In 2014, when I started writing this blog, I wanted it to be practical and personal – something interesting and insightful. I wanted to show how God helps me to deal with perplexing problems and issues. As a result, I have written about waiting on several occasions. In fact, in my last blog (January 19, 2019) I wrote about “Waiting on the Lord.” I had recently (December 18, 2018) returned home from a 3 ½ month hospital stay and thought I had filled my quota for waiting.
It took a little time for my body to readjust to living at home, but by the end of January, I felt things were getting back to normal. What I did not know at the time was that a wound or pressure sore was developing rather quickly. My wife Judy attempted to treat it, but quite soon it was beyond her capabilities. Additional attempts by the local VA wound care specialists proved ineffective.
So, guess what? Back to the Richmond VA Medical Center in early February for an extended, undetermined period of healing. We were waiting for the wound to heal. It has not. During this time, I survived visits to the intensive care unit, step – down unit, UTIs, etc. (For further details, you will have to wait for additional blogs.)
Finally, my doctor suggested that I could heal just as well at home. I was released on October 18, 2019. This time my hospital stay was 8 ½ months. Let’s do the math! 3.5+8.5 equals 12. So, for 12 out of 14 months I was in the VA hospital in Richmond, Virginia. During that time, I have had ample opportunities to practice waiting. I waited for my release dates. I waited for my meals. I waited for a drink; I waited for personal care. I waited for almost everything…
And as I said before, “I hate to wait…”
Once home, I played a different kind of waiting game. My home healthcare was reportedly well organized. My caregivers were ready for my return. Wishful thinking. A series of administrative miscues, mishaps and mistakes have produced an ongoing 6 ½ week wait. Again, my wife has taken the brunt of the burden, in providing me with excellent care.
Do not misunderstand. We are very grateful to our Lord for giving her the strength to persevere under great trials. We are also mindful of the toll it takes on her. I am high maintenance – a lot of hard work! I am very grateful for supportive family and especially Judy’s love and commitment to my care.
The tension that I face is the widening gap between conscientiously trusting the Lord and at the same time, dealing with the irresponsibility of those who are supposed to be helping us. So, the personal frustrations and fatigue, combined with lackadaisical attitudes and performance really chafe me. Judy’s attitude is often better than mine.
Shame on me. I should know better. Actually, I do know better. I know that God is in control of all things and that he is working out his perfect plan for my good. I know that the Lord is my Good Shepherd. I am often encouraged by these and many parallel and vital truths. Many of you have reminded me that you are praying for me. For this, we are grateful. Thank you.
The issue is not really in the knowing; it is in the doing. The distance from my head to my heart is great and filled with obstacles. As I slow down and write this blog, I see the problem more clearly. Mental confusion quickly escalates when I don’t think biblically.
In the thick of things, my thinking becomes twisted. I tend to think that my problem is paramount – that my needs are at the center of the universe. I need to be reminded that yes, there is a God and that I am not him! Usually, the Holy Spirit gently reminds me that my Good Shepherd is caring for me and my family.
Since I’m currently thinking about it, this is a good time to reflect on these words:
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.” (Romans 8:28–30, ESV) I trust my reality check will be helpful to you!