By Tony Tench

These past weeks, we have had to “slow down” in our household. My surgical experience to repair an injury to my arm, as well as an infection that spread across Janet’s face, forced us to change our normal pace and wait for recovery and healing.  We are doing well, now, and moving in the right direction.

“Slowing down” during these days has served to give us a chance to be thankful because the days have brought us reminders of many of life’s blessings.  We have been thankful!

My recuperative reading has included pages that brought joy to my soul, pages that challenged my thinking, and pages that moved me to tears.  Such reading is needed for this life of ours because we are not able to move through the variety of life’s stages, seasons and struggles on our own – we need companions.  Companions, yes, who bring food and send cards and offer prayers and bags of ice for the swelling and conversations to bless the time.  But, too, we need companions for the mind and heart because the inner life requires refreshment and nurture if we are to set our sights on the places the outer life is to go!  As 19thC pastor Henry Ward Beecher once said, “A library is not a luxury but one of the necessities of life.”

These last days brought reminders of how vital disciplined reading is for the journey.

Life under God’s creative design is far too rich and meaning-filled to be unimpressed by the witness that writers offer from their interaction therein. We are encouraged through life’s pilgrimage by the lives of others; and, their writing gives us a chance to receive their words, wisdom, warnings, and wonderings to consider as we walk on.

My recuperative reading these past weeks included:

But, of all the reading that can be read, it is the reading of Scripture that most blesses our lives and reminds us of the source of life’s strength and purpose, that’s for sure. Paul said it well, “I thank God every time I remember you.” And, with Paul, Janet and I are so thankful for the care others have sent our way these past weeks. Thankfully, too, as I came to the end of my reading of Peter’s first letter in the New Testament, I arrived at these verses which have come to remind my heart of a Doxology for Everyday Life.  There’s a lot that we face in this life, but there is a truth that gets us through every one of those experiences.  Peter put it this way:

The God of all grace…will himself restore you

and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

To him be the power for ever and ever.