Life in the Slow Lane

Michele Cushatt, Christian author and blogger whom I follow on Instagram, posted a beautiful, soul-refreshing photo of verdant, rolling hills near her home with the caption: “Beautiful morning for a 3-mile walk. I’m happy to report I no longer walk like a 90-year-old woman. I now walk like an 80-year-old one.” The place where she walks is like nothing I’ve ever seen or been before in my part of the globe. I even commented one time: “If this is what’s outside of our home, though I’m bed-bound, I’d crawl out.” A runner before she was diagnosed with cancer, I can empathize with her frustration now walking like an 80-year old. After multiple throat surgeries and chemo, her old energy took a back seat and it took some time before she could get back on her feet and walk, not run, like a 90-year old as she has said. She says she doesn’t compare her progress with her running days, but the days that she was homebound fighting cancer.

slowlane

At least you’re walking however slow. Me, I’m bed-bound! That was my reflexive reaction but I immediately checked my heart. I chose to rejoice with her with the progress she was gaining. I’m sincerely happy for her that she’s now walking along that beautiful meadow outside her home.

Being a brisk walker 12 years ago when health and strength were mine in abundance, for years it frustrated me that I could hardly walk more than a few steps when illness took over my body. And now, I’m bed-bound and haven’t been able to ride my wheelchair (except to go to the comfort room) or use my walker for brief exercises in the mornings for months. However hard it is, the Lord never fails to give me my portion of comfort. He inspires me and renews my hope so that I’m able to experience some measure of joy in my days and still dream for a better, brighter future.

He inspires me to plan improvements around our home and garden. Although my life is lived in little increments that progress can hardly be observed, He lifts up my spirit in ways the world can’t understand. That is my life with my Savior. But there are times when I see a glimpse of the outside world, how people, both from our Church and outside, are living in the fullness of blessings — health, strength, career, travels. In those times, I can’t help my spirit to sag.

But being in this place for a long time now, I have learned not to dwell in those negative emotions when they come. I’m not always that strong, but I have found a way to turn around a negative feeling into something that I can offer to the Lord. Sorrow, for instance. On a Sunday as I watched the live webcast of our whole-day worship service, I finally let out the swelling stream of sorrow that had been building up inside as suffering battered my body for most of the day. When the Jesus Finest Generation Choir sang their last song, No More Night, the tears found their way out. I was slumped against my pillows as I let every single tear that fell tell of my sorrow, my pain, my longing, and the other myriad things I couldn’t put into words.

Sometimes there’s no use for words. But we can trust that God sees and we offer to Him what we’ve got: those tears and deep feelings we don’t have words for. There must be something good out of them when offered to the One with whom all things are possible. What did David say in Psalm 38? O Lord, all my longing is before you; my sighing is not hidden from you.

So, it’s okay to not try to express the inexpressible. It’s okay to not open our lips to speak but to let the quiet flow of tears say it all. Let the Holy Spirit intercede for us. The solemn silence makes the communion with God more sacred.

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. (Rom. 8:26)

In the slow lane, the smallest gift is a reason for thanksgiving. The senses are heightened: you observe more closely; you see the minutest detail. You think deeper and are always aware of God’s hovering presence. Yes, there’s a deeper awareness of His omnipresence: that He sees all and hears all. Lessons stick more securely. The minutes and hours move (that is, the situation shifts) in dependence on God’s mercies not on one’s own strength. This could be utterly frustrating. That’s why one needs to totally surrender to God to walk the slow lane with peace and enthusiasm.

The Israelites of old walked the same lane to the Promised Land. God wanted to be in their midst, a hands-on God. They didn’t move without His instructions. He wanted them to know Him, to be their God. But many of the people didn’t believe Him and rebelled against Him. This was the reason why it took them 40 years what should have taken them 40 days to travel.

The same way that God has a reason now for the slow, arduous journey toward our own Promised Land (that place at the other side of this trial). Like healing, for instance. We may not be stiff-necked or rebellious like ancient Israel, but there must be a reason for the prolonged testing. It’s either that or He’s not walking with us. But if we know that we are walking according to the Spirit by whom we were sealed for the day of redemption, then we can rest in God’s faithfulness.

We know that God is the God who heals (Ex. 15:26). It is His will to heal. The Lord Jesus Christ revealed this when he walked on earth (John 6:38), healing all the sick that came to Him. He healed then, He still heals today, for He stays the same (Heb. 13:8). And by His stripes, we are healed (Is. 53:5). All these we can affirm in faith over and over without letting up. But let us be continuously obedient to Romans 12:2:

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Is trying to conform to the world clouding our discernment of what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God? Does our will clash with God’s as we try to compare our peculiar lives with the world’s? The people of God complained of their life in the wilderness. Everyday, the Lord supplied them with manna for food, but they lusted for meat. They longed for flavors like garlic, onions, and leeks, and wanted to sink their teeth into melons and cucumbers, while their souls starved, for they resisted the will of God for them. And what was the will of God?

