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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Things You Can't Plan

I've spent these last several days taking trips back and forth to OHSU, the best hospital in the Portland area. My uncle John, who lives about 1 and 1/2 hours south of me, has become very ill and is in intensive care here.

This has been especially difficult because John is the very picture of health. If you think I spend a lot of my life running, John makes me look lazy. He's a long-distance runner at heart and it's not unusual for him to put in an 18-miler on the weekend. He watches what he eats. He goes to bed early and always gets his sleep. He takes regular time for Sabbath and retreat so as not to become burned out by ministry.

And yet tonight he lies in a hospital bed, needing God's provision in a serious way. There are positive signs, but he's still in critical condition. Throughout this process, the doctors have been unable to put their finger on the exact disease or illness that his causing so much trouble. They have a few ideas, but his symptoms are so great and varied that they don't fit any one profile.

This leaves us in a place of great uncertainty. We don't have a name for this. We don't have a plan of treatment or a procedure for recovery. We don't have assurances from the doctor that he will be okay. What we do have is this moment. In this moment, we hear the reports, we pray and we wait. In this moment. We can't make a plan. We can't move forward. We wait, together, in this moment.

I wonder tonight how this might be a blessing for many of us to learn to be in this moment. How much of life do we spend living forward, thinking about and preparing for moments yet in our future, while life occurs around us. I am impacted by the idea that where God is MOST present is with us, in this moment. He is at work in our lives, using every circumstance, if we will listen and look, to draw us to him. But we are busy concerning ourselves with tomorrow.

How much could God do with our tomorrow if we truly entered into Him today, in this moment? What if we chose to wait in Him, rest in Him, and take life one day at a time? Jesus promised that He will be with us always, but that promise must be realized one day, one moment at a time.

And when you're waiting on doctor's reports and praying for one you love, the promise of His presence in this moment, is good to have.

May you know him, in this moment, on your journey-

Nick

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to hear about your uncle. I think your reminder is apt though -- we fail to realize the moment by moment stuff all the time. Unless tragedy strikes. Then we are all too aware how much we rely on him during every second that passes. Tim and I were just talking about this the other day. My prayer is that I don't rely on Him only when I'm in a bad way -- the truth is, my NEED for Him never changes, I only think it does. My thoughts and prayers are with your family. May the Lord bless the doctors with wisdom and your heart with peace.
--Britt

philliphorner said...

Praying for your family.