Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Waiting on the Lord in My Heart,Waiting Lists With My Heart

Why do you complain, Jacob?
Why do you say, Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord;
my cause is disregarded by my God”?
28 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

I have found myself  thinking of this passage more and more over recent weeks. At the beginning of the year I went to my doctor complaining about shortness of breath when I'm out exercising. It was starting to get embarrassing to have to ask a younger companion 'to stop for a few minutes so I could sort myself out'... at the same time I also changed job and moved from trying to plant a church amongst university students to a suburban church that was struggling to stay afloat... from the frying pan into the fire.

Well I started the new position with great enthusiasm, as in the midst of grieving the end of the church plant endeavour I felt that God had called us to St Peter's... Being a diabetic my doctor decided not to take any risks and put me on the waiting list for an appointment at the heart specialists... Being New Zealand we have a very good public health system. So last month I get an appointment and after being told that nothing looked wrong but they would put me on the treadmill test, I thought OK I've just let my fitness levels fall to much.

Six minutes into the treadmill test and the technician asks me if I'm having chest pains!!! No I say. The tread mill test is terminated I'm advised to lie down and there is a hurried call for the specialist. I'm put on the waiting list for an angiogram... He also put me on beta blockers!!!  in two weeks I get a call and I'm squeezed in because of  a cancellation. Seems I've got a blocked artery round my heart and two arteries with significant thinning... "I'm in the grey area," says the surgeon, "between needing a bypass and being able to be fixed by using stents". 

So at the moment I'm in a holding pattern they've told me they are going to put stents in... great... less intrusive, less down time... But I'm on the waiting list once again. I'm finding that between the plumbing blockages and the beta blockers that slows the heart down I'm exhausted at the end of the day... and I can't really go ask my doctor to take me off the meds so I can work longer hours. So I'm waiting (my in, non PC, joke at the moment to people who ask how I am is that they have decided to treat me using Chinese medicine... wai  ting list).

I love my family and I know they are concerned for me, it has been hard since they found out having to put up with them telling me that I should let them do more for me. I was told not to run a marathon and not to lift heavy weights.. and while I immediately cancelled my involvement in an Iron man and the Oceania power lifting championships (joke) I am having debates with my wife and kids over what constitutes too much exercise and too heavy a weight to lift. The scary thing is sometimes they are right... bother.

So Isaiah 40 is on my mind a lot these days, the realisation that in actual fact God is sovereign (my reformed tradition kicks in here) and it is God that I have to rely on day after day for my daily energy quota and also long term to work in my life through prayer and the wonderful yet full public health system here in NZ and the wonders of scientific break through .

I even accept the mild rebuke of being asked " do you think I'm not on the job, Carter?" (sorry NZ boys school system authority figures always use your last name). Long term its more lifestyle changes.

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