Day #12 – “Let’s Go Wash A Worm!”

Today’s reading: Job 8-10, Matthew 9:1-17

He knew something was wrong, something was ravishing his body; but they couldn’t find it.  Frustration hounded him as symptoms made themselves known week by week.  His friend, his doctor scheduled test after test with no abnormality manifesting itself.  Life had become a series of strange occurrences and mad dashes to the emergency room in the middle of the night to shock a heart that was determined to run away with itself, to hopefully find the cause for excruciating pain with no apparent reason.  Finally, lapses of memory and inability to communicate adequately became the challenges to be faced.  When the culprit was finally found, a rampaging glioblastoma of the brain,  there was no longer an option to surgically remove it.  Our two oldest sons immediately came to Illinois to be with us as we met with the surgeon for the prognosis.  As our sons, Pastor John and my husband and I stood in that room with the x-ray projected on the wall, the force that was taking my husband’s life was all too evident before us.   We were told that radiation therapy would be offered to reduce some symptoms and perhaps slow the growth of the tumor, but there was no hope.  He was given approximately 2-3 months to remain on earth.

How should one feel, or react when reality sets in and life’s end is definitely in sight with a time limit set?  I have only been with one person in a situation like that, so I don’t know how typical his reaction was.  He simply said “If this is what God has planned for me, let’s go home.”  He then turned to his sons and said “LET’S GO WASH A WORM”!  Everyone in that room shook their head at the very basic profession of faith by a dying man.  With the time he had left, he wanted to be home, more immediately to spend time with the sons who would be boarding a plane to return to California in a couple of days, doing something he had always enjoyed doing with his children – fishing.  I don’t have a clue what conversation transpired that afternoon between a dying man and his sons, but knowing the man he was, he would want to be sure his sons knew how much they were loved by their dad before they left him.

In the next few weeks after the diagnosis and the surgery, our friends, church family, close relatives, employees, coworkers, neighbors and pastors formed a constant vigil at our home.  Some entered with only a need to help in any way they could, others came manifesting love for a generous and giving man.  Some came with defiant faith, bold prayers and declarations such as “you shall live and not die and see the salvation of the Lord”.  Others brought food to relieve the need for cooking.  Some came like Bildad did to Job, “if you would earnestly seek God and make your supplication known to the Almighty, surely He would awaken….” (Job 8:5-6)

Knowing without a shadow of a doubt that God can heal if it was His plan, my husband lifted his eyes and faced his death with unwavering faith and dignity.  The sovereignty of God had always been a bulwark of our faith and that He knows from the formation in the womb, the length of our days here on earth and the unique journey He has designed for each of us.  Our faith also rests in the fact that we dwell in “temporary tents” as Paul calls our earthly dwellings in 2 Cor.5.  Because of these foundational truths, we found that as the darkness closed in and death loomed on the horizon, the presence of God was sweeter, more tangible.  We found that during these times, the light that God has placed within us had the ability to shine brighter than ever before because of that very darkness.

Just as Job declared in 10:11-12 that God had granted him life and favor and had preserved him.  The Hebrew word for preserved is Shamar and means guardian, watchman, shepherd.  Psalm 121:4 says He never slumbers or sleeps on His watch. We most often don’t understand God’s ways, but He is always just and has our best interest in mind.  A man sits in our church today because of a day he spent in a hospital room with my husband, being the recipient of his desire to share God’s love. I’ve learned to pray for healing, but if suffering seems to be God’s plan, pray for joy to come from it.

Build your foundation in God secure, put your roots deep in the Word so that when storms come and the strong winds blow, you can stand in the knowledge that your Shamar, your on guard Shepherd will never lapse in His care!

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About cccmusic1

I'm a pianist,Bible teacher, Music Administrator on staff at Christ Community Church in Murphysboro, IL. View all posts by cccmusic1

7 responses to “Day #12 – “Let’s Go Wash A Worm!”

  • Bob Heren

    I find stories like this inspiring and challenging. It especially touches me at this season of my life. Thank you for sharing.

  • darrenfink

    What a great reaction to death. Thanks for sharing Karen.

  • Anita Kreid

    great word and much appreciated!

  • mikj45

    Karen I was there when all this was going on and I saw your and Don’s faith in action. You saw the light in the darkness of the unknown future. Trusting and believing that whatever God had in mind for you that He would also give you the peace and strength to come through this time stronger. Don is eternally healed and you are stronger in Faith.

  • Loren B Smith

    Thank you Karen, it’s tearing me up a bit, but I do remember what Dad said on that day and you are correct. He wanted us to know how much he loved us, and even though we hadn’t always had the fortune to be close to one another throughout the years, that we were always in his heart and spirit, and he cared deeply for us. But there was something else. He wanted us to be assured that God was in control, and if and when he went home, he would be with Jesus. And he especially wanted us to know that we were God’s children and that God loved us very much, and one day we would all be together again with Jesus. And then, he said something I’ll never ever forget….”Be prepared for the sovereign movement of the hand of God”.
    I love and miss you, Dad

  • Tom Henderson

    Karen–

    I remember this time, but had forgotten that Don had developed a brain tumor. Your story has elements of ours, and it resonates with me. Thank you for sharing.

    You and I (and Denni) also know the daily struggle afterwards, when the enemy points out the gaping wound in our heart, and the only defense is to state, “God said that I would see my beloved again. My loved one is safe and whole right now. I believe God at his word. Go away.”

    We also have to purposefully look to the good that came from Ian’s journey home. Scores of children fed and hearing the gospel, three villages given wells, and others who have said that their belief was increased. I’m sure that both you and Don will enjoy many conversation where people will describe how your stewardship of suffering brought them closer to the kingdom of Heaven.

    God bless,

    Tom H.

    • cccmusic1

      Thank you Tom! Our unique journeys have not been devoid of suffering and heartbreak – how do people survive without God? I can remember so vividly the support I felt under the “shadow of the Almighty”, the supernatural peace that surrounded me even in the midst of some of the darkest days of my life. Denni, you and Paul have all shared in each others heartaches – it’s wonderful to have lifelong friends that you know are praying and upholding you in the midst of it all. Love you Tom! Thank you for the care and friendship you extended to my daughter – I never worried about her when she was with you – ??maybe I should have!!!

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