Are there any greater, more comforting words then those uttered by the Psalmist when he said “The Lord is my Keeper”(Psalm 121)?

Meditating on this Psalm this evening. Tomorrow, my husband is going in for a routine, outpatient surgery and I am irrationally fearful. My fear is not logical, but I am thankful for it.  I would rather be anxious, and able to redirect a disquieted heart, than be in the place I was several years ago, frantically trying to impose some order or control on a situation which was  out of my hands.

Several years ago, Shane went in to the hospital for what was supposed to be a simple procedure (an appendectomy). He was supposed to be released the same day. Instead, he was hospitalized for weeks, gravely, mysteriously ill.

He just didn’t recover. Test after test did not reveal any good reason. I remember holding Shane’s hand in his hospital room after a CAT scan. He was so weak, on and off oxygen, and now recovering from a bout of C Diff after two weeks of hospitalization. The floor was quiet.It may have been a Sunday afternoon. A surgeon appeared, in street clothes, perplexed at yet another inconclusive scan. He took one look at Shane, and decided to reopen the incision, then and there, in the hospital room. He asked if I wanted to leave. I declined. Shane squeezed my hand and writhed in pain as the doctor reopened the surgical incision and pushed back intestines to reveal a pocket of infection.

Shane was rushed to surgery. I paced in the waiting room, so beyond anxious that all that was left was to coolly plan his funeral. (It seems a bit dramatic now, but at the time…he was just so sick, and weak, and not improving). I always knew that God would pull the rug out at some point, that I was not meant for happiness. How would I raise our two young daughters?

Shane, obviously, did not die, but recovered quickly after the infection was found and drained. I managed to “keep it together” the whole time he went through his illness, but had panicked nightmares of losing him for months afterward.

So today, I am thankful for fear. For  anxious thoughts that are not so overwhelming that I simply “shut down”. Even more, I am thankful for the God who preserved Shane then as He does today. Not only Shane, but me too, and our children.

My thoughts turn to many years before this incident, when a mentor asked me point blank “What are you so afraid of? Why won’t you trust God?” Why did I always have to be in control? When would I cede to the One who truly holds and keeps all that is?

I couldn’t even formulate a response. There was too much, it was too big. Too much heartache, too much disappointment, too many stories intersecting with my own. I still probably couldn’t formulate a coherent answer to any but the One was was always there, the One who already knows.

Today, I know that He is Good, and no matter what the circumstance, He will perfect all that concerns me. I do not hold the future, I cannot ensure the outcomes I want. I do not even know how many hairs are on my dear husbands head, but there is One who does. My only comfort in life and in death is my faithful Savior Jesus Christ. He is enough, for me and those whom I love, and He loves them more then I ever could.


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