This past Easter I wrote a story about Light at the End of the Tunnel and remembered some of the tunnels I have been through in past years. I was far from thinking I might be encountering another tunnel in the near future.
Getting older doesn’t matter, that’s only a number. The real thing about aging is dealing with the many losses we suffer, the heart-ache of losing the one you love, and twice for some of us, along with the physical things that happen to this earthly body we inhabit—all these are truly mine-filled testing grounds. Definitely not for the weak—it’s been said many times, you have to be very strong to get old!
The past couple of weeks another tunnel reared its ugly head and the light at the end dimmed a little. It started with a knee that decided it did not want even an ounce of weight put on it. The knee is totally gone, bone on bone, saith the doctor, the only thing left to do is surgery, all else has been tried. So knee surgery was set for July 24 along with the many appointments you have to go to be poked and prodded and checked.
Then a scare at the urologist with some tests, ultrasound and another one that’s difficult to pronounce much less spell, and accompanied by two biopsies. Adding a bit more darkness to the tunnel was the eye doctor who found a spot on my retina she said could be cancer. She called me at home and said if I was having surgery this had to be checked out first and referred me to retina specialist. He put me through a 3-hour examination with the brightest lights you can imagine.
My world filled with mines ready to blow and I felt like I had stepped on some of them. Couple all the tests with my inability to walk without a walker and finally I had to have a wheelchair to get to the retina doctor. Have I mentioned the knee kept right on hurting regardless of what else was happening? Any one of these would have been enough but all together…let’s just say it was rather overwhelming!
In the midst of this and for the second time in my life, the Lord put the following verse in front of me in the middle of the night.
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God,
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. –Isaiah 41:10.
So I hung on…I admit my grip was a little shaky.
The knee surgery date was changed and rescheduled for July 31. Okay, I decided. I can deal with that, a rest from the turmoil is good. I need to recover from all the anxiety.
Then some answers started arriving, the biopsies came back negative; no cancer! Hallelujah!
The spot on retina is a freckle, only 1 in 3,000 every turns cancerous. Did you get that, a freckle on the back side of my retina—you tell me whether or not our Lord has a sense of humor!
Yea, this is better. I’m hanging on a little tighter while struggling to get around in my home!
I’ll give you three guesses to deduce what happened next—the first two don’t count. The surgery date was changed again and rescheduled for August 14. Now I have asked lots of friends for prayer and I have to give them still another date, hmmm, they are going to get tired of hearing from me! Plus my incredible daughters and granddaughters are now making the third written chart to show which one of them would be staying with me for the ten days following surgery!
That brings us up to today and I am asking, what is happening here? For the last couple of days, my knee has been gradually getting better. I don’t need the wheelchair but I’m still depending on the walker, I don’t quite trust the knee yet. However, I can walk around my house with only my cane which I have been doing for several years. The pain has lessened a whole lot and I can put weight on that leg, and I’m ignoring the loud pop and crackle noises that took the place of pain!
So I’m watching and waiting. Today, I listened online to a sermon by my pastor, Dr. Andy McQuitty of Irving Bible Church, about hope. The text was from John 5—about Jesus healing the man waiting by the pool of Bethesda. Pastor talked about practicing joy in the face of trouble and trusting in the Lord; that we matter to the Lord, and He values each of us greatly even though we may be broken and wounded.
So, my friends, I’m waiting to see if the knee continues to improve. If there is no pain, why have surgery? Surgery is still scheduled, but earthly schedules can be changed.
What I do know for certain is that the Lord is here to heal me either with surgery or without it. Of course, I prefer without! Either way, He will carry me and uphold me. And in the meantime He is asking me to be joyful, so I reach up with my right hand and hold tight.
Whether there are bears or mine fields to go through and get past, the light at the end of the tunnel burns bright. No matter which way this goes, practicing joy is a declaration that darkness cannot win!
And I am all right, I’m in His Hands!
NOTE: Sermon at irvingbible.org, go to messages and click on July 23 or latest sermon. It may be a couple of days before posted—it is so worth watching!
Picture credit: Taken by me on a driving trip in Alaska in the 1990s, and we didn’t get out of the car.