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Sunday, December 27, 2015

Your Dying Spouse 98 - The Comfort of John 3:16


"For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish but might have eternal life."

As I write this, the pain in my upper right abdomen is intolerable. It's like a large fish-hook has been passed under the ribs, and pushed out my back...and it's being tugged. Hard.

Morphine is not helping, and there's no getting away from it, save going to an ER and getting knocked out.

That's not an option, for two reasons. First, I have no insurance - can't afford it - and saddling Barbara with that kind of debt would be rather selfish on my part.

But there's a more fundamental reason not to go. I have to witness this. Yes, I'm cheating by taking morphine, but I'm not taking enough to put me under. Because of cost constraints I have to ration it, yes, but it would simply be wrong to bid pain a temporary 'Adios!" and drift off into la-la land.

Taking up the mantle of the highest presumption, I might be tempted to say that Jesus bore the pain, so I've got to do it, too.

I'm not getting myself measured for a robe and sandals, and have not yet ordered a halo from Amazon. And I look really bad in a beard.

It's just this...John 3:16 is both a Gift, and a Responsibility. We're called to live like Jesus, and He didn't back down from the pain He knew was coming, because He had to both take on our sins and thus expunge them...and He had to witness the process to the world.

So now I have a chance to witness a terribly painful and scary journey. How can I pass on this cup, how can I even think of trying to escape? Only a fool would say, "I love this painful and debilitating illness!", and I'm no fool (well, usually...or maybe sometimes not)///but I am here.

What would Jesus do?

I hope that I am right in this, that He would say that in spite of truly evil physical pain - and fear of how much worse it might get - He would say that life, from moment to moment - is still something for which to be grateful, that the promise of eternal life with the Almighty transcends each dreadful spasm.

And more than that (can there be more?).

Yes, maybe there can. Life is not about me. It's about you guys, reading this, who may be where Barbara is, as a caregiver, or who may be where I am (I hope you're not!)...or who may be in one of these place, one day.

I want you to know that there is still fun and joy here. I want you to know that you still have love to give, and that you can extend a hand and heart of faith to those who are faltering.

John 3:16 means that you matter.

If you can.please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.

Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links (they're 99 cents each). And if you'd like a free PDF, please email me at tempusfugit02 (at) gmail (dot) com, and I'll gladly send them















29 comments:

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    1. Thank you so much for the prayers, Constance. I do need them - the pain...and the adventure...continue.

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  2. Amen. Praying for you (and Barbara), and thinking of you often, Andrew. May the grace and peace of our God be upon you tonight and the days ahead. I'll keep checkin' back with you.

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    1. Thank you so much, Rachael. I'm sorry I have not been on 3BlogBattle in a bit. I've just been too unwell. But the stories will definitely continue when I can!

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  3. Andrew, I think of you often, and pray for you and your wife during these "fish hook" days. So saddened to hear about the degree of pain you are enduring.

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    1. Fish Hook Days! I love that, Michele! I'll add it to my glossary.

      I do appreciate, very deeply, the sympathy and the prayers, and your presence here.

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  4. What would Jesus do? That’s a good question, Andrew, one that I don’t know the answer to. :( But I do agree with you on what he did do: he took the pain. The physical pain and the spiritual pain and every other kind. It had a purpose. Does our pain have that same purpose? Not that same purpose, but it does serve a purpose. Your pain is serving a purpose. But relief of pain serves a purpose too, so it’s okay to drift into la-la land when you need to, brother! You are still here; for that I am grateful. But I don’t like this intense pain you’re undergoing. :( Prayers going up for you and Barbara….

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    1. Lisa, thank you for visiting today. Finding purpose in this - and indeed in all of the life I've had - has become increasingly important, as things progress. And the cornerstone of that purpose is faith, and Jesus' example.

      You're right that pain relief does serve a purpose, too. I tend to overlook that, but when faced with a physical situation that becomes overwhelming, one can become less than the best version of oneself. I've done that often enough.

      Thank you so much for the prayers. I find that as I write this - I do need them. It really hurts.

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    1. Thank you, Jan. I truly, truly appreciate your prayers.

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  6. May God be with you and Barbara, Andrew, as you traverse this difficult terrain. May he give you the strength. Thank you for all you do for us out here in blogland. Bless you.

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    1. Jules, thank you. God is indeed by my side, and He's making it possible for me to fulfill this Blogland Privilege.

