Saturday, December 18, 2010

Hope Deferred?

I looked at Diane with that knowing look. She glanced back telling me with her eyes that she understood my sorrow and frustration. The nurses were still talking, still fiddling with their computer. They were trying to sound positive, but we knew the truth.  We've been there so often before that it doesn't take a degree in interventionist pain management to realise that something had gone wrong.  In the operating theatre the surgeon had placed two flexible cables into the epidural cavity surrounding my spine and now only one day later, the nurses sent to programme the equipment with their hand-held computer could only find one.  The major line of the two designed to deal with at least 60% of my pain had failed, been moved or had simply been misplaced. Now, despite all the anxious preparations and long wait, the air flight to London and all the expense involved, the maximum benefit we could hope for was that 40% of the area of my intense pain might be covered by the sensations produced by neurostimulation of the spine.

This has been the tale of our lives during the long fifteen years of atrocious pain that I have endured.  Diane and I have set off so many times for hospital, more than 70 times, saying to each other 'surely this time it will work'.  We have had the same attitude to receiving healing prayer ministry.  Over the years we have travelled to Toronto, Bethel in California, healing centres in the UK, and a missionaries care facility in France each time believing that God would intervene and heal.  Some of the biggest names in Christendom have laid hands on me - all without the single feature we do seek and daily expect - healing and deliverance from one of the most painful conditions known to man.  Don't get me wrong, we have been greatly blessed and encouraged to keep going, and we both know that I am only still alive because of amazing answers to prayer, but the frustrations of hope built up and then dashed have been hard to bear.  As the Bible says; 'hope deferred makes the heart sick' (Proverbs 13:12).

Then a small group met to pray for me on a snowy night.  One of them had a vision from the Lord of the scales of justice on top of the Old Bailey.  In one pan he saw our constant disappointments being loaded in, and then he saw the other pan being filled with joys that completely outweighed the other! 'There will be justice' is what he felt the Lord was saying, 'and great joy is going to wash away your frequent disappointments!'  Praise God. Then I remembered the promise For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 2 Cor. 4:17 and I rejoiced, but I also dare to believe that there will be a fulfilment of that in this life too.  If not, I will still hope in God, for no-one who puts their hope in Him will be put to shame.

And who knows?  The trial of this piece of kit is not over yet, and God can do amazing things with people foolish enough to trust in Him and not in themselves.