God Loves Me So Much

Joel was scheduled to have neck surgery yesterday. The plan was to implant an electrical impulse unit into his neck that would basically tell the nerves to quit sending pain signals. It is a surgery his team of doctors, and pain management professionals have recommended as the last course of action they can offer that might help his chronic pain.  He had a trial procedure done over a year ago where they put a temporary wire in right at the location of the pain. It helped! And thus began the process toward his having the surgery. And what a process it has been–from MRIs to CAT scans, to psych evaluations, and blood work. Then last August a failed attempt to place the unit was followed by more tests, more visits to the neurosurgeon and more plans for a slightly different surgery. And Monday was to be the day for that surgery–except insurance denied the request. And at four on Friday afternoon we received a call from the surgeons office cancelling Monday’s scheduled operation!

Now what!

More pain?

More waiting and trying to convince insurance Joel needs this surgery?

More doctor appointments?

But not more help…not more relief.

I admit I was angry, frustrated, and deeply saddened by this turn of events.  And one of my first thoughts was, “Well no one making this decision has any idea what it’s like to live with chronic pain! Or be the person caring for someone in chronic pain!” My heart aches to watch Joel be so limited in what he is able to do. No throwing the football in the yard with the kids. No teaching Jaden how to change the oil in the car, or switch out a flat tire. No playing games around the table on family game night. No concerts or walks in the park or a million other little life adventures without the constant shriek of pain in his neck.

In the midst of my angst and frustration, I kept hearing the disciplined side of my brain telling me that God is always in control and this hadn’t taken him by surprise. I could hear Romans 8:28–“He works all things together for good to them that love him…” rolling around in the recesses of my mind. Yes, well we do love him, so where’s the good in this? I wanted to know.

Strangely what came to me was how often I tell people that God loves me so much. That made me stop and think, Do I believe he loves me so much right now? In the middle of this? Did God love Job in the middle of his sufferings? Of course he did! I am not suffering anything compared to Job, but I can see from his life and testimony that God loved him so much all along–before, during, and after his major trials. And that gives me confidence to say, I do believe God loves me so much right now. He loves Joel so much right now. And he won’t let the pain last one second longer than absolutely necessary for our good. “Bless the Lord O my soul…who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases” (Psalm 103:1 and 3).

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