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Health Update 6-20-23: Faith and Lament

We are brought down to the dust; our bodies cling to the ground. Rise up and help us; rescue us because of your unfailing love.” Psalms 44:25-26 NIV

I came home from the hospital Sunday, after a week long stat, just in time to celebrate Father’s Day. Unfortunately, the feeding pump sent home with me would not work. We made repeated calls for help, spent a few hours trying to get it working, and our frustration grew. Finally, we determined my feeding tube had become clogged and was the problem. We tried everything to unclog it but had no success. My doctor on-call broke the sad news. My only option was to go to the emergency room so they could try unclogging it or put in a new one. The news disappointed me and crushed my spirit. Having this tube put in had been such a terrible and traumatic experience, something I never wanted to go through again. I threw my discharge papers on the floor. I cursed and went to my room and cried. Lord, I have tried so hard to be faithful and be a witness for you. Is this my reward? I can’t do it anymore. I can’t keep going. Please lord, I just want to eat and drink again. Once I calmed down, I put on my jacket, grabbed a couple things, and we left for the hospital. I spent the night in the E.D. instead of my B.E.D. All night long, I laid on an uncomfortable bed, in a freezing cold room, not knowing when I’d be seen by the radiologist. At 11 am the radiology team came for me. An x-ray confirmed the tube was clogged. After multiple failed attempts to clear the tube, the doctor proceeded to put in a new tube and took out the old one. The procedure was still awful, but better than the last time. I knew what to expect. This doctor seemed more skilled, and his two assistants were very compassionate and supportive. I prayed throughout. First, Come Lord Jesus have mercy on me. As the discomfort increased, I prayed “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4;13.) In about 20 minutes, the new tube was in. 30 minutes later I was back home. We hooked up the pump and the feeding line, and everything worked great. I am embarrassed by my holy break down especially throwing my papers. But I share this because it’s important to know we can be upset, feel let down and even angry with God, and still have faith in God. Being mad and faithful are not mutually exclusive. You aren’t expected to be a shiny happy person all the time. When we are upset, we can be honest and take it to and even out on God. I love the Psalms for this reason. Time and time again the psalmists’ prayers to God begin with complaints, tears, anger, and questions. At times they really give God an ear full, holding nothing back. But almost always (a fact that should not be missed) after they finish, they are back to praising and thanking God for hearing them, for who he is, what he has done, can do, and will do. They ask for God’s help and continue to put their trust in him. Psalm 44 is a great example and ends with these words. “Awake, Lord! Why do you sleep? Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever. Why do you hide your face and forget our misery and oppression? We are brought down to the dust; our bodies cling to the ground. Rise up and help us; rescue us because of your unfailing love.” Psalms 44:23-26 NIV

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