My doctor warned that if the powerful antibiotic didn’t work, I was to go directly to the Emergency Room. That was Monday. Forty-eight hours later, I could swear someone was extinguishing a hot cigarette on my leg. The infection, throbbing and pulsing, now affected my ability to walk, having weakened my quadricep. I drove myself to the ER, thankful I didn’t have my five-speed stick. The pain would have been too much for the frequency of alternating between the gas and clutch pedals. My faith would be tested. Not once, but twice – in very painful ways.
You want expertise when it comes to having someone take a knife to you. You want a knowledgable doctor and staff on hand. The man standing before me Wednesday night, after I spent two and a half hours in the waiting room, was a young physician’s assistant who had just begun his residency. In other words, he had little practice with needles, knives and wounds. No one had to tell me that. I found out for myself within twenty-four hours, when I had to return to the ER – to have the entire procedure redone.
None of this was on the week’s agenda. But it turned out to be the most meaningful thing that happened to me in a long, long time.
“What happened to me? I could trust God for the “big” thing, the “big” test, but how was I handling the little thing, by comparison? Not very well at all.”
The red and white wound would have to be lanced again. More deeply than the first time. Then, it would need to be thoroughly washed again and repacked with gauze – all before my watching eyes. I knew this would hurt because the memory of the previous night was still as fresh as the wound itself.
The localized anesthesia, delivered by a four-inch needle, would not work 100% because the body is an amazing machine. Wounds protect themselves from everything – including attempts to numb them. I would feel enough pain during the procedure to know exactly what was going on – even if I had decided to turn the other cheek. But this wound, like the sting of sin, needed to be cleaned out thoroughly – or else it would surely worsen. I had no choice but to comply.
“Faith is a fresh infusion we need every single day.”
I’m in my sixth year cancer free. I had some of the worst chemotherapy available, along with radiation. If given a choice, I’d choose what I went through this week over cancer without batting an eyelash. It’s a no-brainer. But last night and the night before, when I was being pierced and sliced in ER, my world was being rocked in a way that surprised me.
Life is a series of events where we learn the same things, again and again, in deeper and deeper ways. Each time, when we learn, we go deeper with God and deeper with people. My faith had carried me through cancer – and God had clearly been gracious to me. But where was my faith in the ER these past two nights? What happened to me? I could trust God for the “big” thing, the “big” test, but how was I handling the little thing, by comparison? Not very well at all.
Me of little faith. Going through a large crisis does not mean we will handle the “smaller” ones better. Each stands on its own. The hardships of life come to remind us of our true dependence upon God – and when we’ve begun to think we can do things without Him. Faith is a fresh infusion we need every single day.
“Apart from me you can do nothing” says Jesus (John 15:5). “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you,” he promises (Hebrews 13:5). I think He means what He said. He always does.
What’s rocking your world? Ever had a faith crisis? Maybe you’re in one now. What is God trying to teach you, and how can you trust Him fully?