In the Middle of the Mess

Psalm 39:5 “…Each man’s life is but a breath.”

As we stopped at the head of our driveway coming home from the hospital, my eyes welled with tears. It had been six days earlier, at 3:30 AM, when we raced out the lane headed for the Emergency Room. We had no idea I was on the edge of septic shock and a dangerous threat to life. We didn’t know….

But God did.

The doctor told my husband had we gotten to the hospital twenty minutes later, my hopes for recovery would have been cut in half. If you knew how prone our family is to “doctor” ourselves, you would realize the fact we drove to the ER in the middle of the night was a miracle in itself.

Moments after being admitted, my fever spiked and blood pressure plummeted. I was rushed to the ICU and the doctors and nurses went into action. They discovered a kidney stone blocking my right kidney, diverting all the poison to my blood stream. The ensuing sepsis plunged me into a sickness like nothing I’d known before.

I’ve always been graced with good health. Even took a bit of pride whenever I had to fill out routine medical history forms. I loved marking “no” to all the listed ailments. It’s not that I took my health for granted; I just wasn’t expecting something so severe to mess up my formerly pristine “medical history.”

Life gets messy at times, doesn’t it? Unpredictable. We all experience marred “medical history forms” in one way or another. Yet, in the unpredictable messiness we have opportunity to experience deeper grains of grace. Of redemption.

For me, that redemptive grace appeared through God-appointed doctors and nurses being at the right place at the right time to save my life. It’s taken shape in the prayers, love and kindnesses of family and friends. It’s brought me extraordinary comfort through my husband’s tender care in walking with me through it all. Most of all, it’s produced in me an overwhelming sense of gratitude.

The Psalmist tells us life is but a breath. Our short span on earth will never be immune from its messiness. But whatever might splatter over your “record” or mine, we can find peace in knowing God is right in the middle of our mess, and he promises to use it for our good.

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