Lord, you are the God who saves me;
day and night I cry out to you.
May my prayer come before you;
turn your ear to my cry.
I am overwhelmed with troubles
and my life draws near to death.
I am counted among those who go down to the pit;
I am like one without strength.
I am set apart with the dead,
like the slain who lie in the grave,
whom you remember no more,
who are cut off from your care.
You have put me in the lowest pit,
in the darkest depths.
Your wrath lies heavily on me;
you have overwhelmed me with all your waves.
You have taken from me my closest friends
and have made me repulsive to them.
I am confined and cannot escape;
my eyes are dim with grief.
I call to you, Lord, every day;
I spread out my hands to you.
Do you show your wonders to the dead?
Do their spirits rise up and praise you?
Is your love declared in the grave,
your faithfulness in Destruction?
Are your wonders known in the place of darkness,
or your righteous deeds in the land of oblivion?
But I cry to you for help, Lord;
in the morning my prayer comes before you.
Why, Lord, do you reject me
and hide your face from me?
From my youth I have suffered and been close to death;
I have borne your terrors and am in despair.
Your wrath has swept over me;
your terrors have destroyed me.
All day long they surround me like a flood;
they have completely engulfed me.
You have taken from me friend and neighbor—
darkness is my closest friend.
- Psalm 88:1-18
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.
- Proverbs 17:17
I have written a great deal lately about my wife’s illnesses. She is still in hopes of a living donor, and she is number one on the wait list if the kidney is an exact match, although her blood type is not the most common. Then, she is, at the time of writing this, nearly a month into her battle with shingles. At this point, she has a prescription pain killer for bedtime and dialysis sessions. She has a prescription for a topical antibiotic to prevent infection from the newer rash outbreaks. And she is using home remedies to lessen the problems with the older, erupted and scabbed, outbreaks.
But then, she is recovering nicely from the near pneumonia. Her pulse oxygen level is up to 96-97%. She had been at 92%, which was the borderline in being admitted to the hospital.
Then, when you thought you could not stand anything else, the diarrhea issues that she gets as a side effect of the dialysis decided to act up. She would stay up all night going to the bathroom and then suffer through dialysis during the day, with the usual nurses shaking her to ask if she was sleeping. So nice to know that they care.
But on Christmas day, not knowing that my wife was ill, our neighbor came over with a meal. So much food that it took two days to eat it all. This is the same neighbor who mows our lawn. We give them gifts, but it may not even pay for the gasoline for the lawn mower. He says he does it for the exercise.
On New Year’s Day, they did the same thing. Even more food than before. We ate bits and pieces of the meal throughout the week.
And when we had just finished all that food, one of the people from our Sunday school class came by with soup. She had delivered a big meal near Thanksgiving, before this avalanche of health issues started.
With all this in mind, I might have to disagree, at least in this instance, with the Sons of Korah, who wrote Psalm 88. When disaster upon disaster happens, sometimes those who love you rally around you.
Job did not do well with his friends. Three friends tried to “cheer him up” but only accused him of leading a privately sinful life. They had no evidence other than the tragedies that had fallen upon their friend. The Sons of Korah probably had evidence that friends and sometimes family will desert you.
But sometimes neighbors and church friends can be family. A non-bloodline family member that shows love in spite of your circumstances.
Like God loved us while we were sinners. He wants us to repent, but the love came when the circumstances were not so pretty. And loving friends and neighbors do the same.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.
This really touched my heart. You and your wife are going through so much. I am glad to know there are some caring people in your life.
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Yes, we are not alone.
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