by Sandy Kirby Quandt
December 5th I had outpatient surgery to remove a cyst from my right hand. Although the hand surgery was expected, and one of the easiest surgeries I’ve undergone, no one expected the cyst to be infected. That led to a more involved recovery with greater limitations post-op for an extended period of time.
Two days after that surgery, I was on a gurney in the back of an ambulance on my way to the emergency room for overnight observation for a possible heart attack, with stress test the next morning.
Thankfully, everything turned out fine on all fronts, but this was not the best way to enter the Christmas season.
Something I learned during these two events is when we plan on one thing and something else altogether different develops, it’s possible the most simple words to familiar songs or Bible verses we committed to memory can become difficult to recall.
During the very restless night I spent in the emergency room with telemetry monitor leads adhered to my body, and my recently operated on hand in an unwieldy huge nearly three foot tall foam box-thing, whenever the nurse came in every four hours to stick another needle into yet another uncooperative vein, he told me over and over, “You have GOT to calm down.”
Yeah. Easy for him to say.
Unfortunately, the stress of the surgery and hospital visit caused all my autoimmune diseases to go berserk and flare like mad.
Even so, shouldn’t I have been able to calm down? Wasn’t Jesus right there with me whether I remembered all the words to the songs I tried to sing, or the verses I tried to repeat?
Of course he was.
But for me, at that point in time, I was in a very real tug of war with fear, and fear was threatening to win.
When I realized all I could do was say one word, I realized that one word was enough.
Jesus. Jesus. Jesus.
Over and over and over.
These two situations weren’t what I expected, but you know what? They didn’t surprise God one little bit. And none of your unexpected situations surprise him, either.
The God who is not bound by time like we are still sits on his throne. He is still in control. The wind and the rain and uncooperative veins still obey his commands, even when the only thing we can do is whisper the precious name of his son.
When you find yourself in unexpected situations you didn’t see coming, situations where you know for a fact Jesus is standing there holding you close, but you can’t quite shake the cloud that’s settling over you, how do you get to the other side of it?
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This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9 (NLT)
I wish you well.
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