This morning I am walking a little off kilter as my right foot has a small abrasion.
Without a bit of pain, I may not have known it was even there.
We don’t like pain for the most part. We’d rather avoid it, at least I would, and yet pain is often our alert system to let us know when something abnormal is happening.
My Dad had a tooth extracted last week and had to go off of his blood thinner medication for a few days. Then he began to act strange, not remembering how to accomplish little things like getting dressed, or how to text my mom and his strength began to decline.
We found ourselves taking my Father to the emergency room on my son’s 17 Birthday.
Celebrations were delayed as my Dad endured many tests including an MRI, a sonogram, an EEG and I’m sure there were more. The results came back with news of a few strokes and a blockage in several of his arteries.
As I write this, Daddy is having surgery on his front right artery to clear out the 90% blockage of plaque, freeing the blood to flow from the heart to the brain as it should.
Without symptoms, without things going wrong, without Dad having the tooth pulled and going off his blood thinner medication for a few days and without the small strokes resulting in odd behavior – we may not have known about the blockage in his arteries until it was too late.
Sometimes pain, and the things that go wrong are a blessing in disguise. Without pain, without there being problems, we may never know what the underlying issues are.
You and I opt for trouble free, if we can, wanting the easy way out.
God’s eyesight sees right through our surface desires and cutting straight to our deepest needs.
He knows what we don’t know.
He knows what needs to happen in our lives so we can course correct and become the best version of ourselves, to be used for his glory and to live a purposeful life.
When life is calm and easy we often forget those days as nothing memorable stands out.
No one forgets pain and trouble, or the victories that are fought hard for and won!
No one forgets spending their 48th Wedding Anniversary in the hospital (that was yesterday for my parents).
No one forgets the kindness of a security guard picking you up in the hospital parking garage and taking you to the front door of the hospital.
Or caregivers who are cheerful and upbeat even as they help your Daddy with his personal needs.
No one forgets those who come up and pray for your father and your family with faith, fervency and love. Or those who send videos or texts sharing their concern, support and prayers.
These memories are the kinds that get etched deep within our souls as pillars of strength.
As I sit here and write and believe Dad will come through surgery with no complications, and many more years of good and improved health – I know I will not forget this time.
The memories won’t ever leave of how Dad had an experience with the Lord in the early morning hours before surgery. Daddy said that the Lord came and stood by him and said, “Fear not, I’m going to go with you through this operation”.
Daddy said that when the Lord said, “Fear not”, that His peace and presence filled his heart.
“Do not fear, for I am with you” (Isaiah 41:10).
I will not soon forget the view out of Dad’s hospital room window while staying with him to give mom a break.
Or Dad’s restlessness in the hospital as he is a “doer” and he couldn’t get up to go and do.
Or how we laughed at Daddy’s funny responses to the nurses when he couldn’t understand what they were asking him, due to his lifelong hearing loss.
Or how Dad kept telling us to, “Keep the Faith” as we were bringing him into the emergency room last Saturday in case these were his last words to us.
Or how Dad memorized all the answers to the questions the doctors and nurses kept asking him, to the point that when he was asked, he would rattle off ALL the answers, even to the questions they had NOT asked yet, because he knew they would eventually.
Or how mom came back to the hospital prepared to give Dad a ninja style haircut the night before surgery and she did! It’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission sometimes, right?
Or how Dad shared honestly how he had fear in his heart until the Lord came to him early in the morning, before surgery, and gave him assurance that He was with him.
No matter how long we have lived for God, we are not exempt from feeling fear or uncertainty – God knows this.
He loves us and he’s all about calming our hearts and filling us with His peace and doing what we cannot do – even guiding the best surgeons hands that we might know his love for us even more.
So even before the surgery is over I felt I had to write. I had to tell you that pain has a purpose. Whether we can decipher the purpose on this side of heaven or not, does not negate the fact that pain has a purpose.
God waste nothing we go through period!
We will celebrate 17 years of life for my son a week late as my Dad recovers from surgery and begins a new chapter of health and life and renewed strength, by faith.
Dad has taught us to continue to turn our fears over to the God, who formed our hearts and delights in settling us down in his love and peace. Money can’t buy this my sweet friend!
And we are forever grateful for all the love and prayers poured out on our family today and this entire past week. One never forgets the love and kindness of others in times like these.
I hope in some small way something I have shared has touched you. God cares about you. God knows exactly what you are facing. Whether God visits you by your hospital bedside or or puts a deep knowing in your heart or whether what God shared with my Dad is speaking directly to you today – know that God is real and very involved in all of the details of your life!
I just received word that Dad came through the surgery and he is already waking up in recovery and doing well! Thank you Jesus!
“Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:4-5).
Today, my house might be a mess from being gone a lot this week. Laundry and dishes may be stacked up. We may have postponed my son’s birthday celebration and find ourselves rushing to also prepare for the start of school next week. None of that really matters today.
Today my Daddy heard from God once again and felt His peace, His presence and His promises to be true. Today my Daddy is recovering from surgery. Today we will celebrate, because today we have a lot to be thankful for.
Please let me know if anything I shared spoke to your heart or encouraged you or if I can pray for you! I’d love for you to reply to me via email or in the comments on the Faith Caffeine Blog or on the Faith Caffeine Facebook Page.
We all need encouragement from one another!
In this with you,