September 17, 2018
Today my dear granddaughter Parker is having surgery to correct a problem in her knee. She is a talented softball player who is dependent on the success of this surgery to continue her softball as well as all aspects of her young life. She is in my prayers, of course.
As I think of her today, I think of all people who are in the hospital, undergoing surgery or treatment. And I think of their families and friends who wait by bedsides and in waiting rooms or in motel rooms or other places. I remember so well “escaping” momentarily for time outside to walk and breathe fresh air while my mother underwent surgery and ICU time, realizing in the middle of a walk that I was still waiting.
Jesus has answers and compassion for those who are waiting – waiting in some cases for healing and improvement and in some cases for inevitable death. He understands the enormous stress of standing by, unable to do anything for someone other than to be there. In His ministry He witnessed so much suffering, and of course as the Healer He offered answers to many. Still, He knew that the suffering of the people, not just their own individual ills or troubles but also the injustices of the Romans and the ruling Jews, would go on.
So what do we do when can’t do anything but stand by and wait? I am reminded again of one of my favorite stories from Norman Vincent Peale, when the woman said, “At least I can pray.” His answer was “No, at MOST you can pray.”
Time at a bedside or in a hospital chapel bringing our aching hearts before the Lord and asking for His help is what He wants from us during those times of helpless suffering for others. We need to acknowledge the fact that when one family member or friend is suffering, all who love them are suffering in their own ways, worrying and wondering and at times despairing. Our prayers can bring them comfort and peace – and bring that comfort and peace to us, as well.
So today I pray for Parker – and for all who need His healing and compassion.