Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Indigenous, Naturally Available Remedy

As I was reading this evening I was reminded of a circumstance from the past.

On one of the tree jobs that I worked, a tree removal in a cemetery, I was employed to remove a diseased tree that had grown next to a chain link fence. The area to fell the tree was, of course, full of tombstones and benches and statues. The tree had to be felled so as to do no damage to any of these.

The tree fell perfectly, landing exactly where I had planned. However, the curvature of the trunk was such that having hit the ground it forced the tree to bounce and to twist so that it bounced back at me. The trunk landed on my foot, slamming into my ankle and shin, pinning me against the fence and ground. I had a helper that day, and together we rocked the tree sufficiently to unpin my foot and leg.

My leg should have been shattered, but it was not. Whether the Lord sent an angel or simply prevented the bones from shattering, He prevented serious injury. However, my foot and leg began to swell badly. We could see the bruised area rise as it swelled.

First I thought, “How will I get ice for my leg?” We were at least half a mile from the cemetery office or any other facility. But it was winter and the ground was frozen with ice and snow all around. So I immediately hobbled to where the sun had shone and partially thawed some ice and soil, forming a small patch of icy mud. I rolled up my pant leg and stripped off the work boot and sock. Then I packed my foot and ankle in the icy mud for 15 to 20 minutes. We watched the swelling go down almost as quickly as it had risen.

Then I brushed away the mud pack, put on my sock and boot, and finished the job.

The point of sharing this story is to serve as a reminder that God provides the way, and if we are open to perceive it we receive it. God had provided for my rescue and healing through means that I ordinarily despise. But on this day I was very thankful that God had sent the wintry mix of ice and snow and frozen ground. He had already provided the means for my first aid before I had any notion of needing any aid. Without the frozen mud pack to apply with such rapidity, the swelling would have caused considerable damage, for which I would have needed days to heal.

Truly the Lord is our gracious Father who provides all that we need for this life and for the life to come. If we have proper fear of Him, then we fear not the things that sneak up on us in our daily walk, so that we remember His goodness and power and grace and we expect to see and hear and perceive what He has provided for us so as to make proper use of His providence.

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