of removing tiny staples from your incision doesn't tickle.
Tension mounts. We wait for the attending nurse to come in as we sit in silence together. He's such a patient patient. Where does he get that peace? He lays back on the exam table in the face up position. I watched, perched from my supportive chair, with my finger bookmarking my faith in my journal.
We both close our eyes, resolved to our own private thoughts and silent words. There are days of marriage, when saying "I do" surprise you with the "worse" parts of your vows. Those days are when the silence just falls hard. I know all to well the depression that runs deep from a life of pain. My lids were a welcome dam to the pent up the emotions. It was safe to say we walked in worn and emotionally exhausted.
"God, here we are again." I prayed. I wondered if my patient was uttering my same tired words. This was not the first time around for either of us, him the patient and me the patient wife. Years of testing have left us both a little spiritually exhausted. Cancer and it's after effects have gnawed at our faith. It can rear it's ugly head like a pre-teen pimple, ready to bust open, spewing worry.
What I needed in that exam room was a reminder that God's got his recovery too.
We both believe the Good Shepherd healed this disease from our lives forever. But the reality is that cancer is pernicious, presumptuous, and unpredictable. When you are handed a pink-slip of fears, God's comfort is your only anchor. Without it, a patient's peace slips to the depths of an unknown abyss, fear wisps in and out of a burdened soul like a vapor.
My patient reminded me of his Healer as he silently breathed his prayer of Psalm 23. He knew it by memory and had been schooled in the still waters of patient Peace. "The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want." He quietly mouthed the words.
His calm face was prostrate and God spoke to my concerned heart and asked if He could be my peace that day. "Will you let me lead you by my healing waters that flow deep?" I couldn't stop the waterworks. My busting heart leaked a little and I realized that my patient had showed me his Physician, the only One who could heal me of my "what ifs and what's next" questions.
"Be still my little lamb and be stilled by My silent and peaceful waters that flow deep." Yes, God you do have this. I quietly spoke the words.
The Lord watches over us in the better and the worse, and the many vows in-between. He is never far like a good Shepherd, He constantly looks after those in His care. I know today that when the next wave roars, God will faithfully and patiently anchor my peace. Waves of anxiety will come and go, ebb and flow like the days tide, but in the stillness, in the silence, I will hear His comforting voice.
"This is the way, walk in it. I am the Lord, your Shepherd. I will not leave you in want." My response to His way of peace was to make His patient peace my priority. That can only be done in my silence, as I wade through the wedded worry headed to His green pastures, dabbling my toes in the comfort that only He can give.
Yes, Lord you patiently lead me, to your still waters, the waters of Life that calm my fears and still my storms, anchoring deep in what I know about you. You are my keeper and caretaker, my peace and patience, my love and may I linger in your green pasture. You are found on the mountains and in the valleys. I am never alone.