The first night we spent in Kazakhstan, Jim and I sat down on the edge of our bed and looked at each other in horror – the bed was rock-hard. Seriously. Think dining room chair seat with a sponge on top. Though we didn’t say it that night, both of us feared that we would be on a return flight to the US within a few days.
You see, Jim’s got back issues, including deteriorating disks and arthritis. For the last fifteen years, he has sought out softer and softer mattresses, and has even slept on half-inflated air mattresses, in order to get the rest he needs. And now we were expected to sleep on a really hard bed? Might as well ask him to sleep on the floor – a definite no-go.
Except that has not turned out to be the case. On our third day in Kazakhstan, Jim agreed to go for a walk, and we toured the park near our hotel (see the blog with the memorial, " A Capital Place" dated August 19th). We came back, climbed the stairs to our hotel, and he didn’t need any extra pain pills.
A day later we walked probably a total of 2 miles. And on ONE pain pill.
Since then, we have walked to and from school (takes about 20 minutes), climbed up and down 4½ flights of stairs to our apartment, and climbed the three stories at school, all on a maximum of two pain pills a day, not four to six, as was needed in the past. Is it just a hard bed? We don't think so.
We have acknowledged the hand of God in getting us this job – the circumstances of “just happening” to notice an invitation in LinkedIn, the ease of emailing a resumé and participating in a phone interview, and the fact that our assignment matches exactly the duties of our voluntary missionary service in Tonga – too many “coincidences” to be coincidence. We know the Lord led us here. But we didn’t expect the gift of healing. Jim has had fewer issues since we arrived here than he has had in perhaps ten years. It’s like he has a personal angel lifting his legs and supporting his back, as if he's a marionette. He’s not totally healed – we don’t need that. And we credit the bed, but it can't be just the bed. He’s healed enough to be able to do this job, and we are grateful.
We know we are in the right place. We have been blessed in order to fulfill our responsibilities. My wish for you is that you will notice the hand of the Lord in your own life.