I have often thought of what was going through the minds of the men who were a part of D-Day. Knowing that many would die or be horribly wounded had to generate emotions beyond description. Yet, they knew they had a job to perform, and if it entailed sacrificing their earthly life, so be it. Men and women still confront these same emotions today in Iraq and Afghanistan. I cannot relate to what these heroes must deal with before combat, but I can share my own version and how I deal with it.
One week from today (February 11th), I will embark on a journey which will result in one of three things happening:
I will have two stents placed in blocked blood vessels in my heart and my strength and vitality will return as the muscle once again is furnished the blood it needs to work properly. The stents will function perfectly and other than a short period of re-hab, this ordeal will be over.
I will have two stents attempted to be placed but due to complications, the heart by-pass team waiting on standby will be called into action to perform their surgery resulting in the problem being eliminated but only after unbelievable pain and suffering both physically and financially.
I will die and go to meet my Lord face to face.
As difficult as what I just wrote is for you to read; it is the truth. It does no good to run away and hide from the facts. Denial of what is real only breeds delusional thinking, and I do not want to go down that road. I have a physical problem that entails a risky procedure to correct. Those are the facts and I am not afraid to look them squarely in the eye. I refuse to run away from reality.
In my mind, there are really only two ways next Wednesday will turn out and contrary to what you are thinking, they are options #1 or #3. Having lived through one heart by-pass in 1998 and the endless parade of complications which stretched on for years; I want no part of a repeat performance of such agony at this point in my life. However, having said this, it is really not my place to decide. Whatever the Lord's will may be, I want it to be my will also.
No one likes talking about death, which is really too bad since we all will die someday if the Lord tarries. In the Book of Philippians, Paul relates the struggle he was going through as he sat in Rome under house arrest for crimes he didn't commit. Paul makes astonishing statements in Philippians 1:20-26. In this section he specifically states in verses 21-24:
"For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell.
For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.
Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you."
I fully and completely understand what Paul was saying here. He was getting old, and he was tired of being in chains in Rome. With all of his heart, he wanted to leave this earthly life to be with His Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. If it was just him and no one else involved, he would have easily chosen to simply cease living so as to be with his Lord.
But, Paul understood that the believers needed him to continue teaching and helping them grow in Christ. Due to this, he put his selfish desire to "go home to be with the Lord" behind him and he mustered the faith needed to carry on. To the vast majority of people alive today, Paul was out of his mind to even be thinking this way. To me, I totally understand what his struggle consisted of and why there even was a battle going on. I can totally relate to what Paul was communicating.
One must remember that this is the same Paul who had previously written what we can read in 2 Corinthians 5:1-8. Perhaps because I totally believe this section to be true, I have no problem with understanding Paul's almost morbid desire to die. It was not that he wanted to die so much as he wanted to be with his Lord. Honestly, what in this life could compare to the glory that awaits us when we see Him face to face? What could possibly be so wonderful in this life that would motivate someone to prefer it over the eternal life we have been promised?
It has been noted in history that every one of the twelve apostles present on the Day of Pentecost except John died a martyr's death. Each one of these men spent much of their life being persecuted, reviled and hunted down as animals. Yet, each one gladly yielded their earthly life when the time came without questions or complaints. How can this be?
Paul, Peter, James and the others who were put to death for their faith did so with the full understanding that many before them had faced the same fate. From Abel through the prophets in the Old Testament to Jesus Christ Himself; those who choose to live for God and God alone usually faced the inevitable consequences of martyrdom for their beliefs.
I do not face martyrdom next week, thank God. But, I do face the distinct possibility that complications could arise which either could cause major and debilitating consequences or even the passing of this life. It does me no good to deny what could happen. I can pray and others can pray for the best, and I fully expect the best to happen; but I am not God and I therefore yield willingly and gladly to His Providence.
Personally, many days I would prefer to just lie down and awake to Gabriel calling me home and be done with this all too often frustrating life. But, I have a wife who desperately loves and needs me to get better, and that is reason enough to carry on. I also have a few friends who find something worthwhile in what I write at times; this gives even more reason to "hang in there". I also believe there are people down the road who need me to share with them the story of our Savior and His love for them; put together these reasons provide me with ample motivation to believe for the best outcome.
For all these reasons, I gladly yield my personal desire to depart and be with the Lord to the greater need which is for me to see God's healing take place in my body so that I may use this body to glorify Him the rest of my days. It is with that ironclad faith I approach my upcoming appointment with destiny. If I could be so bold as to request your prayers for me the morning of February 11th, I feel it would please the Lord to believe for option number one as stated above.
I know this is a bit early to be writing this, and I will most certainly write more later on, but I feel the Lord put this on my heart to present to you, my finest friends in this life, at this time. Thank you for any and all prayers on my behalf both now and on the 11th. I promise to return the favor by fervently praying for you whenever requested. Thank You.
