Feb 5, 2016

What I Learned This Week

By Cheryl Magness

I learned a few things this week.

I learned that our town has a great 911 response time and phenomenal emergency personnel.

I learned that while the health care system in this country may be in crisis, there are countless health care professionals working in the field who go beyond the call of duty every day to provide excellent, compassionate care to their patients.

I learned that I'm not anywhere near ready for my mom to die.

And I learned that while I may be pretty good at that Fourth Commandment thing on the outside, on the inside my sinful self rails against it.

You see, it's one thing to care for someone who welcomes the care and thanks you for it. It's another to care for one who is convinced that you have put her in the hospital because you are just biding your time until she dies. Knowing that she is scared and confused and not thinking clearly due to being sick and going through a terrible ordeal doesn't make it easier. Sometimes, although you may succeed in biting your tongue, you find yourself silently screaming in indignation and wanting to turn around and walk away in the face of such ungratefulness. You find yourself wishing you could wash your hands of the whole mess.

But it is at that moment that you throw yourself at the feet of your Savior and beg His forgiveness and strength. And you are reminded that in this, as in all things, He shares the burden with you. For how often has He tended to you and cared for you, sitting by your bedside through long, feverish nights when you didn't even know He was there, only to have you turn from Him in anger upon waking because you blame Him for your illness? How often has He brought you food and drink and clothing only to have it rejected because it's not the kind you wanted at that moment? How often has He provided medicine that you spit out because it tasted bad or physical therapy that made you slap Him in anger because it was hard and painful? How often has He stood by and patiently waited for you stop yelling at Him so that He could say yet again, "My child, I love you. I am here for you. I will never leave you"?

The answer is an infinite number of times. When we want to walk away, resentfully muttering under our breath about how unappreciated and abused we are, He stays and perseveres. When we are ready to give up, He is just getting started. When we are faithless, He remains faithful. Thanks be to God that not only does He not give up on us, but He forgives us those times we want to give up on others, or on Him, even as He gently calls us to continue in the work He has given us to do.

Blessed be the Lord, for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me when I was in a besieged city. 
I had said in my alarm, “I am cut off from your sight.” But you heard the voice of my pleas for mercy when I cried to you for help. 
Love the Lord, all you his saints! The Lord preserves the faithful but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride. 
Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord!
Psalm 31:21-24

Thanks to my friend Mrs. Susan Gehlbach, whose counsel provided the inspiration for this post. 


Cheryl is the sister of ten, daughter of two, mother of three, and wife of one. She was an English teacher in a past life but these days freelances as a writer and musician. She blogs at A Round Unvarnish'd Tale and has also been published by The FederalistAmerican ThinkerOn Faith, and Touchstone magazine. Cheryl lives in Oklahoma with her husband, a Lutheran cantor, and their three children.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting this. It was a great comfort to me.


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