Friday, November 01, 2013

Keeping it All Together!

I have been described as 'the man with the interesting abdomen' by the team at the pancreatic/biliary unit in University College London Hospital.  'Interesting' may be their viewpoint, but 'pesky' 'problematic' or downright 'painful' would be mine! When they went poking around in my pancreatic duct just a few days ago they revealed the presence of a large quantity of sludge bunging up the works.  Yuck! Sounds like my garden drains at this time of the year.  The problem is that when that particular duct is blocked with sludge or even leaves, it causes a back-wash of pancreatic enzymes - the things that dissolve meat when sent normally into your gut - which then start devouring your insides causing massive blood loss and infection - acute pancreatitis! In certain circumstances this can be fatal. My own brush with near-death encounters etc is set out in the book Braving the Storm - still available from Amazon and other booksellers. So, for me, the interesting abdomen is a huge challenge.

As I face the prospect of going back into UCLH in just over a week's time for them to have a second go at clearing the duct I find that my biggest enemy is not pain, or nausea, or even fever etc, but fear.  The fear of going back into something I have experienced before and was the worst time of my life (and my family's) takes the biscuit in the line up of enemies - including sludge - who seem to be conspiring against me at this time. So, I had a chat with myself (and Diane) about this and we started encouraging one another with fear unblocking Bible promises. These scriptures are helping us to get through, keeping it all together, and I offer them to you as an encouragement whatever kind of sludge may be affecting your life - or even your abdomen!

Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Deuteronomy 20:3b,4 Do not be faint-hearted or afraid; do not be terrified or give way to panic before [your enemies], for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.

1 Chronicles 28:20  Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you ...

Isaiah 43:1,2 But now, this is what the LORD says – he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.’

Psalm 27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?

Psalm 118:6  The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?

Proverbs 29:25  Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.

Hebrews 13:5,6 …because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’ So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?’