It’s a sinking feeling right now, at least that’s the only way to grasp what I’m feeling at the moment. Like maybe I need a long nap or something…
My struggles with the Epstein-Barr virus continue this morning, along with a low-grade fever now approaching twenty-nine days in duration and counting. I’m back at work, but to be honest I do not know how much progress I am making toward the grand schemes of the company I work for and its associated goals. But you have to start somewhere. Thus, here I am, piloting my paper-strewn desk on what otherwise will prove to be a perfectly sunny summer day.
I went back to the doctor yesterday, and in between pokes and prods he did his best to reassure me with phrases like these things take time and with a virus it is best to merely treat the symptoms. I did get a B-12 shot in the arm, but the effects appear to be negligible as of this writing. I like this doctor, I really do. We talk about everything from health care to future plans for a new hospital in the area. We discuss our children and our careers. It is not his fault that a cure for this virus still seems to be further down the road and not yet readily available for mankind at the present time.
I miss swimming in the pool when I get home in the evenings. I miss riding my motorcycle to work. I miss sitting on the porch with my guitar, pondering the future while the stars make their debut in the fading twilight of another softly passing day. Those things are on hold for now, replaced by my recliner and a weird desire to watch old Jeff Bridges movies from the early 1980’s. (I’ve watched Against All Odds and Cutter’s Way over the past two evenings, and in a surreal sort of way, I believe I enjoyed them.) My schedule these days appears to revolve around thermometers and intervals for Tylenol and Ibuprofen, along with reminders to squeeze in massive quantities of vitamin C and D supplements in a manner that does not obscenely rearrange my digestive track.
And so I complain. I pour my heart out to G_d with my prayers, begging him for a miracle as by this point it appears to be the only viable solution left to me. I think that would be important, too. I want to trust in Him, and not simply leave it as “I was sick, but after a certain amount of time passed by, my body developed immunity on its own and thereby solved the problem.” I believe He still heals because I know He has the power to do so. And so I pray…
But what if He chooses not to answer my prayer? What if I continue to struggle until the time my doctor warned me about passes and I am finally cured as such? Then I will know that He has his reasons and I should be seeking to learn something from the whole experience. Isaiah writes: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
I’ve meditated upon these verses on many occasions in my life and it has been made unavoidably (crystal) clear to me that I do not, in fact, always understand His ways. My prayers are not always answered, at least not in the manner or style I hoped for at the particular time I prayed them. But I can honestly say, even so, it was enough. If G_d in His wisdom chooses to never answer another prayer for me, it will still be enough. In my heart I know He heard (and answered) the most important prayer I have ever prayed – the prayer that saved my soul and provided a place for me with Him in a not-too-distant eternity that awaits all of us. In the rankings of all things mortally important that are nestled within my heart, what more could I ask, expect, or hope for? Everything else I may desire, health, finances, you name it, fails miserably in comparison.
That one simple prayer, a prayer from a sincere heart that badly needed an answer –was answered. I do my best to always remember and hold to the truth that everything else in my life today revolves around the answer to that prayer so many years ago. It was enough. The blessings he has provided and the many, many other answers to prayer I’ve received since that day, although I am decidedly thankful and praise Him for all of them, are only gravy, as far as I’m concerned.