No Bucks, Big Whammies

In His searching tonight, God would find me in a very familiar place. Sitting on the couch, with the side lamp on, and my 5 kids sound asleep in their beds; all with Liz hooked to an IV in the hospital. And relatively speaking, these hospital stays have become a commonplace in this brief stay upon this earth.

Liz is in the hospital tonight due to sharp abdominal and flank pains. These pains are accompanied by the unrelenting conditions that have eventually led to dehydration, a small spike in blood pressure, and loss of color. After speaking to the doctor in a windowless room within his practice, it was decided that Liz would be admitted to try and figure out the cause for all of these symptoms. But what would a hospital stay for Liz be like without complications, slow progress, a breakdown in communication, and the shedding of a few tears.

After hours of delay, they were able to get Liz a bed within the hospital and she didn’t have to spend last night in the emergency room. They were also able to get an IV started, but it was an EJ (a line in her external jugular; a neck IV). This way, Liz was able to begin receiving much-needed fluids and medicine, in particular, nausea medicine. Some rest was had last night.

Then today hit; which means absolutely nothing. The doctor wants to see “how she does today.” See, for most doctors, when all their normal tests, scans, and work-ups come back with no clear reason for a person’ condition, it’s as if they freeze up and figure the best answer is to send the patient home. Yes, Liz’s nausea is under control and her pain is manageable right now. But if the medicines were removed, we would be right back where we started. So, the next step, begin getting consults from specialists. It’s sad when the patient has to request it and the doctor doesn’t bring it up as an option. But then again, if you’re an on-call doctor working with another doctor’s patient, your job is to maintain status quo until Monday arrivess. As of tonight, Liz is not much closer in gaining relief from what led to this round of needle pokes, quick visits with her children, and calls to the nurses’ desk asking for more medicine.

To many in this country, God is no different than a weatherman from the local news station. This person has been put in a position to, through years of education and the latest in technology, predict what is going to happen tomorrow and the next day and over the weekend. Everyone knows that sometimes he/she gets it right and sometimes he seems so far off. Why not group God into such a category? We “tune into” God when the “front” is passing through. We want to see if this so-called big shot in Heaven can come through in the clutch. “God, what’s happening? Why aren’t you fixing this? I have prayed for you to do something like a billion times.” And yet, if God does choose to answer the prayer the way we want Him to, we love to say, “Oh, great, it all worked out in the end. Glad I was able to pull through.” Yet, if God answers in any other way, “Well shoot, I’m wasting my time with something that probably doesn’t even exist.” We give up so easily any more. My kids play with one thing and 5 minutes later, they want to bring out some other toys and then they want to color. Instead of grasping the definition of sovereign, we would rather strengthen our own skills and abilities to get what we think is right.

Some that would hear the story of our family, from start to finish, would question our sanity. Why in the world would we stay faithful to a god that has yet to answer our prayers, especially after praying for so long? People all over the world have sent e-mails, cards, letters, notes, text messages, chat conversations, and phone calls our way to let us know that they are praying. Church groups, families, and individuals have committed to supporting us during this ongoing trial by fire. So, if all this is taking place, and yet, Liz continues to have issues, problems, and complications, why would we return to a seemingly empty well. Easy. Because the water we seek can not be gathered by simple human effort alone; no matter the number. The healing power of my living God is worth the wait, even if it never comes.

I lose it sometimes. I have those detrimental thoughts that do nothing but paralyze life. I get fed up with running in place. I hear the stories of people moving on in life, being called by God to go somewhere else, do something else, and to become part of something else. Where’s my call, God? I sometimes picture myself in the middle of a freshly harvested corn field. The rain is driving deep into the fresh soil. And I look toward the dark sky, screaming at the tops of my lungs, only to be drowned out by the clash of thunder and the flash of lightning. “Why have you forgotten about me, God? When do I get to be called up to become something great? I am fine with some great position; I’ll settle for lots of money; I am totally game for a leadership seat. Take me now to new heights!” Then, in this same mental movie, the skies clear, the sun shines, and the wind becomes a breeze. With the simplest of ease, a calming voice of restoration reaches out and tries to explain the many ways in which I am needed. Service, sacrifice, and being a part of something grand had always been there for the taking. There’s no walk of shame for pleading with God for insight. Just full-bore restlessness if after such revelation, monotony, simple-mindedness, and narcissism return.

Every school day morning, when Logan and I are waiting in the drop off lane at school, he always asks me the same question. “Get ready?” (He likes to take his seat belt off and be ready to swing the door open when we ease in front of the school doors. He’s ready to pounce and get his day started. No matter the weather, what he had for breakfast, what clothes were laid out for him, or how tired he may feel…”Get ready?”)

…God, help me to follow my son’s lead. Get my heart, and my mind, and my body ready to go. Set me ablaze in such a way that I am so excited that I ask You, “Get ready?” No matter what the “ready” may be for, because I know you are way out in front, helping me to be ready when the time comes. I am going to need the daily fresh compassions. Not sure how, when, or where this round will end; much less, the whole battle. Hearing the heart of suffering of so many, God has His plate full. May my visits to the corn field be few and far between.


2 Responses to “No Bucks, Big Whammies”

  1. Kids are wonderful things, are they not? So young but they seem to have the right attitude alot of the time that adults should have. Stay strong bro.

  2. NanaPops Says:

    A majority of the people where I live and whom I encounter wish or pray for the kind of significance you have instead of the unfulfilling materialism they have been taught and “bought” into. The way the Lord of all creation is using you to influence and impact your family members’ lives as well as many, many others is hard to measure and probably hard for you to see or anywhere near fully appreciate. (Mark 10:41-45 – You seem to be on the right track But it’s a track that’s never been crowded.

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