“I have destroyed nations;
their strongholds are demolished.
I have left their streets deserted,
with no one passing through.
Their cities are laid waste;
they are deserted and empty.
Of Jerusalem I thought,
‘Surely you will fear me
and accept correction!’
Then her place of refuge would not be destroyed,
nor all my punishments come upon her.
But they were still eager
to act corruptly in all they did.
Therefore wait for me,” declares the Lord,
“for the day I will stand up to testify.
I have decided to assemble the nations,
to gather the kingdoms
and to pour out my wrath on them—
all my fierce anger.
The whole world will be consumed
by the fire of my jealous anger.
“Then I will purify the lips of the peoples,
that all of them may call on the name of the Lord
and serve him shoulder to shoulder.
- Zephaniah 3:6-9
“I was raised to believe in the importance of a ‘quiet time.’ To the surprise of some, that concept did not originate with the late Dawson Trotman, the founder of The Navigators, but with the Lord Himself.
The Scriptures are replete with references to the value of waiting for the Lord and spending time with Him. When we do, the debris we have gathered during the hurried, busy hours of our day gets filtered out, not unlike the silt that settles where a river widens. With the debris out of the way, we are able to see things more clearly and feel God’s nudgings more sensitively.”
- Charles R. Swindoll, The Finishing Touch
For someone who hates waiting in line and wants it done yesterday, whatever IT may be, I have a hard time with waiting. At the time of writing this, two weeks ago, I am anticipating an entire week of waiting.
On Monday, the neurologist sees if the medication has helped improve my wife’s cognitive faculties or if it has slowed down any further deterioration. She seems a bit sharper, but the observers who say that have untrained eyes.
Then Tuesday is a normal dialysis day except for checking her INR (International normalized ratio – meaning how thin her blood is), a five minute test. Her INR must remain in a range of 2 to 3 to reduce the clotting of the blood, preventing a stroke if she goes into atrial fibrillation (A-Fib). But, when she is about to have an invasive procedure, she must reduce her INR until after the procedure is over. Thus, she is checking that on Tuesday before a big procedure on Wednesday.
On Wednesday, my wife is having her fistula scanned. On the Saturday of Easter weekend, a cavalier needle poke into the fistula cut the fistula, and she nearly bled out. They are scanning the fistula and possibly repairing it so that they can ensure that it is viable for use. They will be running a scanner inside her vein, and they may use a balloon to inflate the fistula. We have not been given any idea how long the procedure will be. I figure that it will at least take two hours.
Then Thursday is a normal dialysis day.
Then Friday is a day that we have been awaiting for over six months. Is it a coincidence that the Tuesday after nearly bleeding out she gets an appointment to see if she is accepted as a patient on the kidney transplant list? Remember, I do not believe in coincidences. The appointment on Friday starts at 7:00am in downtown Pittsburgh (which we avoid like the plague unless we must go). During the day, they will review her records and if a test must be on file within the past year and it is not, she will have that test, all of them if time allows. We have been told that for the easiest of these appointments it takes all day. We know of only one or two of the required tests (oh, so many tests) that have been done within the past year. But at the end of the day, she should be placed on the kidney transplant list, or at least those that decide will have all the necessary information. Hopefully, I will add an extra paragraph here with a green background, in that a green ribbon signifies those with kidney failure, on kidney dialysis, or surviving kidney transplant surgery. There is a ribbon for everything these days. And most of those ribbons are ribbons you would prefer signified a distant friend and not a loved one, if you had any significance with a colored ribbon at all.
After a grueling week, we had our most grueling day. It started at 4:30 in the morning, trying to get through the Fort Pitt tunnel before the grid lock added another 30-60 minutes to our commute. My wife only had blood work done, 20 vials, to not just get blood type but leukocyte antigen and antibody testing for better donor matching. But in the eight hours at the hospital, the rest of the time was education and lifestyle evaluation. This may sound cold, but kidneys are hard to come by and they do not wish to waste a kidney on someone whose lifestyle is not conducive to living a long healthy life. Every interview had the question, “Do you take your medicines as prescribed by the doctor?” Even the finance person asked. My wife will be on anti-rejection medications that have to be taken without fail or the kidney will die. SEE! I was paying attention! But as for the tests, the earliest echocardiogram is 13 May. If she can get the mammogram, pap smear, stress test, and EKG done before then, she will go before the committee on the following Wednesday, and we should be informed if she is on the kidney waiting list, hopefully by 20 May. The average in this area is 5 years for a kidney unless we find a live donor. Since she has to be reevaluated every year, she could lose eligibility just by getting too old and falling apart. So, I will be advertising in posts how people can donate a kidney. It would do no good to volunteer on the hospital’s website with her not on the waiting list yet. Even if it is not a match, they have a donor swap process where your kidney goes to another person and that other person’s donor’s kidney goes to the person you wanted to help. Yep, I paid attention. This is important.
Then Saturday is a dialysis day and Sunday is Sunday school, if I can use some waiting room time in preparing the lesson, and then eight days from now I will have my first “day off” in twelve days, having been busy for quite some time when writing this. If some of the posts after this one are fairly short, it is because I have had little time to work on such. But God provides. After not writing for a few days last week for similar reasons of being busy, plus being exhausted personally or not feeling well, I have had 2-3 days that have been busy, but I have also been focused on my writing.
I trust God in giving me those times, and I praise Him for letting me get ahead of the curve when I know that I will be busy. I seem to write in spurts. And thinking of “spurts”, I am brought back to my wife’s arm bleeding and spraying (in spurts). I must find a different word.
But I am not the guy who has the skill set to simply wait. … Until it must be done. We arrived at a hospital nearly three years ago, the same one that got her bleeding stopped Easter weekend, much earlier than 7:00am and I waited. After my wife’s open-heart surgery, I finally got to see her about 14 hours later, but she was still intubated and could not talk. Every time she woke up, she was seeing double. She was intubated and could not talk, so she closed her eyes and drifted back asleep. The nurses thought she was still groggy from the anesthesia, not allowed to remove the tube until she was fully awake. It was over 24 hours after we had last spoken when we were able to speak again, and she said that she was just like king Hezekiah and God had granted her another 15 years. With all these kidney problems, she feels less confident and at times she wonders if the fight is worth it. She knows that what awaits her on the other side is so much better than the pain she is going through now.
And then I turn to the Scripture above. God is working through the prophet Zephaniah to tell Jerusalem that His patience is at its limit. Heads will roll. It will not be pretty. But God has great patience, and we must wait.
I have written recently about how we want the Rapture now and let’s get these End Times over with, but then what if you have one loved one that you know is lost and you want that loved one to accept Jesus as their Savior? I just got through saying that I am not equipped to simply wait. … Until it must be done.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.