I’m beginning to ease myself back into a few hours of work a day after my second experience of pulmonary emboli in three years. If you’re interested in what happened from a medical point of view, here’s an animated video.

Personally, I’m not that interested in the medical side of things. I’m much more concerned with the spiritual dimension. It’s been a sobering and solemnizing time in which I’ve been prayerfully trying to interpret this providence and hear God’s “voice” to me in it.

Basically God has stopped me in my tracks once again and I’ve been asking myself Why? Not at all in a rebellious way, but in a humble and teachable way. Did I miss or forget the lessons of three years ago? I’ve already had two strikes; I desperately don’t want a third.

I realize that the ultimate answer is something between God and I alone, but maybe you can offer some suggestions that I’ve not yet considered. Here are the options I’ve been mulling over - maybe it’s one of these, none of these, or all of these!

1. I’ve been on the wrong track and I need to turn around and get on God’s track.

2. I’ve been going too fast on the track and need to slow down.

3. I’ve been traveling on too many tracks at the one time and I need to trim my ministry activities.

4. I’ve been pulling too many carriages behind me and I need to share burdens and delegate better.

5. I’ve been traveling on the right track but on my own steam and I need to rely on God’s “steam” alone.

6. Someone else is on the wrong track and God is using me as a warning to them.

7. My engine needs some rest and repair in a siding for a while.

8. God is preparing me for another journey, but I cannot see it round the corner yet.

9. God wants to stop me from going over a cliff or some other danger ahead.

10. God wants to end my journey. Maybe God is saying, “48 years is all I’d planned for you David. Your journey is over.”

As I said, sobering and solemnizing.

  • Cameron Morgan

    So glad that you’re back to blogging David and thank you for sharing how God is working in your heart through this. Glad to hear that you’re on the mend and taking things slow!

  • Phil Pockras

    Dear brother — praying for you, and for discernment both to perceive and to obey, knowing that whatever our Father has for you, it’s for your good in Christ, for the good of His Church, and for His glory.

    I don’t say this glibly. I’ve been through a time or two of health scares, and I’ve thought similar thoughts, as well as anxious thoughts. Too many of the anxious ones. I had to acknowledge that He doeth all things well: far better than I.

  • Alastair Manderson

    Dr Murray, I can offer you no advice for reading this Providence, I am a young man and a young Christian and both of those render me of little use to you. However, I’m going to direct you to something I read and that has stuck with me for hardly any reason, perhaps it will be of us now. These comments from Matthew Henry I read over a little while ago, part of his commentary on Mark 6. I read them when my Pastor William MacLeod was preaching through the book of Mark.

    “The most active servants of Christ cannot be always upon the stretch of business, but have bodies that require some relaxation, some breathing-time; we shall not be able to serve God without ceasing, day and night, till we come to heaven, where they never rest from praising him, Rev 4:8. And the Lord is for the body, considers its frame, and not only allows it time for rest, but puts it in mind of resting. Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers. Return to thy rest. And those that work diligently and faithfully, may cheerfully retire to rest. The sleep of the labouring man is sweet.” – I’m glad to know you’ve had to take a little rest.

  • Richard Billings

    Dear Brother, thank you for sharing. I have been blessed by your blog and your book “Jesus on Every Page”. I will keep you in prayer.

  • Homeschool on the Croft

    I don’t know what God is saying to you, David, but as you know, I had a health scare around 10 years ago too. I was brought to the edge of eternity, and although I don’t fully know *why* God brought that providence into my life, I know this much … It changed me. Ten or so years on, my awareness of the fragility of life has never left me. Also, my awareness of the waste of all that we do on earth that doesn’t have eternity in view …
    I am glad beyond words that God brought that experience into my life. I am glad that the truth of ‘here we have no continuing city’ is more than head knowledge to me now. I *know* it, and have never lost my awareness of it. I pray that ‘we seek one to come’ would become more and more what my life is about.

    I didn’t mean to make this comment about *me* … Praying for peace for yourself and your family.

  • JoAnn

    I think we too often imagine things like this are discipline or instruction from God. It might be better to view these types of trials as a veiled blessings. Trust God and look for the blessing.

  • http://www.winsomearrows.com/ Joan

    Prayers for God’s peace – for He himself is our peace. Eph. 2:14

  • GFrye

    Just saw your link on my brother’s blog. I am actually in the process (While 5 months pregnant) of finding out how serious my newly discovered melanoma is. As you said, sobering is the best word for all of this. I am only 29 and have had different painful trials lately and I too wonder why? The first thing that came to mind though was all the sin in my heart…all the time I pursue me instead of Him. I pray God heals me and that this will be a trial I never forget. That i will learn whatever it is he wants to teach me during this time.

    Prayers for you today.

  • Trillia

    Prayed for you this morning. Thanks for sharing and for writing these thoughts out. Praying for healing and faith. -Trill

  • a.

    continued prayer for your blessing; thinking too on certainty- that the works of God might (will) be displayed in you !

