July 28, 2016

Russ Smith

Here I sit in the emergency room of Blessing Hospital. I’m surrounded by people who are frightened…or sad…or hurting. You hear conversations in the waiting room that you wish you hadn’t heard. You watch as the difficulties of life are played out in the corners of the seating areas. You hear questionable legal advice given freely. So much noise when you don’t have the energy to process it. I was relieved when my son-in-law mercifully turned off the TV. Although the conversations are occasionally difficult, I prefer the quiet to the blaring noise of the television shows. A little quiet seems to be helping my growing headache.

My youngest is back with the doctors. Her heart racing for no known reason. It keeps spiking, setting off the alarm on the monitor in her room. The doctors are concerned. Her mother is concerned. I am concerned. She’s in good spirits, but the strain on her body is taking its toll. The nurses are so kind…the doctor reassuring and knowledgeable. She’s in good hands…but what if this is out of theirs? What if they can’t figure out what’s wrong. What if…

“Having a child is like allowing your heart to walk outside your body for the rest of your life.” I heard the quote years ago and with each passing year I am more aware of its truth. I have no power here. Once you walk in the doors of the hospital it’s like admitting that you have done all that you can. You need someone to help. Someone that knows more than you about the problem you’re facing. There is a strange mixture of terror and comfort in sitting here. After all my years of pastoring…sitting in hospital waiting rooms from here to Arkansas to Pennsylvania…I know the reality of it. There is nothing left to do but pray. But isn’t that really where we started from the beginning?

I sit here weighing that truth in my mind and in my heart. We started out in need of prayer. The fate of my daughter rests in the hands of the Great Physician, regardless of the hope I have in the ability of the earthly physicians caring for her. Hmmm. That is the handhold that keeps me from dropping into the pit of terror and panic. The fact is that no matter what the outcome of this evening, my daughter is being cared for by the King of the Universe…Elohim…Abba. When my ability to nurture and protect comes to its limits, there is one who cares for her in ways that her earthly daddy cannot. He doesn’t promise to heal every disease or remove every difficulty, but He does promise to comfort us, to love us, to provide us with a peace…a shalom…that passes all understanding. I just have to trust that His plan for her is so much better than mine.

Abba…please take care of her.