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  7. You're an inspiration, Andrew. You're making a difference in the lives of your readers, and I pray, we're making a difference in yours. Prayers for you and Barbara, always.

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    1. June, thank you so much; your words mean a lot to me, especially today. Feeling really awful.

      This community is a huge part of what keeps me motivated, and brings me to the point of being able to face every day. Iam go grateful!

      And I am grateful for the prayers. Today...I do need them badly.

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  8. WOW!! You are braver than most, and braver than me. I always thought that I would ask hospice to just give me drugs when I am terminal. But you made me think. If Jesus went through all that pain for me without drugs, maybe I could too. I am still valuable, still can give and receive love. Thanks for your perspective. Mike

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    1. Mike, thank you - for sharing your thoughts, and for being here.

      I have the meds available, and as I write this, there's a strong temptation to reach for them. It hurts to the point of distraction, to wanting to beat my head against a wall.

      In a sense, taking them could be justified as self-care, self-love...and we are enjoined to love our neighbour as ourself - no relative variation in 'height' there.

      But the higher calling of love, given or received, is that it be unimpeded, and that the clarity of the situation - the clarity of the pain and dread, in this case - be the whetstone upon which love's blade is sharpened (kind of a weird metaphor there, but I think you know what I mean).

      So the temptation will be resisted, to the degree it can. I do take them to keep from going into shock - pancreatic pain can kill - but I want my mind and witness to be as clear as possible.

      God bless, Mike!

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  9. Andrew, Are there any little miracles God is sending your way to strengthen you as you endure? What gives you peace in the storm? Or is there any peace? Your courage gives others courage to face the hardships they are dealing with in their lives. We often feel weak and ill equipped for what life throws at us. Yet we also know we are not alone. May a whisper of peace be yours today.

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    1. Norma, those are good questions...there are two kinds of peace, and they can paradoxically exist at the same time. There's the peace of acceptance, and the peace of denial. Neither is to be scorned.

      And miracles? Every day - just being here is both miracle and responsibility.

      But the greatest miracle is the friendship I've found.

      Thank you so much for being here!

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  10. praying for you andrew. may GOD's peace be with you and barbara as you endure...at least some days.

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    1. Martha, thank you so much - the prayers are very much appreciated. God's peace is here. Sometime hard to see, sometimes a hard peace...but it's here, as is He.

      Thank you so much for being here!

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  11. God bless you...you have such a way with words, Andrew. I'm praying for relief from your pain. May I have even half the courage you possess I ever have to deal with such a horrible thing.

    Lynette

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    1. Lynette, thank you so much!

      It's really not a 'courage' thing. It's both harder and far easier than I thought it would be, because God is far closer than He was when health was good and life on Earth seemed infinite.

      It's really OK.

      And thank you for the prayers...pain is still something past dreadful as I am writing this, so they are very much needed.

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  12. May you always find comfort and peace in God's words and presence.

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    1. Thank you so much, Lux...I do find it there, and in the friendship of gracious people like you.

      Thank you for being here. It means the world to me.

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    2. Thank you so much, Lux...I do find it there, and in the friendship of gracious people like you.

      Thank you for being here. It means the world to me.

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  13. And YOU my dear friend, Andrew...AND Barbara...MATTER too!! God so loved ALL of us, and in this painful day to day life you are suffering/living/enduring...YOU MATTER TO HIM and He loves you now as He has throughout your journey...

    Thank you for sharing with your readers, though your pain is nearly intolerable. Praying for you, Andrew; and for Barbara as well...your words touch my heart and certainly make me think...

    For these words, I especially thank you, as I begin a new year with a Word for 2016 (which is new for me); and my word is JOY! "I want you to know that there is still fun and joy here. I want you to know that you still have love to give, and that you can extend a hand and heart of faith to those who are faltering."

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    1. Barbara, thank you! As things get more painful and more difficult, I find that God is, indeed, closer, and that I am beginning to see that the two most important bits of Scripture are John 3:16 and the shortest verse..."Jesus wept."

      They encompass our life here, in this place that is not our home yet means so much.

      I LOVE your One Word. Mine is SnOoPyDaNcE!!!

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  14. Making our life matter, in every moment. That's my goal too. Thank you for these words of focus today!

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    1. It's the only way to live, Carol, and the best way to die.

      Thank you so much for being here!

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