My Own 'Light and Momentary' Troubles

by Kyle
published August 2, 2012


Read More Looking Up


I am, right now, sitting in a waiting room at Shannon Hospital.

I work here part time as a chaplain, and I know this room pretty well. I know where the phone will ring when the operating room has an update. I know where to get the coffee. I know where the spare Bibles are.

I have waited in this room before for hours and hours with families who have longed for the phone to ring with news of their loved one. They have needed the coffee to stay awake because they can’t bear to sleep. They have, more than all, needed the Word of God to calm the torrent raging in their heart.

This time is different, though, because I’m the one who’s eager for the phone to ring with news of someone I love dearly. I’m sipping my coffee because it just doesn’t feel right to sleep.

Today is Monday. On Friday, my wife Megan woke up with something blurry in the corner of her eye. By Saturday, it was worse. By Sunday, it was bad. We couldn’t get her in to see anyone over the weekend, but Dr. Angel (wait, I mean Dr. Angle) from Angelo Retina squeezed us into his schedule this morning. (He’s awesome, by the way.)

It turns out that in a certain percentage of patients, retinal detachment is a long-term side effect of Lasik surgery for extremely near-sighted patients. Megan was near-sighted and had Lasik about four years ago and fell into that percentage. The part of her eye that acts like the film in a camera and captures images of the world around her had partially detached from the back of her eye. When Dr. Angle saw Megan’s eye, he told us we needed to get into surgery that very day to avoid loosing vision in her left eye altogether.

To make matters more interesting, the drugs he would use in the surgery would make their way into Megan’s breast milk in potentially lethal doses. Megan was still breast feeding Leah, our 8-month-old daughter, when she when into Dr. Angle’s office this morning. She can’t breast feed anymore when she gets home or it could actually kill our baby girl.

To boil it all down for you: emergency surgery and cold-turkey weening an infant all on the same day.

Back in the waiting room, unlike most of the cases I’ve waited for in this place, this one isn’t life threatening. But the feeling of helplessness and worry that families always feel here is very much the same.

I find myself listening to my own words that still seem to hang in the air of this room.

“Everything that happens to you or me or (insert loved one’s name here) crosses God’s desk first, and He knows this right now is good for all of us, even if we don’t.”

“In Luke 12:25, Jesus tells us we can’t add to our own lives by worrying, so you certainly can’t add to your wife’s life by worrying.”

“Philippians 4:6 says, ‘Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.’ Let’s pray for (name of loved one).”

“James 1:2 audaciously claims that we should consider this sort of thing as ‘pure joy.’”

“God promises in 1 Corinthians 10:13 that He never ‘tests us beyond what we can bear’ and that He always ‘provides a way out.’ He’s looking out for you and (again, insert loved one’s name here) this very moment.”

I’m pulling all of these off the top of my head. I know them really well. I’ve memorized them for the very purpose of sitting in this room with people who need to hear them. I have spoken them over and over again.

I suppose the question is whether these verses still mean anything now that I’m the one that needs to hear them.

In short: Yes!

I have had an awesome and encouraging response from my church family during this “light and momentary trouble” (2 Corinthians 4:17) as well as from my related family. Each one has reminded me of the truth you and I can look to as constant and unswerving — “the same yesterday, today and forever.” Now, when the rubber hits the road and faith actually means something, God’s word is where I continue to stand, and I have not yet been disappointed. Hurt and confused? Absolutely. Let down? Never!

There are other families in the waiting room with me. More than just in this waiting room, I am in a large building full of people who have families who are in the same situation. You might be one. If not, you someday will be. Hear this:

Do not be afraid.

* * *

UPDATE: I would appreciate your prayers for me and my family. About an hour after I finished writing, Dr. Angle came in to tell me the surgery was successful. As always, God in no way let me down. It has now been 24 hours, and though Megan is doing well, we’ve got a long road ahead of us for recovery and it looks like we will have the privilege of working with Dr. Angle for a long time to come. Leah is adapting to her new diet way better than anyone thought she would and is actually sleeping better than before the surgery.

What do you think?

Posted by Dona on
You are a great writer! I felt like I was there with you, fear, pain and all. The way you inserted your bliblical counseling was awsome and exceedingly helpful!! Skillful,clever and better than most of the articles of this paper, you are a welcome addition to their contributors.
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