Tom Gilson

It’s been a rough season for me.

I never expected that I would still be wearing a cast 20 weeks after foot surgery. The tendon repair went well enough, but I developed a stress fracture when I started using the foot again. The treatment for that is several weeks of total rest, meaning that I had to go back on crutches and/or the knee walker.

On one level, that was fine. My job does not require that I on my feet very much, and my family was willing to pitch in and do what I would normally do. It’s getting old, however, for the family. And for several weeks, I forgot to slow down for my injury. I took two trips by car, both of which turned out to be more taxing than I had expected. It brought me perilously close to burnout. And I have at least another three weeks to go in this cast, to be followed by an unknown length of time in an orthopedic boot.

It didn’t help that there were problems with the back end of this blog that I had to spend a lot of time resolving.

This is (supposed to be) a Thinking Christian blog. It seems like I ought to be moving on from those observations to some general principle or theory regarding pain, suffering, evil or the place of God in our lives when things don’t go the way you wish they would. I’m not feeling terribly philosophical these days, though, nor am I inclined to wax theological. I’m a bit worn out for that. I’m thinking more about things like, at least I don’t have to worry about matching my socks when they come out of the dryer.

Yet God is my strength. He is not just my philosophical strength. He is not just my theological strength. He is not just an answer to an apologetic question. He is, in a very real sense, a friend. It’s not just a cognitive relationship, it’s a relationship relationship.

Life has its seasons. I am fully confident that this season will pass along and be followed by another. That doesn’t mean I’m certain my foot will ever heal completely, although I still think that it will. I have a sister who has been handicapped for nearly 40 years now. The changing seasons in her life are not such that she expects to regain the ability to walk in this lifetime. Still she loves the Lord very deeply. She is a model of faith, for me and for many others.

I wouldn’t want to say that what I’m going through is all bad or even mostly bad. It’s an opportunity for me to live out my relationship with Jesus Christ in a different way than usual: more slowly, more reflectively, more calmly, more personally.

For the sake of my writing, which on a strictly vocational level is my deepest love and joy, I do look forward to moving forward again into a more creatively productive experience of life. In the meantime, this is a great time for me to be reminded that that’s not all I am and it’s not all that I do.

And who knows? Maybe I’ll see something or read something later today that will light my philosophical, theological, apologetical fire once again. It will surely happen at some point, probably sooner rather than later. When it does, I pray that I will retain some of what I’m learning now about a more fully rounded relationship with God through Jesus Christ. He is good, even during a rough season—in fact, he is good especially in the rough seasons.

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4 thoughts on “A Rough Season

  1. Hang in there! At least winter is over, right? About the blogging, do you do everything yourself? That’s amazing. Maybe you’d like to get an intern to handle some of the technical back-end stuff or the simple clerical stuff. Just a suggestion. I don’t have anyone in mind.

  2. Whatever our disagreements, I hope your recovery is complete and swift. While fortunately not as severe as yours, I have empathy as well as sympathy for foot problems.

  3. Tom
    A time like this does tend to burn you out but as you are in Christ you’ll already know without me saying it , that there’s a purpose to it all . Finding that out of course is very difficult as Paul himself avers in his thorn in the flesh passage but I’m sure our Lord can reveal that to you over the next weeks or months ahead. Stay in the Word and try to be as gentle as you can with everyone – easier said than done ! I pray you get well soon

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