Last month my husband had a very scary health crisis! Praise God he survived it and is now doing well. But it is at times like this that I like to reflect on the events that transpired and what I learned. Things that would help me prepare and cope better when the next crisis comes along...and you know there will be another one, don't you?
Man born of a woman is of a few days, and full of trouble.
I must say things happened so quickly that I didn't have time to panic. I was too busy praying and taking care of the immediate to give into the emotions that come so naturally at times like these. I give no credit to my flesh however for it was only the steady, unrelenting grace of God that gave me the wherewithal to keep moving through the dismal prognosis and the wait for critical tests results...His COMFORT during CHAOS!
That's what I'd like to share with you today. How to find God's comfort in these turbulent and confusing times. My chaos is not like yours, so I'm not about to weigh in or judge you on how you're handling it. But this, I can assure you:
There is peace in the midst of the storm. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. The night is always darkest just before dawn.
These might seem trite and mundane to you when you're going through, but that's only if you don't have the promises of God to back them up! I did, along with lots of Prayer Warriors who kept those promises fresh in my mind!
To Find Comfort in Chaos...
--REFUSE TO PANIC.
It is when you panic that you make foolish and costly mistakes. Slow down, Pray purposely, Gather the facts and move from there. My husband fell ill hundreds of miles from home. After arriving at my doorstep I took one look at him and my first thought was to immediately call an ambulance for the less than five minute drive to the hospital. Although I realize that minutes are important in an emergency, my husband had just survived a four hour car drive. My God kept him four hours, He would surely keep him four more minutes! I drove him to the E.R. (Isaiah 26:3 - Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trust in you.)
--UTILIZE YOUR SUPPORT SYSTEM.
Call a Friend. No not the ditzy one that always folds under pressure, but a praying one that has proven to be calm, reassuring and will help you think through things clearly and logically. One thing that I learned last year with my son's hospitalization is that you need someone there to make sure that you're hearing exactly what the doctors are saying regarding your loved one. When under stress there is a tendency to forget or misread key information needed for making decisions about future care. Read everything and make sure you understand it before signing consents. If possible don't sign anything if you are in an agitated state! (Proverbs 18:24b - but there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.)
Physicians only practice medicine. God is the One Who heals! Hospitals are scary places. Medical professionals are trained to present the worst case scenarios along with promising outcomes. This protects them from malpractice and misdiagnosis should things turn negative. Don't dwell on negative prognoses! To do so puts you in a place emotionally that moves God out of the picture. In my case, the specialist was quick to tell me that they lose people every day from the illness my husband had. He even gave me the percentages of deaths. I chose to think on the percentage of those that survived! I had no fear! (Philippians 4:8 - Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.)
--TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF.
In chaotic times self preservation may or may not be the first thing on your mind! Minus any narcissistic motives... it should be! To handle chaos you must be at your best. You need to eat, hydrate, sleep and move to keep your body fit and your mind alert. Things are not normal and you may have to perform in ways unfamiliar and uncomfortable to keep things going. You can't do that exhausted.
As my husband recovered in ICU, I was offered pillows, blankets and a recliner should I choose to spend the night. I appreciated but declined the offer. I slept every night in my own bed, undisturbed by hallway noises, two hour vital sign checks, and the constant beeping and whirring of machines. I was only a few minutes away should I be needed and I could offer no more care than what was being given by trained caregivers. Truly, there are times when you need to be there to assure maximum standard of care is given but neglecting yourself will come back to "bite" you once your loved one is home. Believe me I needed all the energy I could muster to take care of his needs, run the errands, and provide post hospital care without additional support. (Prov. 3:7-8 - Do not be wise in your own eyes. Fear God and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.) (Psalm 121:4 - Behold, He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.)
--DO NOT NEGLECT PRAYER AND DEVOTION.
This may be last on the list but of utmost importance. In times of crisis keeping your spiritual disciplines: prayer, bible reading, scripture memorization/ meditation and worship service (if possible) is what will hold you together when everything else if falling apart! I love this quote by Charles H. Spurgeon, "Prayer is the slender nerve that moves the muscle of the Omnipotent." (I Thess. 5:17 - Pray without ceasing.)
SO UNTIL NEXT TIME...BE COMFORTED IN YOUR CHAOS!
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