A Quiet Time

Saturday, August 16, 2014
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Great Is Thy Faithfulness"1 (Lyrics)

At the beginning of summer, as my job as a crossing guard is shelved until September, and various church and school activities and other social gatherings shut down for nine to twelve weeks, God has repeatedly drawn me to this verse:

Psalm 46:10a – Be still, and know that I am God. (RSV)

I keep a pet Bible rock with this verse painted on it in my car to remind me that in moments of stress, it is not I who is in charge. Be calm.

We all need a quiet time to listen to the small, still voice of God, Who is not found in the clamour of daily living but in the quietness after the storm. But if we don't seek that moment, it just may be thrust upon us. And that's what happened.

Proverbs 19:21 – Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will be established. (RSV)

About nine years ago, I began to have trouble with my shoulders after a seemingly harmless fall down the basement stairs nearly a year before. The doctor's verdict was that it was age, arthritis, or maybe a frozen shoulder, and I should keep it moving. So I did, raising my fifteen pound stop sign over head level and holding it for thirty seconds or longer. Then, I found that I was not able to sleep at night. Tired of waiting, on the Internet, I learned that lying down becomes problematic with a torn rotator cuff, so I tried sleeping in a recliner chair. I slept better, but by Christmas of 2009, my right arm hung like a pendulum, and my hands on both arms looked like golf clubs. Cortisone shots in both shoulders did help some. Convinced now that it wasn't in my head, the doctor sent me for ultrasound and x-rays. The search for a surgeon took over another year, as I was turned down by several due to age. It was six months to the referral visit and then another six months to very successful surgery for the right arm.

During that time of waiting, I could not drive much, did only essentials around the house, had to quit my job as I could not hold up the sign, and in general, felt pretty useless. So I spent most of my time reclining with my Bible and hymn books, and did a lot of daily devotions in my head, while I waited what seemed an eternity in the quietness that was thrust upon me. A return to session meetings (elder board) resulted in a study on God's faithfulness from Psalm 145 and the entire session singing with me, "Great is Thy faithfulness".

As I think of those who are ailing in body, mind, and spirit, I would like offer encouragement with these verses:

Psalm 46:1-3 – God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult. (RSV)

God's faithfulness, grace, love, and mercy will strengthen you as it did me through that long wait. His healing peace kept me sane. Today, I have been restored to my crossing guard position, an excellent opportunity for retirees, and I am enjoying keeping young with the kids.

Prayer: Great is Your faithfulness, Lord God Almighty. Nothing is impossible with You. Your loving kindness, tender mercies, and saving strength carry us when we cannot carry ourselves. Thank You for Your healing powers. Thank You for forgiving our doubts and impatience in the face of problems and illness. Grant each of us a safe sleep in Your arms tonight and wake us here on earth or in Your heavenly light. Great is Your faithfulness. Help us as we strive to be faithful to You. This we ask in Jesus' name. Amen.

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About the author:

Ellen Channon <yln1655@gmail.com>
Peterborough, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Wonderful story Ellen. Thanks for sharing.

    Good thought!

    Thanks, Ellen for that beautiful inspiration. It was very refreshing.
    We hope you will contribute more devotions.

    I really enjoyed your devotional. You sure had your problems, but the.
    Lord carried you through with your great faithfulness. Your prayer touched my heart.

    Than you Ellen, for your encouragement to those of us who face health problems and reminding us to rest in the Lord. His faithfulness is indeed great in all our trials.

    Dear Ellen,
    I really enjoy your devotional “A Quiet Time”.
    Thank you.

    Your devotional this morning was quite compelling. Thank you.

    Thank you Ellen. So glad to read that your faith saw you through to a return to good Health, and good Help in your most important role of Crossing Guard.
    Keep up your good work.. .including more devotionals.

    What a lovely Devotional, Ellen. “Be still, and know that I am God” is probably the most powerful admonition in the Bible; it says everything in only a few words. So happy to hear that you are “back on the job” and enjoying the children as much as they surely enjoy you!

    Hi Ellen
    I was just reading the devotional when I said to my daughter this story could have been written by one of the members in our church and I was telling her about your episode when I finally went back to finish reading it and low and behold it was you.
    Well written Ellen.

    Dear Ellen:
    As I read your devotional “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” is being sung on the radio. Is God reminding me that my small problems are His
    chance to once again prove that He has a solution.
    I have been so blessed to find a Christian radio station coming from Newfoundland to Northern BC.

    Good message, Ellen. I can relate to much of it as I had a torn rotator cuff repair four year ago. Very painful but the surgery went well.
    So pleased to hear you have similar success. Thank you for a reassuring message that will bring comfort and rest to weary spirits.

    Ellen: I wanted to you how much I appreciated your devotional today.
    I am in my mid seventies and I have both shoulders in trouble. The pain and sleepless nights are no good. I am getting cortisone shots and it helps but your story shared was even more encouraging to me. Thank you and God Bless you

    Many thanks for your timely and encouraging message. My husband is awaiting a shoulder surgery for some time as you had. I appreciate your outlook and successful resolution. Hope all continues well for you as you maintain your fullness of life in His name!Thanks again. Peace.

    Dear Ellen: Thank you for writing these marvelous words. How true they are! I too was scheduled for shoulder surgery but 3 weeks before the surgery, my leg broke. I am now in the process of waiting for a surgeon’s appointment It could still be another 3 or 4 months. God has been amazing through all this. The break has turned into a wonderful blessing and I am grateful for it. God bless and keep you strong in Him.

    Dear Ellen;
    Thank you for your precious devotional this morning. I, too, am experiencing knee pain; I think is arthritis; almost like a toothache. I can especially feel it during damp and rainy weather. I am very busy and I am starting to believe that rainy days and toothache pains in my knees are a time that I need to spend quiet times with God and writing. Thank you for the reminder. God bless your day. And thanks be to God that you are feeling much better.

    Often times I read this devotion and it seems to me that God is speaking to me directly. As I was in the night with severe pain in my neck from what they think is a blocked salivary gland blockage I could not believe it again. The devotion was for me again. In the still of the night I was with the Lord. I have a time of waiting to get an ultrasound, etc. The scriptures were for me. Wow. Thank for writing it. I needed it. My pain is a bit less. Blessings.

    Ellen I echo your choice of the hymn, “Great is Your Faithfulness”, as my favourite spiritual song. It is a personal and living experience with God whose Name is Faithful.

    What wonderful insight. Thanks so much.

    Thank you, Ellen, for reminding us if our God’s loving faithfulness.

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