Not Again, Lord
One prayer that was offered in my behalf before surgery was that the Lord would heal me and that this would be a testimony to others. He has granted that testimony.
Surgery is a dreaded word. Friends would say, "You poor thing! Another surgery!" or something similar.
That's what I thought, too; so I tried to give my Heavenly Father all the reasons why not to have it. He in his patience heard me out and then proceeded — like my human father in the past — to do what was necessary. Once I saw it was no use to plead, the words "Your will, not mine be done" came easier. Then I claimed his promises:
And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). I'll have a lot of them, Lord.
So do not fear, for I am with you ... I will strengthen you and help you...(Isaiah 41:10). I am a bit fearful, Lord.
You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you (Isaiah 26:3). My nerves need calming, you know.
Next I prayed for help in problems. Lord, you know how dry my throat is from radiation; now the anesthetic will make it worse. The night before surgery, a Dr. Perkins came in and had a long assuring talk. He was sympathetic to my problem, and promised to decrease the medication which gave dryness. What a difference that made!
Another concern was the possibility of television all hours of the night — so wearying with all my discomfort. But my roommate turned out to be an 85-year-old lady who had had a slight heart attack and needed quiet. One whole week without the television being turned on once! I felt so rested! She was the best roommate — so thoughtful and with a sense of humor. I loved her!
Smoke had given me trouble in the past, not only from patients but from visitors smoking in a supposedly nonsmoking room. This time — none! No sinus problems to fight along with all the others.
When the pain came, I called on Jesus. (He suffered more than I ever would). He understood and allowed no more than he enabled me to bear. He was always there as he promised. The Great Physician is not limited to office hours, one hospital, one room or one patient. My Heavenly Father took care of all the above complaints.
Bed #2 was near the window end of the room. A bird fluttered against the pane as if trying to give an assuring message that first night. I thought of Corrie ten Boom and the bird God sent her every morning while she endured the routine of concentration camp during the war.
I began to look forward to each dawn. As I lay awaiting the morning routine, the sun slowly shed its beams through the window. It showed on the flowers — bathing them in a glowing beauty. Truly our God is a God of beauty! Early evening would bring the ritual of birds flitting among the tree tops, singing their last song until morning. How restful to watch God's little feathered creatures as the sunset pulled the shade on another day. "I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety" (Psalm 4:8).
These Medical People
Nurses are people — all sizes, personalities and degrees of dedication. One annoyed me at night. Little Miss Florence Nightingale came flying into the room, turning on the lights and asking questions and making statements that seemed very irrelevant at the time. One night I tried to stay asleep, but true to the previous Florence's nickname, "Lady With the Lamp," on went the lights as she fluttered in. She pulled a long pencil from her severely wrapped hair bun and tapped it on the IV bottle.
Very efficiently she remarked, "Now if you tolerate liquids tomorrow, we can take this IV out." She did her other good deeds and flew out. Was it only two minutes later that she was back? Now what? If she would just leave me alone! Bless her dear efficient heart! She found the IV had plugged and after several attempts to clear it, she firmly stated, "This has to come out."
"Oh no!" I thought, "I'm a victim of Little Miss Nightingale!"
Now I know the Lord sent her just in time. I tolerated liquids the next day and thanked God for an overly dedicated nurse — or was she?
Nothing a patient likes to hear better than his doctor coming in after surgery and announcing that he is going out of town for three or four days. A doctor of whom I had never heard was covering for my surgeon. Can't say the joy was overflowing, but after Dr. Freeman's visit it was. How the Father rewards as we learn to trust! This doctor had been a missionary to Africa, was a devout Christian, and we had mutual friends! Hope my doctor had as enjoyable a weekend as I had.
"Say, I never heard anything like that in my life!" came the exclamation from Rose in the next bed.
While I was puzzling over what she had heard she continued, "Such love all of those people have for one another and you — those people who have come to see you. I go to a nice big church, but I don't know a soul. I don't see the same love for one another in my church. 'Course I'm an old lady, and maybe no one wants to know an old lady."
My heart filled with gratitude for the love of Christ among our people, yet it ached for Rose.
She continued, "And your son — I love him. Why he's never criticized you once when he's come to see you. All he thinks of is what he can do for his mother. Pretty rare these days. And your daughter-in-law, working so hard fixing up the house to have it nice when you go home."
Thank you, Lord, for thoughtful Christian children and friends whose presence blessed this lady for a few days of her lonesome life.
Fortunately for the hospital it had a good quality carpet in the halls. Each day found me wearing a path around the center station several times at various hours. One patient's room intrigued me. The patient seemed lost in flowers and plants. They surrounded her on stands along the walls and on both sides of the bed. The remaining space held people all times of the day and after-hours at night. Often she was talking on the phone.
On one of my Sunday strolls I noticed she was alone. I heard myself saying, "What lovely flowers! May I come in and see them closer?"
After I had made the inspection of her flower shop, she invited me to sit down. A Bible was almost hidden beneath a huge arrangement of assorted blossoms.
"I see the Bible. You are a Christian?"
Our God is a clever God! Our conversation revealed we had the same doctor; her surgery was similar to one I'd had — about which she asked many questions; she had two boys of similar ages to mine; she praised God for her recovery thus far and trusted him for her future. Did I miss a sermon that morning? No, I lived one. I saw God working in her life, and what a thoughtful God to bring us together on his day!
Has his thoughtfulness stopped? No, it has continued on during the period of recovery through my children, friends and neighbors. As I rest on the patio, birds hop ever so close as if to say, "You OK?" Butterflies perform their ballet among the flowers. Cloud formations change the soft pictures they paint on the blue smogless sky. The leaves jiggle about in the breeze, keeping the trees in constant motion. All this restful beauty is truly healing to soul and body. "Be still, and know that I am God..." (Psalm 46:10).
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!Psalm 150:6