There is a significant reason why I didn’t go into the medical field.
I’m a compassionate, caring person. I don’t have any problems helping those who are sick. I can minister to the needs of those who’ve been injured or have had surgical procedures that incapacitate them.
I don’t, however, deal well with blood.
My husband had a double abdominal hernial operation this past week. The recovery, he was told, would be uncomfortable. The highlight pre-surgery was the warm yellow socks they gave him. You can imagine the fun we had at the hospital.
After surgery, he was feeling the pleasant euphoria of the anesthesia. The fact that he had a five-inch incision in his abdomen and a drain that poked in his side like a knife someone forgot to take out didn’t bother him at the time.
That all would change.
Once we got home, the effects of the medication began wearing off. John became acutely aware of the pain, especially at the site of the drain. No medication in the world seemed to ease that irritation.
It was that drain that was my undoing.
John needs me now, and I want to help him. Granted, as a guy, he’s not the world’s best patient. But he’s been such a trooper considering what he’s dealing with. Not demanding. Showing such gratitude.
But that drain.
It empties the fluid contents from the surgery site. Much of which is bloody. (Some of you will stop right there, wanting to puke. It’s OK. I’ve wanted to puke every time I drain it.) The fluid goes into a bulb that has to be emptied and cleaned twice a day. Then I’m supposed to measure the goop that comes out.
I stopped measuring after the first day.
That doesn’t make John feel any better. He knows this is hard for me. But it has to be done, and he can’t do it himself.
He doesn’t want to be needy. And I want to be more sufficient for his needs.
Life is like that. A tension between what we can and can’t do. Too often, when I can’t do something, I feel a neediness I don’t want to feel. A sense of failure. I wasn’t enough.
Paul struggled with that. He had some problem he called a thorn in his flesh that wouldn’t go away. It made him constantly needy.
“Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time He said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.” 2 Corinthians 12:8-9
I’d love to have my challenges taken away so I wouldn’t be so needy. Being needy, however, isn’t the problem. It’s where I’m going to get my help.
Jesus is with me in the challenges I face daily. He knows I can’t deal as well as I’d like, that I’m not as strong as I want to be.
He’s bigger than all the challenges.
That could have me looking at that darned drain in a different way.