Friday, March 25, 2016

Does Your Pain Compare?

I spent last week in the hospital.

I thought I was going in for a quick out-patient surgery to repair my torn rotator cuff.

That didn’t happen…

Instead, I nearly crashed on the table before they even put me under. I turned blue. I couldn’t breathe.

I thought I was dying.

My surgeon canceled the surgery and I was admitted to the Cardiac department to determine what had gone wrong—and to get my heart rate back down to normal.

In my racing heart, I whined.

I whined a lot that week. I hate having tests done that hurt, make me uncomfortable, that require a second IV line with a larger needle right in the bend of my only good arm.

I whined because they performed a nerve block on my right shoulder before surgery was canceled that rendered my entire arm a dead, lifeless, dangling appendage that served no purpose but to receive all the injections they kept stabbing me with.

I griped about the lack of food or water I was allowed – because of all the tests they had to perform. Then I griped about the food they brought me. Apparently, the dietitian in the hospital has no concept of “a restricted diet” for diabetics or heart patients.

I complained that I couldn’t sleep because I was so uncomfortable and when I attempted to lay my head down to rest, I couldn’t breathe again.

I grumbled when every few minutes I had to unhook my oxygen and attempt to make it to the bathroom AGAIN because they shot me full of Lasix. It didn’t help that I only had one arm, with two IVs in the wrong places for the task at hand, and one dead arm that merely dangled uselessly and in the way.

And then…

This morning I awoke thinking about Jesus on that Good Friday so long ago.

My temporary and minor pain in no way compares to his.

My discomfort and bruises from needle pricks were minimal compared to the wounds he received from repeated flogging with metal barbs that cut into his flesh.

My pain can never compare to the pain he must have felt as he took on the sin of the world.

My damaged shoulder, dead arm, and needle-stabbed arms in no way compare to his journey through the streets carrying the cross he would soon be nailed to.

So, today I cry. Not out of pity for myself, but out of shame for even suggesting that a couple of weeks of discomfort can compare with the supreme sacrifice Christ made to give me eternal life.

It’s not a sad story, though, because his death was not in vain.

Yes, my friends, Sunday is coming.

No matter what we experience in life, our Sunday is coming. And with it comes healing and life for eternity.

For by his stripes, we are healed.