    He knows the plans that He has for us- plans for welfare and not for calamity to give us a future and a hope; His eyes saw our unformed substance and in His book are all written the days ordained for us; How precious also are His thoughts to us! How vast is the sum of them. We know that He can do all
    things and that no purpose of His can be thwarted. Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge? therefore we declare that which we do not understand, things too wonderful for us, which we do not know. Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are
    His judgments and unfathomable His ways!

    We will extol our God, our King, and we will bless His name forever and ever; every day we will bless Him, and we will praise His name forever and ever. Great is the Lord and highly to be praised, and His greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall praise His works to another and shall declare His
    mighty acts. On the glorious splendor of HIs majesty and on His wonderful works we will meditate. The
    Lord is good to all and His mercies are over all His works. The Lord is righteous in all His ways and
    kind in all His deeds.The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. Ps 145,
    139 verses; Rom 11 33; Jer 29:11 Job 42:2-3; John 9:3

  • Julie

    Or perhaps, the Lord just wants to reveal His love for you and sufficiency in a deeper way; to bless you with a closeness and understanding of Him that you can get in no other way. Our God is very good at that, loving His children deeply as He walks with them down hard and difficult paths. Praying for you dear brother.

  • Sherry Gay

    It’s a scary thing to ask for input on the internet. After reading your post and watching the video I get some of the gravity of your situation, and reading through your list of ideas you’ve been mulling over it feels all too familiar. When I’m looking for the answer to a question larger than I can grasp I tend to think it through from every conceivable angle, also known as thinking it to death. After a while it feels like a trap that I can’t escape. I would be grateful for some good advice on this as well.

    That said, I did learn something in my past that comes in handy from time to time. When I can’t find a solution it may be because it’s hiding in plain sight, often in entrenched ideas. As I read back through your post I caught this line, “Personally, I’m not that interested in the medical side of things. I’m much more concerned with the spiritual dimension.” I hope I’m not stepping out of line here but maybe this is physical/medical more so than spiritual; maybe the answer is eluding you because you’re looking in the wrong place for it. I’m not saying there isn’t a spiritual element to it. I guess it’s not so different than when people think that depression is spiritual instead of medical. It can be either one or even both, but when one avenue doesn’t lead to the answer then don’t neglect looking at the other. — God bless you!

  • alaskashivers

    Be assured that the One who loves us best will make His why available– if that is what He wants you to know. But as mother to two children with lifelong special needs, I have often discovered that these earnest digging expeditions don’t seem to lead to the right place. The best question to ask may instead be, “Where do we go from here?” and another great question may be “How do I bless others while I am here.”

  • Les

    I’m glad you are getting back to work. I’ve been praying for you. I’ve been studying to support myself once again and to get off disability. It’s hard to get back into the flow especially at my age. Psalm 90 keeps coming to mind, especially vv. 11-17. “So teach us to number our days,that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” For me it is to get active but maybe for you it is to slow down remembering “Oh, satisfy us early with Your mercy, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days!15 Make us glad according to the days in which You have afflicted us, the years in which we have seen evil.” I find it hard to rejoice and be glad all my days particularly when I’ve seen some evil. It’s hard to rejoice in God as the writer of Psalms 90 and 119 do. I know there is maturity in being able to do this. I pray you will rejoice in Christ.

  • Pingback: Destinations | Luggaged

  • ScriptureZealot

    Please don’t look for a reason. It’s often not for us to know. God will work out His plans for our growth, most of the time without telling us what He’s doing. You will grow closer to him because of this, which is what He’s after. Individual reasons are too lofty for us to figure out, and many times we can be wrong. In reading so many books and articles on suffering by Reformed authors, including many recommended by you, this is something I’ve learned from them, from experience in suffering from multiple chronic conditions and of course, Scripture.

  • David Murray

    Thanks so much for all your input. Lots of valuable insights here.

  • Brad Kelly

    The Lord wishes to show Satan that He is worth serving no matter what; and that His children love Him for Himself not for His gifts.

  • Pingback: KINDLE BOOKS

  • justmerach

    Maybe He wants to commune with you. Exodus 34:29

  • Pingback: Today in Blogworld 07.07.14 - Borrowed Light

  • peterhelstad

    …feel free to ignore this specific request, but I would greatly be blessed to hear your insight on the Jesus/ Jeremiah link in Matthew 16:14 …and since I’m personally trying to memorize Lametations 3, any Christ-centered understanding or insight you might have into that piece of scripture. Your Christ-centered reading of Scripture has greatly blessed me. Jesus in Lord! Thank you!

  • Cbeute

    John and I were watching lecture #8 of the Pilgrim’s Progress last night (the ones you posted) and as we were watching it, he mentioned that we should email you and ask you to listen to that particular lecture again. He said you’ve probably heard it many, many times, but perhaps it will speak to you differently in the midst of this trial. Praying you’ll be blessed by it.

  • Pingback: 10 Reasons God Stops Us In Our Tracks