As I had mentioned previously, my dad has been having a rough time for a little over a month now. His breathing was bad, bad enough to wear he was using oxygen basically 24 hours a day and feeling awful when he wasn’t. In the past couple of weeks he has been in the ER twice for syncope and possible seizures, and hospitalized, had a procedure done on his knee where fluid was withdrawn and a cortisone shot injected, and a defibrillator implant put in his chest to deal with a newly-diagnosed arrhythmia and right-sided heart problems that may have been contributing to his breathing and circulation problems (per Anatomy and Physiology 101, the right side of our hearts receive blood, which carries oxygen, and pumps said oxygen to our lungs.The left side of our ticker then receives blood from the lungs and pumps it to our arteries and such. So it is safe to say that if the right-side of Dad’s heart is faulty, therein lies a major problem associated with his breathing, in addition to the sarcoidosis and asbestos damage (thanks again GM!)).
The first hours he was back home and again released from the hospital were nail-biters, and at one point we called the paramedics where he had yet another episode where he appeared out of it–his eyes were wide open, but he was not blinking or looking at anything in particular, and his mouth was agape, as though he couldn’t breathe. He was unresponsive, and then would come back to normal. Each time this happened, he had no recollection of anything happening. In order that my mom might not be a nervous wreck at home alone with him, my husband and I with our two kids spent the night with my parents during Dad’s first night home, and my sister and her family stayed the next evening.
There are signs of marked improvement, and for that I am thankful to the Almighty, to whom I have been praying, to whom all of our family members and friends have been praying. I have been thankful also that there have been so many people who have come to the aide of our family during this time. Dad was initially discharged from the hospital on July 4th. He was home for about an hour before he fell and had to be taken by ambulance to the ER. While we were there, several family members came and hung out with him before he was taken to his room for the night, joking around with him, keeping his spirits up and tending to my mother. In the days that followed, there were countless visitors, phone calls, and emails. My dad is a very likeable dude, and it was a truly heart-warming show of affection from more people than I could name. And as I know, the prayers of the righteous availeth much. I am very confident that the diligent prayers of the saints have been heard, and in due time my dad will be restored. Now, I have been praying, and I do not expect for him to be restored to his full football-playing glory of the 70s (although I am not against it!). I am just praying that he will get to a point where he can enjoy what he has been working for since he was a young boy.
Now, I have to get back into the swing of things. I haven’t done much writing at all since all of this began. And to think, there is but ONE chapter of Exodus left.
The culmination of the book of Exodus in chapter 40 surrounds setting up the tabernacle. Remember how God had laid everything out for the Israelites in terms of the exact measurements for the tabernacle, the materials from which it and its furnishings were to be made, the garments for the priests, etc? Now, it is done! The Bible does not say how long it took, but I of course am curious. After all, people weren’t going to Joann Fabrics to get the materials for the curtains. Delivery trucks with the acacia wood were not arriving from Home Depot. It is amazing to me how all of this had to be done by hand, but again, I remind myself that God gives talents in order that we can use them to glorify him. And if done correctly, this tabernacle would definitely glorify him. We’ll see if it meets to his satisfaction shortly.
The Lord instructs Moses to set up the tabernacle, the tent of meeting, on the first day of the first month. Further instructions are given as to the layout, and Moses is then instructed to use the specially prepared anointing oil to anoint the tabernacle and everything in it. Aaron and Co. are to be brought in, washed with water, and dressed in their garments. They are to be anointed and consecrated so that they may serve the Lord as priests. Moses does as told, and sets the tablets of the covenant law in the ark. The phrase “as the Lord commanded him” is repeated multiple times in these passages of Scripture (in my NIV version. The exact wording might be different in your translation of choice). Although he has his faults, as we all do, Moses’ example of obedience is to be admired. The end result is that “Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle” (40:34). The tabernacle received God’s stamp of approval, and in it he dwelt.
Think of that in terms of our lives today, right now. When we live according to God’s Holy Word and live lives set apart from the wicked ways of the world, when we live as He has commanded us, we get God’s precious stamp of approval and with us and in us he will abide, forever, as long as we will have him. He is never overbearing, yet always there. Even when I get lost in my own thoughts (usually about a bunch of nothing), every now and then something will come over me, and a joyous thought or memory will come to my mind, and sometimes tears will follow. Out of nowhere, I am often reminded of God’s goodness, his love, grace and mercy. He has given me this great optimism, where I can see the positive in just about any situation. When I was down in the dumps about my dad, I cried a lot, but then I remembered something–number one, my dad is still here, and number two, I had the blessing of a good dad, whereas so many have not. I have been down in the dumps a few times watching my husband work a thousand hours so that we may stay afloat while I am ill, but in the place of that I am thanking God for giving me a husband who willingly provides, and not only provides, goes above and beyond to keep me happy.
The joy within me is so constant that I don’t have the same lackadaisical attitude I used to have in terms of how I carried myself or how I spoke of other people. I want to build people up. I see the misery in this world, the stereotypes, prejudices, unrealistic and unfair beauty standards, the materialism, all of these things that make people unhappy with themselves, their lives and the people in them, and I only see one way out–Jesus–and I want to share Him with everyone who will listen. I don’t want to be pushy, and I don’t want for anyone to think I see myself as superior to anyone else when I don’t… I see myself as living on the same level as everyone else–a sinner saved by grace (or for the unbelievers, a sinner who has yet to be saved by grace, but can be just as I was), a person who just wants everyone to be content.
Despite this attitude, the war on Christianity is real, and persecution of Christians occurs worldwide. Of course, it is hard to ignore stories such as those about the bakers in Oregon who were fined $135,000 and basically forbade from discussing their faith (how is that not a violation of their Constitutional rights???) after they refused to cater to a lesbian couple, or the recent SCOTUS ruling that now leaves pastors wondering if there will be legal ramifications if they refuse to preside over a same-sex wedding, but we should not forget the persecution of our brothers and sisters in Christ across the world. I have begun reading Christian Post regularly, and encourage other saints to do the same. We are unified in our struggle, but we should never let it get us down. Namely because the Word tells us that as the Church age winds down, the days leading up to the return of Jesus would be wickeder and wickeder. Not only that, but Jesus was persecuted up until His crucifixion. When we identify ourselves as Christian, we take up His cross, and should be honored to do so.
As He has never turned His back on me, I will never turn my back on Him. Whatever God’s will is for my dad, I am cool.
I am looking forward to working my way through Leviticus!