Recent photo of my parents in my office

Recent photo of my parents in my office

July 28, 2007

The Battle, the Drowsiness

This is Saturday, July 28th. Here's a summary of the week gone by. Monday, I was ready and in peace to go through the MRI. I got some office work done before leaving for Bucktown in Chicago, where Northwestern has a free-standing neurology center. These are much nicer than the hospitals, because they are much more accurate in keeping schedules (emergency patients aren't rushed ahead of one, urgent situations don't keep one behind, and so on).

Tuesday, I was energized to do a full-day's work, but still felt the gradual erosion of weight-lifting and walking abilities. Wednesday was another day of morning work, followed by afternoon CT and Bone Scans. The CT dye is something that I'm highly allergic to, and it appears that they barely got the steroid dosage correct to save me from a serious complication in reaction to the test. In fact, I think there may still be some residual effects, since I have hives on my abdomen and that should not have been in the case.

Dr. Raizer will see us with his report sometime next week or early the week afterwards. I don't know the day yet, but I'm assuming that no news was good news when it comes to an immediate crisis.

Though I worked on Thursday, Friday was simply exhausting. I came home to go to bed. I felt disappointed in my inability to achieve some more goals for the new fiscal year. I thought I might feel better today, but no. I slept almost all day today, as Margie is away with some college friends, and the children are with her parents. Eventually, I just submitted to the idea of long-term napping, waking up and reading a bit, and all through, just praying and practicing the presence of the Lord.

This form of prayer is not very emotive. I don't feel an influx of tenderness, a hug of reassurance, or a promise of security. Rather, it is more a continual surrender to accepting what the Lord wants. I also made a list of things I felt the Lord wanted me to do today, which then I was able to do! The only significant one out of the house was to go get a hair cut -- and I assure those of you who read this that the word of the Lord was completely accurate in regard to the need for that snip-snip!

My primary pain is walking. My right leg feels at risk in the knee and in the femur between the knee and the upper thigh. I am also aware of a likely growth near the fractured rib-cage on my right side. Once I lie down, though, I can find a comfortable place. So far, I'm not on any regular pain medications, which I intend to continue not to do as long as possible.

Tomorrow should be a gorgeous day. In the midst of the beautiful weather, two friends of ours from church have set up a garden walk for the whole afternoon at their homes. People are invited to pray for us, and to offer us donations. We are amazed at the generosity and love we are being dowsed with. Such love is another cause for more lessons in trust.

Finally, I was reading a portion of Psalm 119:49-72 earlier this week, and the psalmist speaks throughout that entire Psalm about the law, the statutes, the commandments, the ordinances, and so forth -- every word carrying with it an implied reference to the law of God. The passages that ministered to me were these:

Remember your word to your servant,
for you have given me hope.
My comfort in my suffering is this:
Your promise renews my life... (49-50)

Do good to your servant
according to your word, O LORD.
Teach me knowledge and good judgment,
for I believe in your commands.
Before I was afflicted I went astray,
but now I obey your word... (65-67)

It was good for me to be afflicted
so that I might learn your decrees.
The law from your mouth is more precious to me
than thousands of pieces of silver and gold. (71-72)

As I thought about the way in which the discipline of the Lord brings new hope and a better life, my mind also went to the prologue to the Gospel of John: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." As I think on the beauty of God's teaching and verbal instruction, I am also drawn to the reality of the ultimate self-revelation that we see of the Word in Jesus. Truly, the "law", who is the Lord himself, is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.