“Your white cell count is too low. You can’t have your chemo infusion today. We’ll give you an injection to boost your white count and reschedule the infusion for Monday,” Maylene informed me.
The injection was over and, disappointed that I had to return next week, I came home and lay down for a rest. As the hours went by I began to feel first soreness, then severe pain in my back, my chest, my arm, and it spread throughout my body. Agony. What is going on? I called my oncology nurse. Didn’t answer. Called the nurse Maylene who had given the injection.
“Sounds like it might be a heart attack, Better go to the emergency room.” Five minutes later the oncology nurse called. “Leon, it is not a heart attack. The injection you had goes right to the marrow of your bones. The pain should subside in a few hours.” Why didn’t I ask what the side effects would be? Why didn’t the nurse tell me what to expect?
I took a couple of pain pills and finally went to sleep. Not an experience I want to go through again. I kept thinking, “Oh Adam, why did you eat that apple in the Garden?”
This morning reading from Psalms 102 I found that the psalmist also experienced this same pain. He says, “Turn your ear to me; when I call, answer me quickly. For my days vanish like smoke; my bones burn like glowing embers” (v 2b & 3). His pain may have been physical, emotional, or perhaps from loneliness and fear of those who were trying to kill him.
Nothing comes by surprise to the Lord. God has known everything from the beginning and we can find solace by telling God, like Charles Stanley does, “I often tell God that I need Him to wrap His arms around me. His response is just as real as if a human being walked in and hugged me.”
Today, whatever is your concern – loneliness, a feeling of abandonment, depression, confusion, fear, or physical pain – know that nothing happens to us without our Father’s knowledge. It may not diminish or remove the physical pain, but we can be sure that we will know we are not alone. We don’t need to feel abandoned or afraid because we are loved by the one who loved us enough to keep us connected to the eternal. We can feel God’s hugs.