So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord. (Deut. 8:3, emphasis mine)

We may not fully understand the testings, but we can continue to live by God’s Word. That is the whole truth we can lean upon as we wait and walk the slow lane.

If you have been blessed by your visit here, I’d love for you to like Our Healing Moments on Facebook and connect with me there. To not miss any posts, I also invite you to subscribe below. Thank you!

Linking up with Sharing His BeautyTrue StoriesTell His StoryWise WomenCoffee for Your HeartFaith Filled FridayWeekend Whispers.

Journey with Jesus,

Comments

  1. elizabeth jose says:

    thank you so much dear sister, such a beautiful message every word of it is true.
    blessing to me at this time, am passing it on to my family too. Bless you sister, praise the Lord
    keep writing

    • RinaPeru says:

      Thank you, Elizabeth. Your words encouraged me, too. I’m grateful to our Lord for using these writings to bless. – praise Him!

  2. Naomi says:

    One thing we can be sure is that Jesus is with us in the “slow lane.” Sometimes the paths we are on don’t make sense. They are dark and lonely and we think this can’t be part of God’s plan because He is goodness and Light, but all the paths we walk (as believers) are righteousness and truth. They just look so unfamiliar to someone who knows His goodness-nothing like peace and joy. But rest assured, He is there with you. His promises are the reminders and encouragement, along the road, to keep us going despite our doubts and fears.

    Press on. Look straight ahead. Strengthen the feeble knees and the hands that hang down (Heb 12:12). Your redemption draws near.

    • RinaPeru says:

      These are all true and beautiful, Naomi. Thank you for taking the time to share your heart here, coming from a different perspective.

  3. Lux says:

    We are not called to understand but to believe. I love this. :)

  4. As a very active person, I can only imagine the difficult transition you had to make. I cannot imagine what you go through, but your attitude is great. And even though you may not be able to walk-boy can you write! Isn’t God good like that? I praise Him along with you for that gift! Bless you dear one. Linking up next to you at Sharing His Beauty.

    • RinaPeru says:

      “And even though you may not be able to walk-boy can you write!” — I love this! (Grinned from ear to ear). Yes, God is wonderful like that! Praise Him for His gift! Blessings, too!

  5. ~Karrilee~ says:

    Praying for you and (re)learning to enjoy the slow lane, eyes open – looking for His many blessings along the way! So glad I stopped by today!

  6. Hazel Moon says:

    Your blogger friend and her small accomplishments should cause us joy – which it did for you as you reflected to choose joy instead of jealousy. Your words bring encouragement to us all when we tend to forget that God is ever with us no matter what is our situation. Thank you for sharing with us here at Tell me a Story.

    • RinaPeru says:

      By God’s grace, dear Hazel, I endeavor to extract a good thing out of this suffering: that is the desire to comfort and encourage others in their walk of faith through writing. And for that, my heart is grateful.

  7. Jen says:

    Oh, I know that frustration of being bed-ridden. :( It’s so very difficult to bear. I love these encouraging words here: “So, it’s okay to not try to express the inexpressible. It’s okay to not open our lips to speak but to let the quiet flow of tears say it all. Let the Holy Spirit intercede for us. The solemn silence makes the communion with God more sacred.” You bring it right back to our need for the Lord, which is right where we should be. :) Thanks for sharing this over at Faith Filled Friday.
    Jen @ Being Confident of This

    • RinaPeru says:

      There must be a purpose and something good out of this suffering, Jen. Otherwise, it will all be futile. And we know that God doesn’t operate that way :).

  8. Bless your heart! I can’t imagine being bed ridden, but I am so glad we serve a God who sees us where we are and comes to us! His comfort and peace are everything.

  9. Mary Geisen says:

    This is so beautiful and your transparency today really touched me. I am in awe of our God who is what we need every time and His timing is perfect. May He continue to show you His deep love in your every moment. Thank you for sharing this at Weekend Whispers.

  10. Rebecca says:

    I’ve walked some slow lanes in my life and I will have to say that in them I learned the most – about myself and about God. One of the most blessed things I learned while walking slow is that God alters His pace to walk with us and takes us by the hand in the roughest of spots. Thanks for sharing this insightful post and I pray many blessings on your for the future.

    • RinaPeru says:

      This couldn’t be more true, Rebecca! I have observed the same things myself in my trials of faith. And thank you for the prayer for many blessings. Love and blessings to you, too!

Share Your Thoughts

*