I thank God for my Lenten journey this year. I’ve learned so much already. It began with a total knee replacement surgery on February 28, which was Shrove Tuesday. Shrove Tuesday is the first Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. It officially ends the season of Epiphany and is the vigil for the beginning of Lent.
The surgery went well, but there were complications that nearly landed me in the intensive care unit. Consequently, I suffered three days of migraines and severe nausea, which left me exhausted and unable to eat. My anticipated three-day hospital stay for surgery ended up being six days instead.
Among the lessons and reminders of my journey, it was comforting to see so many caring people on the hospital staff. It reassured me that there are still many good and loving people in our society, despite all the violence and hatred we see every evening on the news.
It has given me insight into the pain and suffering so many handicapped and elderly people endure every day. I have to use a walker and my physical therapy has, at times, been torturous.
I’ve been so happy and encouraged to see how concerned and eager to assist our eldest grandson (age 9) is. It’s a sure sign that the hard work of his parents is paying of.
It has reminded me how blessed I am to have a loving wife and a marriage that has endured 40 years. Marriage is a lot of work, but the rewards of persevering are tremendous.
It has helped me begin some very healthy lifestyle changes. I’m an active person who enjoys exercise. At present, I won’t be able to do any serious exercising for several more weeks. I’ve had to closely watch what I eat and drink while incapacitated–something I should have been doing all along.
But most of all, it’s reminded me that, no matter how much I try, I can’t handle everything by myself. How comforting it is to have a loving God to help me with every aspect of my life. We’re only 12 days into the 40 days of Lent and I pray the lessons will keep coming as I recover at home and dig deeper into the scriptures.
Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and do not forget all his benefits․
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the Pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good as long as you live
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Psalm 103:1-5
Give ear to my words, O Lord;
give heed to my sighing.
Listen to the sound of my cry,
my King and my God,
for to you I pray.
O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice;
in the morning I plead my case to you, and watch. Psalm 5:1-3
How sweet are your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Through your precepts I get understanding;
therefore I hate every false way.
Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path. Psalm 119:103–105