2004-02-23 - Being Absent

Isaiah 53:5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions. He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.

You may have noticed that I have been absent for a while as a writer for CFDevotionals. The truth is that I have been in and out of the hospital for the last 10 months. The problem remained undiagnosed until January 14 of this year. I got in a car accident and when they drew blood from me at the hospital they found that there was an infection in my blood stream. On that day they told me there was a 60% chance that I would leave the hospital, and a 40% chance I would die there. Three days later my chances of survival were placed at less than 50-50. Preparations began among my family and pastor for my impending funeral. Needless to say I am still here, and by God's grace I hope to hang on for a while longer.

I spent 19 days in the ICU critical care unit and I now have to return several times a week for 5 hour follow-up treatments. The doctors have told me that there is always hope I will recover fully, but they have labeled me as permanently disabled and told me I will probably never be able to work again.

So I ask forgiveness for my being absent, but there was little I could do while I was sick and then even less while I was in the hospital. Even now I spend most of my time in bed because I am so weak. I have learned a lot from this experience and I would like to share a couple of the things I have learned with you.

1. The continuation of our lives is never certain. "Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away," James 4:14. The truth is that for the three months prior to entering the hospital I did get really sick, but I just figured that I had the flu and could not shake it. It is rare that anyone is thankful for a car accident, but had I not had one and been taken to the hospital, the doctors say I probably would have died in 3 days to a week. We never know when the Lord will call us home to be with Him and for myself this was the most vivid reminder of that truth I have ever experienced.

2. Trials, and especially ultimate trials, can either lead to our resting fully in Christ and His will, or despair. When I was told there was a good chance I would die in the hospital, it didn't even phase me. I remember thinking, "I rest in Christ alone." My mindset was that I would fight to live as best I could, but if the Lord took me home, well, His will was much more trustworthy than mine. Looking back it seems strange and foreign to think that way, but I honestly felt at peace. This is the hardest thing I have ever dealt with and the battle is not over, but it gives me great peace that my first inclination was to rest in Christ and His sovereign will.

I hope that explains to some extent why I have not been writing and I look forward to trying to get back into the flow at CFDevotionals.

Soli Deo Gloria,