My family, both nuclear because of my wife and extended because of my niece, has not been a stranger to spending time at a hospital as a loved one goes through some kind of medical procedure over which no one other than the doctors, the nurses, the hospital staff, and God have any ability to change the outcome.
There is a Psalm that has become a go to chapter in the Bible for both me and my sister as we sit in the waiting room…
This week there is no waiting room. But there was the news that Chelsea’s brain cancer is growing again and it is time to put into motion the plan that we made right after her surgery: radiation and chemotherapy. The combination of the two treatments has been highly successful at stopping cancer in its tracks in other patients. But the radiation will give Chelsea’s brain a sunburn, the effects of which we will not see for something like 10 years and are irreversible once the treatment takes place. We will officially be on borrowed time.
There is no waiting room this week. But there is a Psalm that still seems appropriate for this week.
For the director of music. For Jeduthun. Of Asaph. A psalm.
1 I cried out to God for help;
I cried out to God to hear me.
2 When I was in distress, I sought the Lord;
at night I stretched out untiring hands,
and I would not be comforted.
3 I remembered you, God, and I groaned;
I meditated, and my spirit grew faint.[b]
4 You kept my eyes from closing;
I was too troubled to speak.
5 I thought about the former days,
the years of long ago;
6 I remembered my songs in the night.
My heart meditated and my spirit asked:
7 “Will the Lord reject forever?
Will he never show his favor again?
8 Has his unfailing love vanished forever?
Has his promise failed for all time?
9 Has God forgotten to be merciful?
Has he in anger withheld his compassion?”
10 Then I thought, “To this I will appeal:
the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand.
11 I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
12 I will consider all your works
and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”
13 Your ways, God, are holy.
What god is as great as our God?
14 You are the God who performs miracles;
you display your power among the peoples.
15 With your mighty arm you redeemed your people,
the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.
16 The waters saw you, God,
the waters saw you and writhed;
the very depths were convulsed.
17 The clouds poured down water,
the heavens resounded with thunder;
your arrows flashed back and forth.
18 Your thunder was heard in the whirlwind,
your lightning lit up the world;
the earth trembled and quaked.
19 Your path led through the sea,
your way through the mighty waters,
though your footprints were not seen.
20 You led your people like a flock
by the hand of Moses and Aaron.
Your ways, God, are holy. What god is as great as our God? I may not understand them… but I am going to choose to believe that God’s ways are holy and that there is no god that is as great as our God.
God, you are great. God, you are good. Thank you for whatever comes my way, for I know You!