Last night as I lay wide awake in bed, I gazed across the room at the clock and noticed that it read . I then dropped my head back into the pillow and continued reviewing all the events of the previous day, in connection with all that has been happening to me over the last couple of weeks. My wife had had a light seizure at about 10:00 in the morning and following the response of the fire department and the ambulance crew, we spent the next 5.5 hours at the Emergency Room as they ran countless tests, did a blood workup, took a Cat Scan, Chest X-ray, and an EKG, and had her hooked up with various wires that monitored all of her vital signs. At one point it got a little scary as her blood pressure dropped quite low, but in the end everything stabilized and they final released her late in the afternoon.
The thought that kept popping into my mind in the early hours today was that old Arabic proverb that talks about “The straw that broke the camel’s back!” With all the emotions and pressures of my Mom’s recent passing and tomorrow’s Memorial Service, the doctor’s appointments for Piper and I, and then the need to recertify the eligibility for all of her benefit programs, the events of yesterday seemed like they should have been the final straw. But as I laid there in the quiet still of the early morning, I was keenly aware of a “peace that surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7 NKJV) hovering about as well as in me.
I recalled as I sat all day at the side of my wife with my Bible Study notebook open before me in my lap, looking at something that I had written a few hours before everything began to happen yesterday. I had jotted down a personal note that said: “It takes an overriding trust in God to totally let go of your own thoughts and desires.” Immediately under this I had copied a quote out of a book by Smith Wigglesworth where he encouraged his readers to “Let go of your own thoughts and take the thoughts of God, the Word of God. If you build yourself on imaginations, you will go wrong.” (Faith That Prevails © 1938, 1966 by Gospel Publishing House, Springfield Missouri 658-1894 p.12)
Yesterday, I had a choice to make. Every time the monitor on the wall began to beep loudly and flash its little red lights at the updated reading of my wife’s blood pressure, I had to fight off the haunting words of terror and defeat that the enemy of our souls would try to amplify in my mind. Each time I would read aloud the words of trust in God’s Word that I had before me, and reaffirm the truth of how He saw my wife’s condition in disagreement with any negative imaginations that were attempting to plant a seed in my mind. I was determined to not allow things to go wrong and to stay firm in the faith until the monitor, and all the reports of the multitude of tests agreed with God and His thoughts! And the exciting thing is that after about an hour of standing and confessing the truth, the monitor finally began to raise its numbers until it finally jumped up and stabilized on a reading that was exactly my wife’s normal BP!
Was this “The straw that broke the camels back?”
Way! It was
merely another bump in a life that has been committed to the control of God and
His Word. Was it as easy and simple as
it may sound? No Way! I confess, it was rough (very rough) going at times, but in the end I forced myself to
agree with His view and not on my own incorrect imaginations. Yesterday’s events brought to my reality the
words of Hebrews in chapter eleven verse three where it talks about “things which are seen (that) were not made
of things which are visible.” (NKJV)
All those flashing lights, wires, monitors, doctors, nurses, technicians, and
readings that were blinking in my face seemed to be broadcasting one story, while
the truth of the matter was as yet unseen in God’s realm of His truth.
So as Joshua asked, I ask of you today… “Choose today whom you will serve…” Will you choose to panic and let that one additional piece of straw break you or choose to “’Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own understanding” and thereby allow Him to “make your paths smooth?” (Proverbs 3:5-6 God’s Word ©) I’ll give you a hint… Go with the latter. It tends to give your camel a long and healthy life! Have a good weekend. Stay in tune to His Word, and keep asking yourself… “What am I expecting today?”