I believe with all my heart that the Lord will not give us more than we can handle. Having said this, I wanted to bring you up to date regarding my bout of “the traveling Kidney Stones”, now in concert (full concert by the way!!) It appears He thinks I can handle more……
The short story is that one of the stones (6 mm in size) moved down to my ureter which is quite dangerous given I only have one kidney. So, off to my urologist I go and immediately get a KUD scan. They identifed two 6 mm stones and quickly sent me over to St. John’s Hospital in Maplewood for an emergency “stonectomy” aka Cystoscopy, Ureteroscopy, Stent Placement. Honestly, I was very nervous. This is a place “no man should go” with a medical device. The surgery took about an hour. It was a huge success. They got both stones! Now, I no longer have to worry about a stone blocking my one and only kidney—Praise God for his goodness (and the doctor’s skillful hands).
Friends, these are times I seek wisdom and strength from God above. I know that the Bible tells us we are strongest in our weakest moments with God on our side. Let me tell you I feel like a humble Hercules. I confess I am growing weary of the pain, the trials, and the health challenges. But, at the same time I am strengthened and encouraged by God’s grace he has shown me. His power and majesty rises above all things. He rains grace over me and has for the entire 6 years I have been battling the “sucky” disease.
The following are the things I continue to learn as I walk thru this journey:
First and foremost, I know that I worship a God that never leavers me or forsakes me. This is evident in the success of the treatments, the unbelievable support from family and friends, and the eternal hope that I have to be healed. I know that scripture promises us healing in this life or the next. I have seen incredible strength, fortitude, and hope in those that are afflicted with cancer. The human spirit is truly a tremendous thing as people fight for their very lives. I have seen tenderness in hard, ugly situations, hope in hopeless moments, graciousness in people that reach out and offer unselfish help and assistance. I experienced love by family members that went way out of their way to help us. I have learned that the will to live far exceeds any physical illness that can be thrown at us. I am inspired beyond measure by ordinary people that do “extra-ordinary” things. I am impressed by the kindness that the medical professionals I have crossed paths with during this journey.
I want to encourage each and everyone of you that may be sick or helping a sick friend or family member. In the words of the great Winston Churchill, “Never, ever, ever, give up”! Keep fighting, keep encouraging those around you. Much of coming out of the darkness of sickness is in how we respond to it. I encourage you to look at the positives in every situation. Appreciate more, complain less. Talk truth in love, have deep, loving conversations. Take of the mask and be real to each other.
I leave you with another one of my favs: Psalm 30:1-3 “I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me. You refused to let my enemies triumph over me. O Lord my God, I cried out to you (many, many times) for help, and you restored my health. You brought me up from the grave, O Lord. You kept me from falling into the pit of death.
Sending back to you wishes for blessings over you and your entire family,
Craig (aka Papa G)