It’s been a long time since my last post in May… and a lot more than a vacation has been on my mind… Nevertheless, I spent a great deal (exorbitant amount) of time determining:
If I could make this vacation happen… all by myself… by brute force, if you will… I would have… But guess what? God has had an incredible lesson to teach me this year…
Earlier in May I blogged about James 4:13-17 which says,
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.
And that is exactly what the focus of the last 2.5 months has been…. actually God started the lesson before that… way back to when I bought our tickets to go to Russia to visit our son and his family…. at some point during the last couple of months I began to think I’d sinned by not looking for the Lord’s will truly, nor at all… rather insisting (yet once again) on my own desires… but the lesson has really been to write His word on my heart with a keen understanding that I would not have been able to achieve without His repetition and the driving home of the point….
It’s one thing for me to write blithely a verse from Scripture… it’s another thing completely for God to write it indelibly on my heart.
Gordon (my husband) had been experiencing TCIs, small mini-warning strokes. Of course, at the time we didn’t know what they were… his right hand would go numb… he was seeing various doctors for this, and they were trying to come to a diagnosis as to the cause. Then one day in June… his right arm went numb and his left eye got blurry… very scary!
The doctors sent Gordon to the emergency room, where he was immediately hospitalized… they found his left carotid artery 99% blocked. They had to perform immediate surgery to correct this. He had the surgery and was recovering.
After 3 weeks of being in the hospital and at home, Gordon was finally well enough to return to work at the beginning of July. He worked just 2 days….
All of a sudden… when I left for work Gordon was fine… by that afternoon… he wasn’t… His neck, at the incision site, was swollen and inflamed. Gordon noticed, but didn’t pay much attention to it… He had a doctor’s appointment about a rash on his leg… The doctor told him the rash was fine, but that he needed to go to the emergency room because it looked like he had an infection at the incision. By the time I arrived at the hospital his neck had swollen (and was red and hot to the touch) to the point that it was incredibly obvious that he had a serious infection.
I knew that the source had to be down around the artery; otherwise the infection would have progressed slowly… this sudden appearance could only mean that it was deep and was well along.
They had to immediately reopen Gordon’s incision site, clean it out and replace the synthetic arterial graft (which turned out not to be infected – although all of the surrounding tissue was) with a vein from his leg. The infection was the one typically gotten from bacteria at hospitals although, thank God, not the MRSA strain.
Not only was my much loved husband in ICU for 5 more days, but he also had to be on IV antibiotics for 5 weeks, followed by a course of oral antibiotics for an additional 3 weeks.
Of course, the likelihood of our going on vacation… was not very.
After praying continuously requesting that my Lord spare Gordon’s life yet once again, and with His loving answer being, “Yes”… I then had to come to grips that perhaps I hadn’t been seeking the Lord’s will about going on this trip… and had instead forged ahead of God on my own… never a good thing to do.
My constant issue about “hearing God” is that I listen for Him and that I not hear just what I want to hear. And in this case that’s what I thought I’d done… insisted on what I wanted for myself.
Jeremiah 29:11 says, “I know the thoughts that I have toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
If God is real… He is loving… If God is real… He is consistent (never changing)… If God is real… He IS!
So in my present dilemma either (1) I had not heard God correctly – that is – He had not given me permission to go on a ths trip or (2) He was trying to teach me something… I continued to pray for God’s guidance and truly gave over to Him my selfish desires.
Last week… just one week before our scheduled departure… the Doctor’s said Gordon amazingly was well enough to travel… (yesterday they removed the IV line). So God said “yes, my child” after all??? Maybe not…
Then came Fay…. Here we were just a couple of days from our scheduled departure and we were threatened with a hurricane… Was I listening? Had I meant it that I wanted “God’s will” and not my own?
Yesterday morning… while still not completely out of Fay’s way… our airline cancelled our flight. (I almost want to stop here and leave you hanging……)
We’re on another flight…. But the message on my heart, so clearly this morning is…. IF THE LORD WILLS…. We’ll be going on a wonderful excursion… and if He does not, then we won’t… and I’m very, very fine (and have tremendous peace) with that.
God knows all, sees all, planned all long-long ago…. And He loves me, even when He says “no, my child”.
God IS real and loving… and He teaches us! For the rest of my earthly life… this is a lesson I want to own… He is not great because He said yes to a vacation… He is Great because He loves me (us) enough to teach us His lessons individually, He’s involved in each of our lives, and because He is consistent and dependable. This time, He may be saying yes; next time He may tell me, “No, that would not be good for you.”… In either case… I want my Lord’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.