I have not written in a while. At the end of March my husband, my beloved had neurosurgery to try to fix his trigeminal neuralgia – a facial nerve condition. It was successful. He awoke in ICU with no pain. Well, he had a sore head, which he blamed on not having his daily coffee that morning, but no nerve pain.
After three and a half years of nerve pain, often severe and crippling facial nerve pain, affecting his ability to eat, drink and speak, he had no pain. We are still marvelling and thanking God for this miracle of miracles three months later. Watching someone you love in pain is hard. During an episode of pain, it was like watching someone being tortured and completely helpless to help or make it better. I would hold his hand, I would pray.
Since then, we are enjoying the simple delights that ordinarily we take for granted. Eating crusty bread, a hot spicy curry, family dinners. Talking. We had started sitting in front of the TV to at dinner time, so we didn’t try to talk. I can touch his face.
We learnt about the peace of God. In the week before surgery, our sermon series was up to this verse:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:6-7
What a word of encouragement. And then, as if we needed another reminder, our daily devotion the day before the surgery was on the same text. Our challenge: do not be anxious and pray with thanksgiving and our hearts and minds would be guarded by the peace of God. We experienced this peace in a profound and beautiful way. This peace is like a stillness and a quietness in the soul.
We were surrounded by a cloud of faithful prayer warriors – family, friends, our church community. We were both filled with thankfulness to God for being with us and for hearing our prayers and the prayers of those warriors.
I look at these photos and they capture this peace better than words. There is a stillness and a quietness. This week, I returned to a prayer of David’s in Psalm 62. David was trying hard not to be anxious. He felt a bit like a leaning wall or a tottering fence. His life was chaotic and full of danger. He begins his prayer by saying something that he knows to be true about God – that He is his rock, his salvation, his fortress and he will never be shaken.
He then repeats this truth and it is a bit like he is talking to himself:
“Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.” Psalm 62:5-6
These boats are not shaking. The clouds are not shaking. In the stillness and the quietness, the water is like a mirror with a near perfect reflection. This is that peace.