When God Ordains Delay, Scratch Your Head and Let Your Questions Take You to the Lord

A trip to the Emergency Room is not big news when it’s almost routine. Not to highlight the event, but to exalt the Lord: instead of keeping this routine hush-hush, maybe it would encourage someone to trust the Lord – again!

Cheryl got up Wednesday (April 13) and felt a pain in her right kidney that resembled the pain that led to her near death back in 2011. Same kidney. Same pain. By yesterday, Thursday morning, and now with a slight temp, it was time to delay no longer: we called her Surgeon at Loyola University. By yesterday afternoon, 2:30 pm, she was admitted through the Emergency Room.

Full Stop!

Have you ever been delayed, side-tracked, and thought:

“What’s going on? Did I do something wrong? What did I miss? – Lord, are you there? Why this? Why now? Life’s too busy for this? Here we go again! Where will this trip end?”

To keep this post short (because I’m now a full day behind and so is Cheryl), I offer this:

  1. The Mystery of Delay is annoying, but the alternative is idolatry: you are not in control of your destiny – God is. Ordained Delay from God’s loving hand is our reminder that we are not nearly in control as we think we are. So scratch your head and be patient – the Lord will not fail to lead you through.
  2. Say to your heart, “This [too] is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice [in the fact that God is sovereign] and be glad in it [because God is sovereign over this too] – Psalm 118:24. This verse is often misused to plaster a smiling face on a grieving heart. God does not give you this psalm to dismiss your pain, but to remind you of his nearness. He does not expect you to be happy when your heart is broken, again.
  3. Finally, God might re-fry his beans, but he does not re-fry his grace. My point: God does not reuse a past grace for your present trial. He uses new grace!

Jesus the Great High Priest Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16 ESV)

Do you See? Your new delay is met with grace for this time of need. Which means, Jesus does not sympathize with your present weakness, and then pull out a used handkerchief to wipe your face. No, “in every respect”, which includes, the uniqueness of this day’s delay. God never yawns in the face of your sorrow as if he’s saying, “been there – done that.” Every trial and delay has it’s own unique temptations to fear and despair, and so also comes a new grace for each morning.

After 11 hours, Renal Ultrasound, CT, antibiotics, pain meds, labwork, much consultation (this is a tertiary research hospital), they discharged her and we were in bed by 1 am this morning. Her kidney got infected – but no maverick stones detected. Praise the Lord.

Back to work for both of us with a little more humility. Cheryl’s taking it easy as her kidney slowly heals. Still scratching our heads. But we trust the Lord.


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