This post is part of the series His Encouragement
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Welcome! Welcome, dearest friends, to His Encouragement: Biblical Inspiration for Your Thursday. Every Thursday, a few blogging friends and I will each bring you a Bible passage and a little hope-filled discussion. We pray that these Thursday posts help you end your week strong in God’s love and purpose for you. We also welcome you to join the conversation by commenting with your thoughts. God bless!
“Be gracious to me, Adonai,
because I am withering away;
heal me, Adonai,
because my bones are shaking;
I am completely terrified;
and you, Adonai — how long?
Come back, Adonai, and rescue me!
Save me for the sake of your grace;
for in death, no one remembers you;
in Sh’ol, who will praise you?“
— Psalm 6:2-6, CJB (Psalm 6:1-5 in all other versions)
The last week has been… I can honestly say it was the most difficult week in my entire life. Last Thursday night, my dad took my mom to the emergency room. I spent almost all day Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday with her and my dad in the hospital. Seeing her in such agonizing pain on Friday was nearly unbearable. I wrote on Facebook that day: “Perhaps one of the hardest things to endure is watching a loved one in pain and being unable to do anything to take that pain away.”
To make a long story short: my mom had a severe blockage in her large intestines and, by Saturday, her colon had perforated. She was rushed into emergency surgery but the surgeon made the decision to stop the surgery halfway through due to concerns her heart would give out. She was given a wound vac and sent to ICU for the night completely sedated and ventilated. Sunday after her heart stabilized, she was taken back into surgery and then patched up.
Friday and most of Saturday, before the second CT results determined the urgent need for immediate surgery, I felt useless. There was nothing really I could do except be there with my mom and dad.
All I could do was sing.
So I sang. I sang my mom’s favorite hymns — as many as I could remember, which she had made easy by marking with tabs in her Bible/hymnal that dad had brought the hospital with them. I held her hand, brushed hair from her face, placed cool cloths on her forehead, and just sang. There were moments in between the painful convulsions when she would smile and seem almost at peace. There were times the combination of pain and pain medications made her hallucinate. There were times when she was completely lucid and asked for specific songs.
In those quiet few minutes after the surgeon announced the emergency surgery but before the staff swarmed the room to take her into pre-op, we prayed with Mom and sang a few more songs. There was a very real possibility that Mom would not survive surgery or would be septic and not survive recovery. What do you say in those few heartbeats before they whisk her off and those doors shut tight?
Having been rushed into emergency surgery myself back in February just hours after our younger son was born, I know firsthand how terrifying it is for the person yet I still could not think of the right thing to say. “I love you, Mom. Everything will be fine. We’ll be here when you get out of surgery. I love you!”
All I could do was sing. The Lord brought a particular song to my mind, As Water to the Thirsty, and as I was flipping to it, my mom whispered in a very weak voice: “460… 460, please.” That is the number of As Water to the Thirsty in our hymnals. So I sang it for her.
Today’s passage is taken from Psalm 6. The verse numbering is different in the Complete Jewish Bible (the version I quoted above) than in most other versions so I put both sets for reference. It is a plea, a cry out to the Lord, that echoes our cries when we experience uncertainty and tragedy. There were a few times this past week when we had no idea if Mom would survive. You may have experienced or may be experiencing something similar. It is important to grieve, to deal with the flood of conflicting emotions, to process the current situations (as uncertain as it is) and begin to mentally prepare for the various outcomes.
But never lose heart. Don’t lose hope. Even when faced with death. Death is not the end but merely the beginning of a new chapter. 1 Corinthians 15:54-58 reminds us:
So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O Death, where is your sting?
O Hades, where is your victory?”
The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
For we have the promise from the Lord: “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9, KJV)
We are very grateful that Mom is still with us — as we know many who have lost their dearest ones — but it is a very long and slow road to recovery.
Now it is your turn! How does today’s verse encourage you? What verse or passage is blessing you today?
Be sure to also visit my fellow bloggers and read their encouragement for your Thursday as well:
- Trisha of Joy of Reading
- Nicole of The Christian Fiction Girl
- Jessica of A Baker’s Perspective
- Becca of The Becca Files
- Jenny Lynn
Continue reading this series:
His Encouragement: Pray on every occasion