Pastor Larson’s Corner: Getting ready

Pastor Larsons Corner

Pastor Larson recently had a knee replacement surgery. For the next few weeks he will share some thoughts and reflections on this experience.

When I attended my pre-op orientation for a total knee replacement, they gave me a 75-page manual explaining how to prepare for surgery. There were suggested exercises, relaxation techniques, ways to prepare my house for coming home, and several other things. One thing the manual did not include were any suggestions for spiritual preparation. I was on my own in this regard and decided to focus my devotions and prayers during the weeks before my surgery on the Psalms.

The book of Psalms has always served as a source of encouragement for me, and it was not difficult to find some very comforting words among them. For example, in Psalm 23 we have the famous words, “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.” Or a little later in this same Psalm, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.” When we face surgery we can count on fear taking hold of our hearts and minds. It simply comes with the territory. As I reflected on the Psalmist’s words during the days leading up to surgery, I was able to set some fear aside and enter the event with both confidence and hope.

Perhaps no Psalm has more comfort and guidance for us in time of distress than Psalm 91. Here are a few selected verses from Psalm 91 that both guide us and give us hope in time of need: “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High … shall say to the Lord, You are my refuge and my stronghold, my God in whom I put my trust. You shall find refuge under His wings … He shall give His angels charge over you … lest you dash your foot against a stone.” I found that reading words such as these in the days leading up to my surgery was the best thing I could do to prepare for a very difficult time.

Pastor Larson’s Corner is written by Jerry Larson and appears weekly in the Norwegian American Weekly.

Pastor Jerry Larson retired to his cabin in Zimmerman, Minn., after 39 years in parish ministry for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. In 2011 he published a book entitled “Speaking the Word Freely: Writing with purpose, preaching with power.” Contact him at

This article originally appeared in the Oct. 23, 2015, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly.

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The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.