Friday, May 1, 2015

Outside Your World

As the day comes to a close I finally have a chance to rest. It's 9:30 pm and I'm sitting beside my husband in ICU for the fifth day writing this.  The sound of a basketball game is in the background along with voices coming from the nurse’s station. 

So much has happened over the past two weeks I barely know what's going on outside my own little world.  When this happens, God somehow finds a way to change that and suddenly I'm back in real time.

NOTE: I'm using my husband's computer and have no idea why this is showing up the way it is, so bare with ...

Unfortunately I have found out more than I would have cared to know when it comes to the workings in a hospital, especially the Cardio ICU Care teams. Such hard workers. Twice a day all family members are asked to leave the area for two hours as the staff changes shift and debriefs those coming on for the next twelve hours. 

During that time I usually make a quick run home to take care of household duties and feed the pets.  However, Wednesday I decided to stay in the ICU waiting room to catch a few zzzzz's.  There was a recliner in the room with a television. Perhaps I could doze off while watching something.

I was in a prime position to fall asleep when an elderly gentleman using a walker entered the room. A few minutes later his granddaughter followed.  She wanted to go home but was upset she didn't get a chance to say good-bye to her mother who had just been admitted.

There was no way I couldn't hear the conversation the two visitors were holding. Trying to comfort her disappointment I assured her she would be able to go back in to see her mom at 8 PM.  She never acknowledged my statement but said a few phrases under her breath and exited the room.

After she left her grandfather began to talk to me.  He shared his concern about his grandchild.  Not long into the conversation he was sobbing over the way things were in their household.  Almost two hours later our impromptu counseling session had ended, with him agreeing to take part in stepping outside his comfort zone and out of the world where he finds refuge.

I offered suggestions as to what steps he could take to help grow a better foundation in his family.  Something that was uncovered during our visit was that his family never volunteered to do anything for anyone outside their own home. He kept saying how "good" his daughters were to he and his wife, but when I questioned his activities he cried even harder.  His reason for the tears was a feeling of guilt.

This gentleman was versed in church protocol and the inward works of his own place of worship, but he didn't feel there was anything he could do to serve the Lord in his condition.  His life was becoming closed-minded and self-absorbed without him realizing he had shut off those around him.  Now his granddaughter was following in his footsteps.

“My son, do not forget My law, but let your heart keep My commands.” (Proverbs 3:1 NKJV)

The problem is, you cannot keep what you don’t possess.  This young gal couldn’t respond the way her grandfather wanted because the things of God concerning instructing a child in the way they should go, were never taught to her.

When adults fail to reach out in compassion and understanding toward others, we are setting up our children for a big downfall when it comes time for them to spread their wings. They never witness their parents or the adults in their lives as caregivers or doers of good deeds for the sake of the cross.

While he was talking, this man told me that his granddaughter refuses to lift a finger at home and really has problems interacting with people.  Since the root of the problem began with him, he would need to be the one to change his behavior first.  If grandpa made positive changes, maybe the entire family would be willing to step out in faith as well.  

Once we came to an activity that he felt he and his wife could do, my new friend felt that his world was about to get a whole lot bigger.  Understanding that each of us has a role to fulfill in the Body of Christ was encouraging.  Not all of us are called to preach to the nations, but all are called to minister in our nation.

That day God allowed me to help an individual who was hurting and needed to confide in someone.  Even though my husband was the one who had surgery, he was able to pray over a nurse that had lost her husband this past March.  If we are willing to be used of God, He will be sure to place people along our journey no matter where we are.

This Week's Challenge:
Words of Compassion
Before entering the hospital we asked the Lord to use us in this situation to draw others to Him.  Both my husband and I have had many opportunities to reach outside our little area we like to call “home.”

One of the things that has always been a source of encouragement, is receiving a card when I was experiencing life's difficult challenges.  This week we’re going to be the encourager in the way of writing three cards letting other’s know we are praying for them. Include a verse in each one and write it out with the reference noted.

Card #1: Give a card of comfort to someone who is grieving.
Example verse: “The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him.” (Nahum 1:7 NKJV)
Card #2: Give a card to someone who is sick, bedridden or in the hospital.
“But He (Jesus) was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5 NKJV)
Card #3: Give a card to someone who is seeking guidance from the Lord.
“However, when He, the Spirit of Truth (the Holy Spirit) has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.” (John 16:13 NKJV)
As you minister to others I pray that the Lord will scatter those seeds for you along your journey to believing Him for more.
Until next time, show loving favor in words of compassion.
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“I will give favor when you seek Me.”
Jesus Christ
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