Psalm 78:17-25 Yet they [God’s people] kept on rebelling against the Most High in the desert. . . They even spoke against God himself, saying “God can’t give us food in the wilderness. Yes, he can strike a rock so water gushes out, but he can’t give his people bread and meat.” . . . For they did not believe God or trust him to care for them. But he commanded the skies to open; he rained down manna for them to eat; he gave them bread from heaven . . . God gave them all they could hold.
Sometimes it’s easier for me to trust God with big things than with smaller, ongoing, daily challenges. Do you find that true?
I’ve been remembering the fall of 2004, when after setting records for her recovery from intestinal transplant, Karis’s body rejected her graft and nothing the doctors could do was successful in turning that around. She received every medication available to reverse the rejection, which meant her immune system was wiped out. I was able to trust God through the ensuing Legionnaire’s Disease, which took her to the ICU for 75 days. God did AMAZING things to save her life. Big time miracles! (See story posted on 2/4/19.)
In mid-January 2005 Karis was released from the ICU. She was too weak even to push the call bell to request help from the nurses. She was told she might never walk again. She had ongoing horrible nightmares from the high levels of fentanyl she had required in the ICU. I was the only person she trusted. She had no intestine, since her bleeding, disintegrating graft had been removed. Her daily “bread from heaven” was called TPN, nutrition directly into her veins. She bounced back and forth from the rehab hospital to the “regular” hospital as she developed chronic pancreatitis, liver failure, and multiple episodes of sepsis.
One day I received an email from a friend telling me she knew someone “like Karis” who had been cured through a special diet. If Karis would only follow this diet, she would be fine. Umm . . . I guess my friend had missed the fact that Karis had NO INTESTINE. Therefore, she couldn’t eat ANYTHING. For some reason, that email made me inordinately angry. I guess it triggered the frustration that was building up in me day after difficult day. And I felt hurt. If my friend didn’t understand the basic realities of our situation, she really hadn’t been tracking with us at all. I told myself never to offer advice unless I had taken the time to be sure I correctly grasped what was going on in a given situation. (Good to be reminded of this again!)
Every single day of 2005 challenged me to trust God for what Karis and I needed for that day. Jesus’ words stood out in bold relief: “Don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today” (Mt 6:34). And God provided the manna, one day at a time. Faithfulness to our needs for each day (Lam 3:23). Thank you, Lord.