Dr. Ann Smith shouted a greeting as she walked through our offices a few days ago. She was carrying a cane but scarcely seemed to use it, so I commented on how well she appeared to be recovering from hip surgery. She confirmed this and said she was enjoying a new book I had sent her. That was the strangest thing about being laid up after the surgery, she said. I wasnt able to read anything. For the first time I can recall, I had no desire to read. I just wanted to concentrate on healing. She smiled and added, Even so, the Lord brought to mind so many things Id read before. I had time to reflect on them during my convalescence, so I didnt feel deprived at all.
Ann Smith is such an eager student that its hard to imagine her not reading for any extended period of time. (Obviously, she was perplexed by it too.) Yet God used that time of fasting from study to deepen her relationship with him. He called to her mind resources she had already accumulated.
The writer of Lamentations shared a similar testimony from the Exile: Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORDs great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him. The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD (Lam 3:2126).
Lord, when we are deprived of things that normally sustain us, we trust you to sustain us. Call to mind your faithful provisions of the past, and help us to wait patiently for the future you are preparing. Amen!
-Joe Allison, Coordinator, Publishing and Creative Services for Church of God Ministries, Inc.; CGM Liaison, Transformation Team Connect/Refresh