The Gift of Rest – It Keeps on Giving

by, Anusha Atukorala

I received an amazing gift this January; one that keeps on giving.

All my life, as far back as I remember, I’ve suffered with painful feet. I’ve had to choose shoes for comfort rather than for style. “Comfort! Comfort! Comfort!” shrieked my feet. I rushed to obey them like a tired, overworked slave runs to obey her master. When I sought medical attention, my doctor flashed a smile and said, “Blame your parents.” It all had to do with genetics.

Unfortunately, blaming my parents didn’t help. I was still stuck with bad feet. Last year I struggled to walk. The pain was intense. Even a half-hour walk around our neighborhood oval was way too much. Sometimes I had to give up after just one painful lap of hobbling around it. In previous years I’d been able to do up to ten laps with ease, and it wasn’t that I’d had perfect feet even then. I knew I was in trouble.

As 2012 wound to a close, I had a sinking feeling inside of me knowing something nasty was just around the corner. I didn’t even want to think about it. In the lead-up to seeing my surgeon, I had a heavy heart. 2013 would be a write-off, I reckoned. I would have to take three months off life. What a waste!

But guess what? My visit to the surgeon in early December changed my view. I did realize, of course, that what I’d have to look forward to was pain, impaired mobility, and the apparent “loss” of three months of my life. But now I saw my situation through fresh eyes; like one who placed her eye in front of a telescope and saw anew the marvels and wonders of the breathtaking night sky.

A competent surgeon and what he promised made the difference. As I prepared for the operation, my thinking was transformed from “Oh no!” feelings to “Oh yes!” ones. From focusing on pain to focusing on gain. On the 17th of January, I went under the surgeon’s knife. I emerged with a right foot swaddled in bandages, corrected bunions, and shortened (previously dislocated) toes. My toes were fitted with three long pins – sticking out of a foot that was encased in a special boot. I spent two days in the hospital followed by two weeks at home in bed, my foot elevated. What fun! (Yes, I am being a tad sarcastic there.) But as the days and weeks unfolded and the pain receded, I started to enjoy myself. Hugely.

I had time to smell a rose or two. I could rest and sleep to my heart’s content. I didn’t have to rush around madly in order to savor life. I could go at my own pace. I could truly enjoy it. Read all the books I wanted. Spend a lot of time with God. Listen to Him. Pray for others. Enjoy time with my family. Learn.

My down time became a season of “being” rather than “doing.” A season of becoming rather than rushing. A season of spiritual growth rather than service.

I didn’t mind the pain and discomfort. What I gained was more than all of that. I surprised myself because I was deeply content.

I now feel more rested than I have in years. I believe God is renewing me so that when I am back on my feet, I can serve Him better. I echo my thanks to Him who knows far more than I do as to what I really need. I’ve often wished for new pair of feet. I am on my way to getting them. I’m also receiving precious unasked for blessings like this amazing season of rest and renewal.

God’s gifts are often not packaged in pretty wrapping paper. Sometimes He wraps His gifts to me in pain, tough times and things I didn’t ask for. {Tweet This} But what He gives and sends me is always exactly what I need. Exactly what will bless me. Exactly what will grow me into His image. A gift that keeps on giving.

Saint Paul is right! “And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).

Photo Courtesy of Microsoft Images

Enjoying the JourneyAnusha delights in many things – life, the love of Jesus, people, & the beauty of God’s Creation. She writes mostly for pleasure. She has decided never to grow old in spite of a body that is already defying her intentions! She enjoys the finer things of life including friendship and chocolate. Anusha lives in the enchanting city of Adelaide with her husband, Shan and their 22-year-old son, Asela. Read more from Anusha at her blog, Dancing in the Rain. You can find her on Facebook at Enjoying the Journey.

Pirate Preacher

The Pirate Preacher is the Communications Director at Christ' Church at Moore Square. On Monday nights he leads a "Jesus Study" in Moore Square. Each Sunday between 12:30 and 2:00 the Pirate Preacher and others, gather in the park to hand out food, water, and other items that add to the abundant life Jesus promised. He's also is an award-winning author of middle-grade, YA, and adult fiction and a writing coach and instructor.

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