Each day brings new challenges. Last night I could not sleep lying down because I’ve some fluid on my lungs. It made me angry, and frightened. At times I just didn’t want to breathe any longer. I moved from bed to our large recliner and slept that way. This morning, I looked up pulmonary endema and was not at all that excited about the findings. This build-up happened because of the a-fib. Without treatment, it can be deadly.
I don’t know the severity. The doctors at the ER told me about the fluid and expressed some concern, but did not put me on diuretics. From that, I gather panic is not required. This morning, I’m now filled with a sense of determination to do what I have to do, which is a positive switch from wanting to quit breathing.
This morning’s devotional reading is a prayer. It isn’t perfect for my situation, but helpful. First, I must add a confession. I’ve been angry with God and upset that life has been interrupted by something that makes me feel so helpless. I know that helplessness is the best state for getting prayer answered, but do I have to like it?
Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long. Remember your mercy, O Lord, and your steadfast love, for they have been from of old. Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of your goodness, O Lord! (Psalm 25:4–7)
Waiting on God all day long is not about sitting and idly twiddling my thumbs. It is about prayer, but also doing what I know to do. His ways are never idle. Even if I am to “stand still” my heart is to actively lean toward Him, eager to hear what He has to say and eager to do whatever He asks.
The part of this passage that I’m hearing involves those first words: “Make me to know Your ways.” In English, this sounds like standing someone against the wall and making them do something, but in the original language, “make” is not there. The emphasis is on “know” — as in “be acquainted with, see, observe, recognize, acknowledge.” God wants me to know Him in a deeper way, and to know His ways more intimately.
As much as I know in my head that God is good regardless of life’s situations, this knowing is being tested. Believing in His grace and kindness is easy when all is well and to write like this is a cliché in Christian circles. We know, but until things happen to challenge that knowing, we really don’t know anything.
Lord, You know me inside and out. I’m glad for that. You are not surprised at the mixture of emotions I’ve had in the past twenty-four hours, even though these have surprised me. You are not caught off guard by my anger or by my helplessness. As the psalmist says, teach me Your ways and lead me. You have done so in the past and I’ve no reason to think You will abandon me now.