Dan, Heather, Jeremiah, Tory, Emma, Tye, Claire, Levi, Josie, Jane and Ethan

Thursday, September 17, 2009

God’s Timing: Lessons in Answered Prayer

"Spine week" at Tenwek. This patient had bilateral jumped facets at C5-6 and was treated with a posterior spinal fusion. Needless to say, a significant amount of reading (and prayer) went into this case.

"Spine week" continued...This man had a compression fracture at L1, treated with a posterior spinal instrumented fusion T12- L2.

Saturday morning relaxation in mom and dad's bed...

Solomon, our outstanding physiotherapist, with a spine patient sporting a newly applied halo.

The Monacle Man...this patient used a 1/2 pair of glasses, turned upside down, as his monacle to see. Stephen's parents glady provided the 250 shillings (3 bucks) to buy him a brand new pair of Ray Bans.

As a male with a certain amount of pride, it is hard to admit when I need help. About three weeks ago, overloaded with cases, and just plain physically exhausted, I finally admitted to Heather that I cannot continue at this pace alone. She came up with a rather simple solution. “Why don’t we ask God to provide another orthopedic visitor,” she asked. Admittedly skeptical that God would answer as quickly as I needed, we, as a family, began to pray.

About five days later, Russ White, the medical superintendent at Tenwek, approached me in theater. The previous weekend, he had been at the Rift Valley Academy, a boarding school located on the grounds of Kijabe mission hospital, just outside of Nairobi. While there, he had a “chance meeting” with an orthopedic surgeon who had been visiting at Kijabe hospital for about a month. When Russ asked how it was going, the surgeon said, “Fine, but I don’t feel very needed here…there are already 12 orthopedic surgeons at Kijabe!” Russ, as the quintessential recruiter, challenged him to come to Tenwek, where there would be no question about needed-ness. In short, in less than two weeks after we began to pray for another orthopod, Dr. Bob Greene arrived at Tenwek, and he will be here for the next 6 months!!

God’s timing is perfect. Many times, however, unwilling to wait on God to work or provide, I have formed my own plan, gone my own way, and, as a result, missed God’s best, or sometimes suffered undesirable consequences. Thankfully, this time, resisting the temptation to quit, although feeling spent, God gave us the patience to wait, and he provided miraculously, and far more quickly than I believed he was willing or able. Walking home from the hospital today at an early 5pm, I noticed a lighter step…I wasn’t feeling exhausted or angry or overwhelmed.

I am reminded of the verse from Jeremiah 2:13: "My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.” When we “dig our own cisterns,” they crack, leak, and never maintain the level that we need. We wonder why we feel unfulfilled, stressed, burdened, etc. Why do we feel compelled to forsake our God, who is able to provide in ways far more perfect and complete, fulfilling that which our souls really desire? The simple answer is pride…fear…anxiety…_______. However, when we wait on “the spring of living water,” the result is far beyond anything we are able to provide for ourselves.


Heather said...

What a blessing! God is so good. So happy to hear that. xoxo to all of you from all of us! The boys still talk about Jeremiah, play with their swords, and Ryan, especially, wants to be back in Africa!

Justin said...

Dr. Galat,

I am a medical student and I came across your blog. You are doing incredible work. I really enjoyed reading your blog entries.

God bless,

Tommy Sweets said...

Keep up the good work Dr. Dan.

-Tommy Sweets

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