Tuesday morning at 4:00a.m. I woke from my bed in severe pain. I hadn’t been feeling good for a few days, but I am not someone who allows sickness to get me down. The moment I feel sick, I will try to work it off, push through it and ignore it, praying the whole way through. Tuesday morning, however, the more I prayed the worse I felt. I do not like being sick. I avoid it like the plague. But, sometimes I believe that the Lord God, who loves me abundantly and knows me so well, will “make me lie down in green pastures”. I will keep going until I drop, I will keep pushing until I can push no more. I will do whatever I have to do to make sure my body does what I want it to do. However, this is not always what the Lord wants me to do.
As I lay there in the emergency room, the nurse came in and asked me if I wanted anything for my pain. I explained to her that I am not a person that tolerates medication well. When she asked what I meant by that, I explained to her that two over the counter ibuprofen puts me asleep. The look on her face was priceless, as I explained that medication is not for me. She stated that it was refreshing to hear because so many people come in wanting more and more drugs these days. The doctor wanted me on morphine because my pain was so intense, but I refused. Even the doctor was flabbergasted that I was refusing medication. I went through the two births of my children without drugs, and even though this pain was more intense than labor, I was being pretty stubborn about it. But, after praying about it, I agreed to get a strong form of ibuprofen, just enough to take the edge off.
After the emergency room doctor did all the tests, he came in and told me that I was going to be admitted into the hospital. For me, that was not okay, but I knew that something was going on and going home was not going to make it any better. So there I went, off into my little room at the hospital. Funny thing about all this is that the ER nurse informed the Hospital nurse that I would refuse medication so I would have to be “talked into it”. I guess my desire to stay as medication free as necessary was not only unusual but refreshing to more than a few people. The Hospital nurse asked me why I did not like medications, and I informed her that I do not like the way they make me feel. Besides, I watched my mother go through so much pain with her cancer, and all the medications that they gave her only seemed to make things worse. So, for me, medication free was the only way to insure healthy recovery. But I did agree to take light pain killers, because, to be honest, the pain was intense. It was the most intense pain I have ever felt and I just wanted to be free of it.
The previous evening the doctor told me that there was one more test that she wanted me to go through, it was more for exploratory reasons, but she was pretty sure it would reveal to her what was going on with me. Me, being the stubborn woman that I am, decided the next morning, about an hour before the test; that I was not going to agree to it. I started asking if it was absolutely necessary. I explained that I do not have millions of dollars to pay for unnecessary hospital tests. I have to tell you that I actually threw kind of a temper tantrum about it. I was not being the most pleasing patient, and when I realized it (when the Lord God convicted me of it) I apologized to my nurse. She smiled and told me that she completely understood, and she wished more of her patients were as honest as I was. (Not sure that was a compliment!)
I went along with my doctor and my husband and had the test done. It revealed an ulcer in my stomach, gastritis along with a swelling of my small intestine where it connects to my stomach. Funny story, while I was under anesthesia for the endoscopy, I dreamt that I was on NCIS, the doctors and the nurses who were in the room with me were the character on NCIS and I was the victim. I woke up from the anesthesia and told the doctor and the nurses what I dreamt; we all got a good laugh out of that one. I also remembered praying while I was under. I asked them if I had prayed out loud, because in my dream I was praying for them and praying to God through it all. They all shook their heads and said, “No, you were out.”
After I got back to my sterile, cold hospital room, I found my bible and started reading. I found myself in John 14 and these words stuck out at me. “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27. The word “Peace” seemed to jump off the page. So, I did some investigating. The Lord showed me that His Peace means that I am content in no matter what circumstances I find myself in. Well that stung. The last thing I had been was peaceful through this whole ordeal. In fact, I was the exact opposite.
There is always a lesson to be learned through the trials and troubles of our lives. Each and every day presents itself to us with more opportunity to know God, to understand His word and to live a life more fully for Him. I was so focused on making sure that I didn’t give in, that I forgot to let go and let God do the work. I have nothing against doctors personally, I believe that they are there for a reason, and it wasn’t until this happened to me that I realized it was okay to let them do their jobs when it came to my health.
To have God’s peace means that we are content in every circumstance, no matter what is happening, no matter what is going on around us, He gives us peace- if we let Him. He is in control of everything that happens to us. He lives in us, He sees all that we see, and He experiences all that we experience because He lives on the inside of us. Nothing that was happening to me these past few days was of any news to my God, because He had gone before me. But, I am thankful that through it all He taught me this valuable lesson- that His peace is mine, and no matter what happens, He is God and He is in control- it is okay to let go.
I pray today that what I learned through this experience in the hospital will transfer into the other areas of my life. To know peace, to understand peace is to know that God is with us, that God is in control. If we are not experiencing contentment in our trials and troubles, than most likely we are not trusting God and most likely we are not letting go. Jesus says to us, “Let not your heart be troubled, you believe in God, believe also in Me.” (John 14:1) Let us not allow the trials and troubles of this lifetime rob us of the peace and contentment we have been given by God the Father through our Lord Jesus Christ. He is peace, and He is at peace with us. If I am upset, anxious, nervous, fearful, etc, than I am not at peace. If I am not at peace, then I am not trusting God. Trusting God leads us to perfect contentment and peace, no matter the situation.
I pray the Lord God would reveal to your hearts and to mine, the glory of His peace; the wonder of His majesty and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding. And as for me, I am learning to take it easy, to slow down when the Lord says slow, and to trust that He is always in control. In this I will find the peace of God, today and every day. Amen and Amen.