Four weeks ago, about this time, I was heading for surgery. Calm, trying to recognize the OR personnel. I wasn't scared, I knew I was in God's hands. I didn't think I would stay in the hospital for a whole week. By the end of the week, tears suddenly overwhelmed my eyes, as I thought how close I must have been to death. I really was in the valley of the shadow of death, yet I feared no evil. The tears on Friday and Saturday following that week of the beginning of recovery, were the kind you have after adrenaline left your system and you realize you have no idea how the strength you needed was there. I came home on the ninth. I hadn't read my Bible for a week, because the Gideons hadn't visited my room. My own is falling apart, so I didn't ask for it. So that Sunday morning after I got home, I read Isaiah, about the LORD's suffering servant, 53:4 "Yet, it was our weaknesses He carried; it was our sorrows that weighed Him down." I thought back at how I was living with this infection and tears sprung to my eyes. I wrote in my journal, "I am overwhelmed.
"Yet it is Christ who carries me and then I read that passage.."
I had calm and peace going into that OR because Jesus carries me.
As I think of loved ones who are not following Jesus as they did, I remember John 10 and the peace of our Good Shepherd. The Father will not allow one sheep to be snatched away from Jesus.
Isaiah 53:6 affirms the New Testament, "All of us have strayed away like sheep. We have left God's paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on Him the guilt and sins of us all."
When Jesus is so real to me, I know I must testify about Him and my words must glorify the Father. Do I always act right or put Jesus and others before myself? No.
I guess the Christian life can be like my recovery from extensive surgery. At first I needed someone to help me out of bed. Then I could master that. On Sunday, four weeks ago, the nurse basically washed me. Two days later I gladly washed myself. But a day later, I didn't feel like washing or walking as I developed an ileus.
The surgeon explained to me on Thursday, we don't go in a straight line from day one to "Ta da" you're tops again. It is jagged trajectory over the six weeks, but you don't get as low as day one this far out.
I am still overwhelmed and thankful that Jesus did carry me. And He still does. I truly wasn't scared four weeks ago. Even on the Monday when cancer was hinted at, I felt no anxiety. I know Jesus is carrying me. Maybe the themes of my novels are working their way into the fabric of my life.
|Three weeks post op, January 24, 2016|