05 November 2010

Parched Worry

Ever notice how painfully time moves when you're waiting to hear how someone is doing? Each second feels like coarse-grained sandpaper moving slowly on sunburned skin. It is agonizing. Yesterday my sister had bilateral lumpectomies. Her four hour surgery turned into seven hours. Her outpatient surgery turned into admission and being on a ventilator. I am approximately 2400 miles away from her as the crow flies. As the heart loves I am right there beside her. (Post Script: She is off the ventilator, alert and talking. Thanks be to God!).

I should be grateful to God that she is receiving good care. I should be thanking Him that her cancer was found early. Our mother's wasn't. I should be doing a lot of things that good Christians do, instead I am doing what I do best. Worrying. Worrying because I am not there. Worrying because if I was there, those doctors and nurses would really have to act right, that's my sister they are treating. But I am not. I am worried for her kids who are there and how they may need me and worried because the kids are there and don't need me.

Our Pop is recouping from some serious health problems. He doesn't know that she has cancer. He doesn't know where he is most of the time. He thinks he's been left in the jungle, wearing nothing but a diaper or that his sister forgot to pick him up from camp. My aunt has been dead for 30 years. My step-brother told me about 10% of the time Pop is lucid. He's grumpy. He's tired of feeling bad. My sister is supposed to be caring for him. She was diagnosed with cancer two days before he came to live with her. The plans were already in motion. He lived on a small island in Hawaii and needed to be on the mainland for care. My sister's home needed to be remodeled to accommodate his needs. All that was done, plane tickets were purchased, family took off work to fly with her to get him and bring him back. Good Christians will tell you they rest in God's sovereignty and perfect timing. Me? I am not so good. I can't help but wonder what He's doing and how it can possibly be good.

My financial and physical shape won't allow me to fly out there. How can that be right? I am the Christian in the family. I am supposed to be there to be a rock. I am not supposed to be here left waiting for someone to text me how she is doing or to tell me what is happening next. I am supposed to be there to make sure it is all happening as it should! Even in times of crisis my pride and hubris know no bounds.

I remember when the school called and said my youngest was on her way to the ER by ambulance. As I drove to meet them at the hospital, I started singing praise songs. I finally understood what it meant to bring a sacrifice of praise. During those terrifying minutes of driving praise was a precious commodity and I had very little left to give. I had even less desire to give it. But sacrificing your last remaining bit of praise is never squandering it. Not when you sacrifice it to Him.

So now as I type and confess my worry, remembering the value of praising Almighty God, I feel a little sheepish. Why hadn't I remembered that praise relieves worry before this? Waiting for the Lord is agonizingly painful. Waiting without hope will desiccate your soul. Parched worry finds its cure in Living Waters. It is no wonder God's Word tells us so often, "Remember!" We are such fearful forgetters. I need to take some of my own medicine. Frequently I tell people to look back at all the times God has been faithful and demonstrated His love, care and concern for them. Remember the times His timing has been perfect and hold fast to the fact that He cannot be less than He is. Remember that when life is hard and if you have to, scrape the bottom of your heart to find the remnant of praise there and sacrifice it to Him, do it. Even if you don't think you can or can't find your want to, just do it.

Hebrews 13:15 Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.

Jeremiah 17:13 O LORD, the hope of Israel, all who forsake Thee will be put to shame. Those who turn away on earth will be written down, because they have forsaken the fountain of living water, even the LORD.

John 7:38 "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.'"

Psalm 111:1-10
1 Praise the LORD! I will give thanks to the LORD with all {my} heart, in the company of the upright and in the assembly.
2 Great are the works of the LORD; {they are} studied by all who delight in them.
3 Splendid and majestic is His work; and His righteousness endures forever.
4 He has made His wonders to be remembered; the LORD is gracious and compassionate.
5 He has given food to those who fear Him; He will remember His covenant forever.
6 He has made known to His people the power of His works, in giving them the heritage of the nations.
7 The works of His hands are truth and justice; all His precepts are sure.
8 They are upheld forever and ever; they are performed in truth and uprightness.
9 He has sent redemption to His people; He has ordained His covenant forever; Holy and awesome is His name.
10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do {His commandments} His praise endures forever.
(NAS)

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