Walking Through The Valley
Last week I asked God to confirm He was telling me to have surgery by letting me hear from the hospital within the next week. I thought their next communication with me would be a letter telling me when I’m scheduled to have the surgery so I really didn’t expect to hear from them until next year but I hoped God would find a way to confirm that having this surgery really is His will for me.
Two days after asking this of Him I got a letter from the hospital but not the one I was expecting. This letter was not telling me when I am to have surgery it was telling me I have been placed on the waiting list for surgery.
The letter said my condition has been assessed as “Semi-urgent” which means it may have to be postponed in favour of any “Urgent” cases that come in but, presumably, it will be placed ahead of any non-urgent cases on the waiting list. It told me the operation may not be performed by the surgeon who put me on the list and asks me to notify them if I change my mind about having the surgery or if I move house, change phone numbers, see someone else or get better.
It advised me to see my doctor if my condition worsens as any changes may result in the urgency of my condition being reassessed.
It is not the letter I was expecting but it does feel like the confirmation I was asking God to give me and that gives me a measure of peace although I still don’t know what the outcome is going to be. Being sure that I am doing what God wants me to do, however, allows me to be certain I will be able to bear whatever happens no matter how bad it may be.
Most days life goes on as usual but some days there is an air of unreality to it as I contemplate the possibility that cancer is eating away the days I have left to live and I might be gone before next Christmas comes.
I have a lot of faith in God but that doesn’t mean I expect Him to ensure nothing bad will happen to me. I just expect Him to be there to comfort me if something bad does happen. I know He could heal me but I also know I don’t deserve healing so I am not even asking Him for that.
I’m not sure I even want to be healed. I have never wanted to be alive and the possibility of dying soon is one I welcome. I am not frightened that I might die I am frightened that I might live and find life even worse after surgery than it is right now!
The crazy thing is that my life right now is actually pretty good aside from this health issue. If I was God I would have no patience at all with my whining about wanting to die! I’d be annoyed with me if I was God as He has actually blessed me in so many ways that I must seem like a real ingrate to Him when I talk about not wanting to live.
I have a good job that pays full time wages for part time hours. I live in a nice house with the two people I love most in all the world. I have a car, computer, money to spare after paying all my bills and my health is not bad apart from the current problem. All the things I don’t like about my life are things I have the power to change too if I would only try.
I don’t own a house but, if I would quit wasting money on smokes and gambling, I’d have a chance of changing that. I don’t like the way I look but, if I would quit eating so much junk food and start exercising, I could change that too.
Instead of trying to change the things I don’t like about my life, however, I just whine about wanting to die. I see the stupidity in it but I am what I am and I’m just really glad I am NOT God because, instead of being impatient with me, He is tender, loving, understanding and accepting of me.
When I look back over my life I can see that one of the things I find hardest to deal with is uncertainty. I have been known to do amazingly stupid things that have made life so much worse for me just to put an end to uncertainty.
Once again I am faced with uncertainty but this time it’s a life or death kind!
Do I have cancer? Maybe. Will it kill me? It might. Will something go horribly wrong in the surgery? Possibly. Will it kill me or make me wish it had killed me? I don’t know and I am not going to know for months and, while I am waiting to find out, cancer might be growing and spreading and making survival less likely by the day!
This level of uncertainty would have pushed me over the edge once but I am coping just fine with it now because, when God loves you enough to send you a letter so you can be sure you are doing what He wants you to do, what on earth is there to worry about?
I have gone through a lot of bad experiences in the fifty odd years I have been in this world and, whilst none of them were fun to go through at the time, they all make sense now. More importantly, I can honestly say I would not change any of it, I am genuinely glad I had those experiences. I learned so much from them and I am so much better off now for having gone through them.
God didn’t do those things to me and He didn’t want them to happen to me. I have no doubt about that. God didn’t make them happen He just took the scars they left on me and turned them into beauty spots!
I would not have asked to go through this current crisis but I have no intention of asking God to spare me from it now it is here. God didn’t do this to me but I know He can use it in a way that will make me glad it happened if I survive it.
If I don’t survive it that’s fine too. If I die I will lose nothing. I will gain everything as death is nothing but a door that leads directly to God and I cannot wait to be with Him in person!
If I live He will be with me helping me cope with whatever condition I find myself in when I wake from the surgery.
As long as God is with me nothing that happens can possibly be bad because He can make me glad it happened no matter how bad it may seem to anyone else.
I’m already learning from this experience. Suddenly I know what the words of the psalm really mean.
“Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil.”
I will fear no evil because nothing that happens to me can ever be truly evil as long as God is with me. He can, and will, transform anything bad that may happen to me into something truly beautiful if I let Him.