Let's see, the 11th is next Wednesday. It is on the calendar and left open on the desk here. Communion is already moving in my heart concerning you, your dear wife, loved ones, and your ministry here and at large. Once again your writing reads like a modern epistle; full of warmth, humility balanced with maturity, and sincerity. Although i sense and am confident that we will here from you for many years to come, it really is something to think of the personal experience of separation of soul and body, is it not? Thanks so much, dear brother, for sharing your courage and faith with me. We'll stay tuned in,
in His love,
As you well know, myself and others are standing along beside you on this dark path. We are trusting that God turns darkness into light and I am rejoicing that God, rather than man, has you in His hands.
Dear Brother B2Y,
I have used the following prayer for my pastor(for heart bypass), dad(for heartbypass -twice), uncle(heart bypas), brother and other family members as they prepared fur surgery on surgery day over the years. It was given to me several years ago and I really do not know its author but it has always brought renewed confidence in the Lord in time of urgent need:
A PRAYER TO USE WHEN YOU ARE FACING SURGERY
Healing Promise: "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving,let your requests be made known to God; and the peace which passeth all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. " Philippians 4:6-7
Dear Heavenly Father, as I face surgery, I thank You for your promise which assures me that Your peace, which surpasses all understanding, will guard my heart and mind thru Christ Jesus. I claim this promise thru prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, and thru the peace You give me, I will not be anxious or fretful about the surgery I face.
Your Word assures me that You will never leave me nor forsake me. Your promise of peace comforts me and I ask You to minister your peace to me now as I pray, for I know that all or your promises are yea and amen in Christ Jesus.
You are faithful Lord God, and You will watch over your Word to perform it in my life. Your Word is truth.
You have promised in Your Word , Father to supply all my need according to Your riches in glory by Christ Jesus. One of my greatest needs right now is for my doctors and the medical staff to provide the best possible medical care to me. Therefore I ask You to give them special skill, wisdom, mental clarity, knowledge and understanding as they plan and perform the surgery and provide my care afterward.
Give them an attitude of mercy and compassion toward me and all their patients as they minister in the healing arts. Dear God, give wisdom to my physicians so that they will be able to do their work without confusion. I especially lift up to You now, my surgeon Dr ___and my anaesthetist Dr ____. Be with them as they study my case and make decisions related to my care. Bless them Father.
I ask for this surgery to be successful and without complications and for my recovery to be quick and complete. I pray that the doctors will be amazed at the speed of my recovery, Father, for I know You will restore health to me and heal me of my wounds. You are the Lord who heals me.
Thank you, Father for loving me with an everlasting love. Let Your perfect love fill me now and cast out all fear. I love You, Lord God, for You are my refuge and my fortress. You are my God and in You will I trust. Because I have have set my love upon You, loving Father, I know You will deliver me, answer my prayers, be with me, and satisfy me with long life.
May the above prayer be yours B2Y and also many others who may have to undergo surgery.
It is necessary to pray for all medical staff.
In my sister's eye surgerylast year during which she was half conscious, she heard the surgeon(head surgeon of national eye centre) call in another surgeon for help and counsel halfway through the operation, and they both could not agree on the delicate operationprocedure despite assurance that they knew what they were going to do just before the operation. My sister lifted her heart in prayer and a senior operating theatre nurse just then entered the operating theatre. She provided the best way to go and the operation proceeded successfully with the intervention of the Lord when the senior nurcs entered the scene.
Our hope is in the Lord and He is a very present help in trouble.......we serve a God of miracles.
Standing with you and your wife in prayer as you prepare and undergo the operation.
May the Lord be glorified.
WOW; thank you for sending along this prayer and your support. I truly do hope and pray everyone facing any medical situation will use this prayer to help build faith and keep all anxious thoughts at bay. Thank you for taking the time, dear friend, to place this loving and truthful comment on here; not only for me but for all who may be blessed and encouraged by it.
Thank you "K", alight and bimonics for your loving support and prayers. My prayer when writing this blog was simply to open my spiritual heart so all could see what must go on as a person prepares for an appointment with destiny. We all have many such appointments throughout our lives in many types of situations. In each and every case, we must do whatever it takes to squash and shut the door on fear, anxiety and other thieves who try to break in and steal the peace of God guarding our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Thank you for your prayers, not only for me, but for anyone facing a medical, financial or emotional challenge in their lives. The darker the times get, the more our little Christian community needs to circle the wagons and stand together. I count it an honor to stand with people like you.
Blessings 2 You
I hope that you truly know what a blessing you have been to probably thousands through your writing and your various ministries. And now, with bravery, you face this upcoming appointment.
We love you. Yeah, I've only read a few things you've written over the past month, but already I love you, as Christ gives the only love worth loving. You are our brother. Family.
As we pray for your healing, for your peace, for strength, clarity, wisdom, and this upcoming day, there is one thing I know. Whether option A, B, or C, we will meet someday. Praise the Lord!
My brother, I have already prayed and will continue praying God through His infinite power and mercy will be watching over you and guiding each hand that touches you and bring you back to continue ministering His Word to us in even a greater anointing. As you know I have gone through this recently myself so I know exactly what you are facing. Even so I know you will, as I did, enter in praising and worshiping your Savior knowing His perfect will be done in your life. There are many people on CB and around the world who love you and appreciate you, including me, who will be on their knees lifting you up in prayer and rejoicing in the Lord believing He is going to bring you back to us healthier than you have been in many years. Glory, honor, and praise to our Lord and Savior . . . Amen!
