Sunday, May 31, 2015
This recent crisis resulted in another admission to UCLH in London and yet another dangerous and delicate procedure under anesthetic to clear out my pancreatic duct (for the 8th time in recent months). They found that my duct was so blocked with stones and debris that the metal stent that had been fitted a few weeks ago to enable flow had itself been pushed right out of the duct by the pressure! The pain has been out of this world. I saw recent research which shows that pancreatic pain is the worst a man can know - as the pancreas is full of pain-transmitting nerves. It certainly is the worst I have ever known! So now I am home again with no stent. The strictures they found in the duct are just the same, and my propensity for making stones and sludge is undiminished, so I don't know how long it will be before another attack of acute pancreatitis puts me back in hospital, but I hope and pray for relief.
Some people ask me how I cope with all this. I often answer that I am not sure I do cope some of the time! I get through and keep on going, despite over a hundred hospital admissions and two decades of battling this disease, largely due to the prayers, love and support of others, most notably my wonderful wife Diane. I also know that God is with me, and that Jesus is alive and real - a very present help in trouble as he is described in the Bible. I also know that my body is an amazing machine - even my tiny Pomeranian dog has a pancreas - and the One who made me can mend me, In the meantime, I choose to trust him and wait for whatever he has planned for me in love. Thanks for your interest and prayers.
Saturday, May 02, 2015
Choices! Life is full of them. Many of them are trivial - which coffee to buy, what kind of soap etc - but some are life-changing. When I was away at a Christian Healing Centre a couple of weeks ago I was presented with a very difficult choice indeed. Those kind folk who were listening to my story and ministering to me in prayer felt that I needed to choose to do God's will with joy even if that includes pain for me. As I write this now I am in intense pain, and under the influence of morphine. A recent op in London (the latest of several this year) appears to have failed yet again and the pain is extremely hard to bear. Yet, when challenged a fortnight ago to make my choice I did so, albeit with great difficulty, and I elect to stick with it today. I am content to let God set the agenda in my life whatever that may mean for me. So far it appears to have involved the most painful disease known to man - pancreatitis. In the future I hope that it will include healing and recovery but I am not certain of that. All I am sure of is that there is a God who loves me, and if he never does take away my pain he has already done so much for me in his Son Jesus Christ that I can trust him for time and for eternity to do what's right for me.
For me, the choice as to who rules my life is not expressed in a ballot box but in my heart. I recall the words of a very special prayer, prayed each New Year in the Methodist Covenant service. It goes:
"(Lord) - I am no longer my own but yours.
Put me to what you will, rank me with whom you will;
put me to doing, put me to suffering;
let me be employed for you or laid aside for you,
exalted for you or brought low for you.
Let me be full, let me be empty, let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things to your pleasure and disposal.
And now, glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
you are mine and I am yours.
So be it... Amen"
Hmmm. Can you say 'Amen' to that? On May 7th in the UK you will express your choice with a cross. God has also set out his desire for us at a cross, but we must daily cast our vote.