If you have been following along with the Psalm reading plan for the summer, today we are looking at Psalm 27. Every single word of it is pure gold. I want us to focus on the last verse. “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” The following is a time in my life when waiting was agonizingly painful.
In the early morning hours before the pink glow of dawn chases away the evening night shadows the phone rang. Sleep quickly faded from my brain as my pulse began to race, my Dad was scheduled for open heart surgery but had suffered another heart attack. The medical staff was unable to stop the attack, and they rushed my Dad into surgery.
I had wanted to travel the seven hours to be there for the surgery, but at the time my boys were very young. My husband, Troy had just started a new job and was unable to get time off. My Dad had encouraged me to stay home, and not to worry he had some of the best heart doctors taking care of him. He also reminded me, he was in the hands of God.
The surgery went well, and everything appeared to be right on track. Dad faced some complications, but at first, they thought they were minor. Throughout the day the reports kept getting worse instead of better. Our younger sister has a friend who is a doctor, and she was able to view Dad’s reports, she told Sheila; tell your sisters to come. They need to be here as soon as possible.
Friends who had been fervently praying for our Dad knew the situation with Troy’s job. They graciously offered to watch our boys for us. I am not sure they will ever realize the magnitude of the gift they gave so I could be with my parents and siblings.
My twin sister, Jimella and I had a seven-hour car trip before us. We decided not to talk about the severity of our Dad’s health and the “what if’s.” We needed to be alert for driving and not bawling our eyes out. Even though we didn’t talk about it, my mind was spinning like a hamster wheel with thoughts I could not have voiced even if we had agreed to talk about it. I wanted to see my, Dad, one more time. I wanted to hold his hand, to pray, to encourage him, tell him how much I love him, please just one more time, God…was the whisper of my heart.
We kept in contact with our Mom by cell-phone on the long trip north. There was no change in Dad’s health. Critical but stable.
We arrived at the hospital in hopes we could see Dad right away. They had just been into to see Dad. In the ICU, you are only able to go and see your loved one, once an hour for only five minutes.
It was better for us to visit with Mom, Sheila, and David before we saw Dad for the first time. They were able to prepare us (sort of) and to remind us, not to let tears fill our voices or Dad to hear concern. Even though Dad was sedated, his blood pressure would go up a little each time someone would talk to him.
You know five minutes can seem like an eternity when you are waiting for a phone call or for something life-changing to happen. But when you have been waiting to see your Dad, and you don’t know if he is going to make it or not…five minutes flies by faster than you ever thought possible.
I had prayed all day long for this moment, asking God to help me to be strong for my Dad, my Mom, and for my siblings. Jesus carried me into my Dad’s ICU room. As I looked at the face of my Dad, I felt helpless and scared. I wanted to run as fast as I could and get out of there, I was hoping it was a nightmare, and that it wasn’t my Dad lying there so sick. God was holding all of us in His loving arms as we gazed upon our Dad, the one we have always known as healthy and strong. The Lord gave me the presence of mind to stay calm and the right words to say. “My soul finds rest in God alone.” Psalm 62:1 kept playing through my mind. I shared those words with my Dad; they were just as much for him as they were for me. Before I knew it was time for us to leave again.
As we left the ICU the tears I had held back for so long came, I didn’t know if I could or even wanted to stop crying. I could hear my Dad’s voice in my head; you need to take care of your Mom. For as hard as it was on all of us kids, I knew it had to be the most difficult for, Mom. To watch your husband, best friend, and the love of your life so sick I couldn’t imagine.
We waited as the Lord held us close to His heart. In those moments God surrounded us with His peace and comfort. As I look back, I can see how God shielded and protected us. It was a long journey back to restored health for my Dad, but I am so thankful and grateful he is still with us nine years later.
I have some questions for you. Are you ready for your five minutes? You never know what might happen in your life or those you love? Can you prepare yourself for those minutes? Please don’t fill your heart with worry over what may or may not happen. But there is nothing in life that surprises God. He knows what each day will hold in store for us. He doesn’t plan the bad things to happen; He knows because he is all-knowing. My parents taught me to trust God in all things, and as I have said before…they just didn’t teach us this lesson, they lived it. I learned I could trust God with every aspect of my life and you know He has never let me down.
I pray you can find perfect peace in the “five minutes” of your life. You can only find it in the One who gave His life for you, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.