Love you brother,
My prayers will be with you brother.
Love from NC
You are in my prayers brother. Having gone through these same proceedures with my dad I understand what you face. I am thankful that you shared this in a blog because I seldom can respond to the prayer requests in written form. I read them and pray for people but my prayers ... I can't write them.
blessings in abundance,
Like throughfaith I have been through this with my Dad and fully understand you preference to avoid "option #2.
I understand when you say you are torn between the two -being with the Lord and being here.
You are much needed here and my heart says "God leave him with us a bit longer as we need him" and still I know you want what God has planned for you whichever that is.
I am praying for you my beloved Brother and will continue to do so far beyond your surgery.
My dear brother in Christ,
I cannot begin to fully understand what you are going through. I only wish to tell you that your words and actions have made you a symbol of what true faith is in my eyes.
Please let me share something very personal. My dad was a man of God. He believed in God and in His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior more than anything. Without going into great detail of how I know this, just please take my word for it. He was strong in the Lord. There was only one time that I heard him say that he was afraid. That was just days before he passed away from cancer eating his body. He was not in his full mind, between the disease and the morphine, but he confided in me and me alone on his fears.
My response to him was to repeat something that he had said to me many times: "There is no shame in being afraid. To be really strong is to continue to do what you have to do in spite of your fear."
My dad smiled and nodded when I said that, as though he was both satisfied that all would be well in the end, and that I had learned the lessons he had taught me throughout life.
My dear friend and brother, I suspect you are afraid. I would be, too. But you, like my dad, know that God is in control, and you spend so much of your time, even through your fear, reaching out to others. Bless you. You are an inspiration to me. I pray for you daily.
What can I say to all you wonderful and God fearing people other than THANK YOU and please know that from the depths of my heart I cherish all of your prayers and words of encouragement. I cannot begin to put into words how grateful I am for your support, love and mutual faith with me during this trial. I look forward to what lies ahead and to whatever it is our gracious God has in store for me.
I thank God for each of you.
Blessings 2 You
You know, I fully appreciate what you are saying. I have experienced surgery and probably been through a similar gamut of thoughts that confronts us at times like this. I've also waited anxiously as my sister, my dad and other close friends have gone through life threatening emergency surgery. My sister's was near hopeless with death the most likely possibility. They all pulled through.
On the more morbid thought, I'd agree with you that it isn't really such a bad thing at all because we have the assurance of salvation and passing from this life will only bring us home with the Lord. We go to a much happier welcoming place. I think that once we can accept that, we can then trust Him for any outcome; that He will work it all out, not just for our good but for the good of all around us. So that's the best fact that we need to face! LOL
I believe the destiny He has for you is far from done. I don't believe you are finished imparting to us the wisdom you have picked up in all your years. I am believing that He has a destiny for you to continue touching lives here at CB and to carry on edifying the saints for a while yet :) So do take hold of this destiny to continue being a blessing to everyone! At times like this there is a temptation to "eulogise the living" - if you know what I mean - but I'm gonna keep my focus on Him and shut out every vagrant negative thought.
The what-ifs are always scary to confront but doctors have to cover the bases as well as obtain our prior "just in case" consent and avoid legal repercussions - but they do not speak for God in Whose hands we truly belong.
You are in our prayers, you're gonna be fine. Just be at peace :)
I thank You for sending B2Y into my life and for the blessing he has been to me and so many others. As Your children we come before Your throne and ask in the Name of Jesus that Your angels will safeguard him throughout this time from now through surgery and recovery. Envelope him in the comfort of Your Holy Spirit. In Your Holy presence, let Your anointing of peace and healing rest over him and let no assignment of fear, doubt and torment, or any other contrary assignment, have standing.
Jesus, we ask that You will be B2Y's healer. Be the eyes, hands and the mind of every doctor and nurse caring for him. Guide them in their diagnosis and prescriptions; in every decision made. Let it all be of You, from You and You alone. Lord Jesus, we ask You to be the hands of the surgeon. Inspire the best performance every step of the way to make B2Y well. Let there be no pain and cover Your child against any side effects of the procedure. We also ask for an uneventful, safe, and quick full recovery.
Lord we ask also that all activities, needs, administration and logistics be completely covered to run smoothly, even over every bump that may be hidden. As You are our Provider, we also ask that all of B2Y's financial needs for the procedure, medical care and even living expenses be met at this time. Please also cover B2Y's wife, family and any person who holds him dear to heart; give them the assurance of peace that all will be well in Your Hands.
We pray all this in the Mighty Name of Jesus and claim B2Y's healing for Your Glory. Thank You Lord. AMEN.[/i]
This reminds me of a blog Andera wrote. While it is good to want our Lord to come and take us it is still more inportant for us to think about our Loved ones. I will be thinking and praying for you. May our Lord bless us with your return.
God is Love and you do an awesome job of representing Him to us, through yours.
May Grace Be Recieved By All,