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Ken’s Story

I was hospitalized on July 22, 2013 following several days of illness and having my temperature spike to 103. I was eventually diagnosed with West Nile Virus. This inflamed a previous undiagnosed condition called Myasthenia Gravis a rare autoimmune disorder. This lead to a life threatening crisis that included meningitis and encephalitis. The result was several weeks on life support that included tube feedings and a tracheotomy to sustain my breathing. A tumor was found in my thymus gland that required surgery. In the mean time I developed pneumonia in my left lung. Surgery on September 26th included removing the tumor, my thymus and the lower lobe of my left lung. I spent 8 weeks at Northern Colorado Rehab Hospital and finally returned to our Fort Collins home on December 10th after close to five months of hospitalization. This blog chronicles my journey from initial hospitalization to the present status of my recovery.

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Where Does God Dwell?

This past week has been a transition week for me in using my walker for greater mobility in the community. I used it to go to church last Wednesday, therapy last Thursday, and church on Saturday evening. I figured in most settings that I can walk far enough to get to a resting point if needed. I took advantage of that last night at church.

Today we joined a group from Timberline Church at the Candlelight Dinner Theater. It was an enjoyable time, although fairly exhausting for me. I was glad to get back home and take a short nap before the Bronco game. Before we left our event we took a picture with Jerry and Virginia Pippin. Jerry and Virginia do a great job directing the PrimeTimers Senior Ministry at Timberline. They live in Loveland and have been such a great support to us, especially last year with taking care of our grandkids when I was in the hospital for surgery.

BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY... "For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite."   Isaiah 57:15

Our view of the greatness of God is important. When Solomon dedicated the temple he understood that "The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built!"  (1 Kings 8:27) Yet we see that the Children of Israel were constantly "trading" in the One True God for "regional gods" of Canaan. Instead of an exalted view of God, they were constantly trying to bring God down to their level. We have those today we simply "see God in nature." Not God revealed in nature but God as nature. Others have even a more nebulous view of God.

How big is your God? How small is your God? Isaiah declares the "One" whose name is "Holy" is high and lifted up and inhabits eternity. If you can comprehend the vastness of eternity, you can grasp the vastness of God.

The prophet then goes on and says that in spite of the vastness of the God of the Universe, He dwells with those of a "contrite and lowly spirit." It doesn't say with "those of superior intellect." It doesn't say "those of high social status or those who have achieved the highest level of income." To be contrite and lowly in spirit requires one to understand the limits of their abilities, resources and strength. They tend to focus less on themselves and more on God. They are aware of their need of God. When we are aware of our need of God, God becomes more aware of us.

Then I notice that God "revives" the spirit of the lowly and heart of the contrite. With the corrective tone and call to repentance from the lips of Isaiah, this very well could be those who have been full of pride and have lived life in their own strength. But now circumstances have brought them low and have humbled them. Someone once said, "it is better to humble ourselves, rather than to have God humble us." The encouragement is found that even if God does have to "humble us" He does so to come to us and to restore us.

My illness has certainly been a humbling experience. In the midst of it all I have began to understand in a fresh way, in a new way, the vastness and greatness of God. Our  God who inhabits the universe is able to revive in body, mind and spirit.