Monday, March 29, 2010

Familiar with Suffering

I find myself at a loss to know how to explain my situation at this time.  If you know me you will already be aware of my 14 year battle with chronic pancreatitis and recurring acute pancreatitis. Until last year I was also being admitted to hospital every month or so with a nasty illness called cholangitis - the inflammation or infection of the bile tree - quite a dangerous condition leading to septic shock and more!  I had a huge operation in London last July to overcome this.  It appeared to have worked.  The cholangitis attacks stopped, but then we fought a renewed outbreak of pancreatitis.  Now I am booked to go into the University Hospital in London at the end of April to commence between 6 weeks and 4 months of total pancreatic rest with nil by mouth.  Would you credit it?  On the cusp of this difficult and rigorous treatment - the cholangitis attacks have started again!

Please pardon my being a bit stuck for words to say. I am gutted.  I have just got home after 5 days in the local hospital with this latest attack.  So - here we go again.  Is there to be no oasis in this desert?  Are my tears in vain?  Does my cry get any higher than the ceiling?

Oh I know that is not true, but it does feel like it.  Still, it must have felt pretty rotten for our parents to endure the Second World War.  It must be pretty foul to have MS like a young Christian friend of mine.  There must be thousands of decent people whose situation is a zillion times worse.  And then - how did Jesus feel, brutally beaten and flogged at 33 years of age, hung on a cruel cross and for what?  'He had done no wrong, no violence, neither was there any deception in his mouth.  Yet, it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer' (Isaiah 53:10).

So - it's Holy Week and I for one don't feel very holy.  If it wasn't for that cross - for those hands - for those drops of blood - for that glorious first Sunday morning!  I'd be finished.  Sometimes I feel as though I am.  'Lord, please give me the strength to go on'.