I needed the quiet, so He drew me aside
Into the shadows where we could confide;
Away from the bustle where all the day long,
I hurried and worried when active and strong.

This week I had two of my wisdom teeth pulled. (Lord willing, those will be the only two!) So the past few days, I have been confined to our living room couch, sitting or lying very still and quiet most of the time, as I wait for the healing process to take place. Knowing that I would probably have several days like this, I came prepared with a list of things to do to keep my mind occupied. By God’s grace, these past few days have flown by peacefully and productively, for which I’m very thankful!

However, this was not my idea of a fun procedure. Everyone has their own weaknesses – their own fears of something, even if that fear seems trivial to everyone else in the world. My phobia is of anything oral (besides eating, of course – now that, I can handleSmile); I once passed out after losing a baby tooth! The Lord has allowed me to get over some of that fear in recent years, but any sudden change in my mouth still bothers me greatly. So, having my wisdom teeth extracted was NOT my idea of the best way to get some quiet time.

But the Lord reminded me, as He often does, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways… For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9) He has a perfect plan, and we can try to buck that plan – and be miserable – or we can follow His loving, guiding hand and trust Him to give us the grace to walk through whatever He places before us. It is only when we choose this latter path that we experience the peace and joy that He wants to give us.

I needed the quiet, tho’ at first I rebelled,
But gently, so gently, my cross He upheld,
And whispered so sweetly of spiritual things;
Tho’ weakened in body, my spirit took wings
To heights never dreamed of when active and gay.
He loved me so greatly He drew me away.

And during these last several days of forced sitting and quiet, the Lord has blessed me in ways that I would not have experienced had I been busy with the normal responsibilities of life. I’ve had time to do some projects that I wouldn’t have had time for otherwise. That alone has been wonderful! But the spiritual blessings have been there, as well. One benefit has been having more time to spend in the Word. It’s not very often that we have time to sit and read the Bible for as long as we want, but that becomes more feasible when you are bed-ridden (or couch-ridden). As I’ve pondered the whole experience, the Lord has showed me SO many things to be thankful for that I’ve had to write a list to remember them all… some of which I never thought I could be thankful for! God is good!

So next time you are faced with a situation which seems unpleasant, or even frightening to you, ask the Lord to show you specific things to thank Him for, and to reveal more of Himself to you. When He pulls you out of the rat-race of life and prevents you by illness or some other means from doing what you thought was best, ask Him to show you His purposes. Maybe He has a specific lesson He wants you to learn, or maybe He just wants you to spend more time in communion with Him. Whatever His reasons may be, remember that He is faithful; He will not give you more than you can handle; He knows exactly what you need. He will be there to walk with you through the valley; enjoy the fellowship with Him, learn what He wants to teach you, and eventually you will emerge victorious on the other side!

I needed the quiet. No prison my bed,
But a beautiful valley of blessings instead –
A place to grow richer, in Jesus to hide.
I needed the quiet, so He drew me aside.*

Photography by Jessica Neely

*This old poem was so beautifully fitting! I appreciate this unknown author’s perspective, and can certainly relate to the thoughts and experiences portrayed!