Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Night in the ER, A Long Drive Home, and A Concern for the Well Being of Others

Last night, I spent my first night (well, four hours - but it seemed like a whole night) in the Emergency Room at Lehigh Valley Hospital. Yesterday evening, about 8:30, I was running a temperature of about 101 and my wife dutifully called the oncologist to report. He told her to bring me in for some tests.

After dropping our two children off to stay with friends for the night, we got on the road at nine and arrived in Allentown a little after eleven. For about four hours, I was poked and prodded and hooked up to IV fluids while we waited for the test results. Everyone was very nice, but I would not rank the visit in my top ten most pleasurable experiences. Not even top one hundred.

At about 2:30 this morning, the attending physician popped in to tell us that all the tests were negative (in a good kind of way - I always have to stop and think about that.), but that it would take about two days for the blood cultures to come back from the lab. As a precaution, I was given a bag of IV antibiotics. By three, we were on our way home.

Of course, my wife was exhausted at that point and we were both too cheap to get a motel room at three in the morning. I don't imagine they offer half-price specials after midnight. So we headed for home, in a lightning and thunder storm. The rain came down hard as she navigated the highways and looked for a safe place to pull over to catch a little nap. But a safe place was not to be found. As we continued to drive, a motel room looked like a better and better option, but we continued toward home.

I have to say that my wife knows how to persevere through her exhaustion. By five this morning, we were back home. Safe. But, if anything, feeling worse than when we left the house last night.

Of course, we slept in this morning. Now we are waiting to pick up our children after church. And waiting for a phone call from our son at West Point.

This morning I read 1 Thessalonians 3:5-8. What jumped out of the page to me was his concern for the believers in Thessalonica. This theme has been evident in his letter. He could not wait (when I could no longer endure it, he writes) to hear how they were doing. So he sent Timothy to find out. Timothy reported that they were doing well, that their faith was intact despite their affliction. And Paul writes, For now we live, if you stand fast in the Lord.

Paul had great joy in knowing that his fellow believers were standing firm, even thriving, in the midst of hardship and persecution.

I guess I can relate. Each day, I long for some news from our son. When it comes, I rejoice knowing that he is standing fast in the Lord. By God's grace. I rejoice when I hear how he has taken opportunities to witness to others and to help others.

From time to time, I will hear from a former student or a fellow believer that I have discipled. It brings me great joy to hear when that person is walking in the truth. Living wholeheartedly for Jesus Christ. The news motivates me to persevere in the ministry. I imagine that Paul felt the same way.

His life was devoted to knowing Christ and making sure that others knew Him as well. He was concerned for both their physical and spiritual well being. May we have that same loving concern for others as well.


Emmanuel Family Blessings said...

Sorry for interrupting but do you know any expert counselor or family blessings lecturer? I think with all the troubles my family is experiencing, we badly need either of the two. Thanks.

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