Peace that passes understanding

It is easy to say that a person has faith as a Christian.  But often this is said when there is no stress and no actual call for faith.  Real faith amounts to trusting God when times are difficult – when you fear losing your job, when you have relationship issues, when there are medical problems.  I consider myself to have a decent amount of faith even in the toughest of circumstances but I will be the first to admit that my faith is not complete and that it waivers from time to time.

There are times that I have experienced a faith that is so complete that I know it is not my own.  I have been swept up in a peace that passes all understanding and can only come from God.  I don’t share any of this to brag about my own great faith because it is not about me at all but about God.

I’ve had some medical issues this spring.  This can be traced back to back problems that I had in the fall and really goes back over three years when I developed a hernia.  In short, I’ve been dealing with issues on and off for three years now but I say this without complaining.  Things have come to a head this spring however.  Right at Easter time I discovered that my ongoing back issues were the result of a ruptured disc that I’ve apparently had for many years and was unaware of it.  Therapy has helped alleviate the pain a great deal and I’m very thankful for this.

Just as I was getting better from my back issues (it was literally the day after my chiropractor cut my treatments back) I found myself in the emergency room.  Without being graphic, I’ll say that it involved bleeding and a bathroom issue.  I expected to discover a minor issue that I’d be given medication for and then be sent on my way home.  Instead, I ended up passing out in the bathroom of the emergency room.

This was the first time that I’ve ever passed out and I must say that it was a very surreal experience.  One minute I was awake, the next moment I was surrounded by doctors and nurses in a hospital bed where they were hooking up IV’s and monitors.  As I was stabilized, it became apparent that what I thought was a minor issue was going to involve at least spending the night in the hospital.  My passing out was a result of dehydration and minor blood loss.  The doctors would be running multiple tests to determine the cause of my problem.

At this moment, despite not knowing what was really going on, I found myself overwhelmed with peace.  I was exactly where I needed to be.  If I had waited to get checked out, as my first thought had been, in all likelihood I would have passed out at home.  There’s no telling what the effects would have been on my body but I’m certain that it would have at least scared my wife to death and of course I’d have ended up in the hospital anyway.

As I was stabilized and the doctors and nurses cleared out, I found myself humming “God is so good.”  At this point my ears were still sort of ringing and my tongue felt like three times its proper size.  Every logical, human response says that I should have been freaking out at this time.  But instead my thought process led me to “God is so good.”  This is a peace that has no earthly basis and can only be from God.

My tests ended up showing that I have a large polyp in my colon.  The size is unusual to begin with but furthermore doctors usually don’t even begin checking for polyps until the age of 50 which gives me some time before a normal scan would even be done for this.  As it was explained that this polyp would have to be removed and there was a slight chance that it was cancerous, I continued to feel the peace of God about the situation.  The surgery would require a week long recovery in the hospital which I wasn’t looking forward to but I’d do whatever was necessary.  Once the biopsy results came back, I’d then schedule surgery to have it removed.

My biopsy results came back that the polyp was benign but the doctor wanted to send me to another specialist who could better handle my problem.  The doctor I was referred to turns out to be one of the top rated doctors in the country for this kind of problem.  Instead of cutting me open from the outside and having a week long stay in the hospital, this doctor can do my surgery as an outpatient procedure.

Because of the size of this polyp, there is still a chance of cancer despite the biopsy coming back clear.  Fortunately the procedure is the same whether this polyp is cancerous or not, it has to come out.  Either way I will have to closely monitor this from here on out.

As I await surgery in a couple of weeks I continue to have a peace that passes understanding.  I know that God is with me no matter what my circumstances are.  Cancer is one of the most frightening words that a doctor can say and I don’t like hearing it any more than any other person.  But even in the worst case of scenarios, I know that God is still good.  In my consultation with the surgeon, he said multiple times that I was extremely fortunate to catch this when I did.  And that is the way that I feel as well.  I am not unlucky or smitten by God to have this problem.  Instead I am blessed to have caught this problem and God will see me through it with His peace.