Ten days ago I had surgery to remove a parathyroid gland that had a small tumor inside. This particular condition was causing high calcium levels in my blood and other side effects like bone pain, fatigue and just a general feeling of yuck. The surgery was successful and after one night in the hospital I was released to go home.
What I did not understand about this surgery was how out of whack my calcium and potassium levels would become. Or how much rest was actually required to get well. On Wednesday night I went to bed not feeling well and ended up with an ambulance in my driveway after passing out trying to get out of bed. After an ER visit and a few additional doctor’s visits I’ve gotten things straightened out a bit but it’s still been a struggle to get regulated.
As I sit here, thinking through my “ordeal” I feel almost silly about being anxious or annoyed over my troubles. Yes, it was scary and yes I’ve had some anxiety as a result. But for goodness sakes, perspective. When I hop on Facebook for a few minutes it’s a huge reminder that whatever I have going on… just isn’t that bad. Our connected world is a constant reminder that people are hurting in vast and varying ways. From childhood cancer to car accidents and plane crashes to terrorist attacks…. it’s a broken, evil and devastated world out there.
While all this hurt and brokenness swirls round and round I have access to medical care and a church family that feeds my family dinners until I feel better. And I’m beyond thankful. In fact, my heart is more than full of gratitude and love for the many who showed up for us.
But I’m also burdened.
I’m burdened for those who barely make it through the day with their lives. I’m burdened for those who don’t know where their next meal will come from. I’m burdened for trafficked humans who are enslaved in a treacherous life. I’m burdened for those who sit by a loved one’s side as they battle illness day after day.
And even though I’m buying all the t-shirts that support all the things… man… it’s not putting a dent in all this burden.
The burden and heavy is enough to make you think there is no reason to try. And the hurt of this big world will just collapse on you in a big heap and it’s suffocating. And yet, people are still doing and good is still happening… and Jesus is still there.
There’s no easy end to this post. Don’t we all just feel the weight of it sometimes? But in that weight… we have hope. Hope that this world isn’t all there is and Faith that Jesus IS our Hope.
A Jesus that isn’t formed by whatever current trend is passing through… but a real Jesus who came to make a way. Who knew the burdens of the world and came to make them lighter.
In the heaping, suffocating realization of what our world is… I’ve put my trust in him.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
1 John 16:33