DayBreaks for 03/01/13 – Unless I Believed

DayBreaks for 03/01/13 – Unless I Believed                      


Ps.27:13-14 – I would have despaired unless I believed I would see the goodness of The Lord in the land of the living. Wait for The Lord, Be strong and let your heart take courage Yes, wait for The Lord.

It has been a very hectic week…and it’s not over yet.  Maybe your week has been that way, too.  I’ve had two appointments with doctors this week, but that’s not what’s made it so hectic. 

My 85-year old mother has had dementia for some time.  About 10 days ago, she went into the hospital for relatively routine surgery to repair a hernia.  The surgery went fine – but something seems to have snapped in her mind.  She’s been incredibly delusional, paranoid, out of touch with reality – and even combative.  She, of course, doesn’t realize she’s doing those things or being that way.  We are told that with each passing day that the chances of her snapping back to the pre-surgery mental capacity dwindles.  This may be the new normal.  As I carry my mother’s power of attorney for medical care, my last few days have been swamped with phone calls from the hospital (that wants desperately and urgently to discharge her) and trying to arrange a suitable discharge plan in a place that can meet her physical and mental needs.  It’s become something akin to a marathon…but we’re being pushed at a sprinter’s pace by the hospital.  Just moments ago the latest plan fell apart.

Someone asked me today if I thought we’d ever get out of having so many crises.  My honest answer: probably, at least I hope so.  I could certainly echo the words of the Psalmist. 

It isn’t just when there are crises, though.  It’s ordinary life.  How many times would I/could I have despaired if I didn’t believe – if I didn’t truly think that before this life is over that we’ll once again see and experience the goodness of the Lord.  I know we’ll see and experience it in the “land of the dead” – that is the great Christian hope!  But it’s harder at times to believe we’ll see and experience it again in the land of the living.  All the travails of the past year, my two surgeries, a new ministry, raising support for that ministry – and now my mother’s failing health situation.  It sometimes just seems to pile up on us, doesn’t it?

And yet…we must confess that we will see His goodness even today – no matter what happens to us, we’ll see it if we slow down enough to think about it and look for it.  We’ll see it in the crispness of a new day He made, of the song of the birds (which I so much enjoyed today!), the sighing of the breeze, the wag of a dog’s tail, the gentle touch of my wife’s hand on mine, the voice of a friend.  Life – and joy – can get away from us unless we take the time to look for “the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living”.  It’s all around us.  Let’s not forget that!

PRAYER: Jesus, I wonder how you made it through your 30+ years here on earth after living all of eternity past in heaven’s delight.  It must have been very trying.  I am comforted by knowing you understand and that even this day we can see your goodness and that we will also see it in the world to come!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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6 thoughts on “DayBreaks for 03/01/13 – Unless I Believed

  1. Well, you do and will see the goodness of the Lord every day, Galen

    Perhaps (one of) our problem(s) is/are that we place pre-conceived conditions on just what that goodness looks like. We want what we would like that goodness to look like, rather than what is delivered to us IN HIS KINGDOM every day.

    I am sorry for what is happening to your mother. It must be absolutely exhausting. And, all the more so since there is a futility in it of sorts. She will not get better. Betsy would say to enjoy each day with your mom to the extent that you can, because each day will be better than the next. At some point, all of us get to the point that we do not get better. But that futility is born of our hopes and expectations. And we are very capable of creating unrealistic, nearly impossible expectations. You mom will some day pass on, either next week, or next year, or ten years from now. Only the Lord knows that time. But when she does, it is not a time for sadness or disappointment, no more than the end of a good movie is time for sadness or disappointment.

    Just as we celebrate the good movie, or good vacation, or good party … and all those things end, so you may perhaps consider celebrating your mom’s life. The ending of someone’s life that is so precious to us always brings grief. But, again, that grief is born of perception, and the loss of something we had gotten very used to. In reality, your mother remains with you.

    Not meaning to be preachy, but more like consoling in my own geeky way. I apologize if I am seeming unfeeling, as I don’t mean it that way at all. Without my eyes for you to see and my voice for you to hear, these words may seem too sterile.

    But we do see the Lord every single day. In both our joys and our disappointments. In the goodness that we experience and in our tragedies. In the rain on our faces and the scorching hot pavement under our bare feet. All things are of his breath, even if some of those things are things we are meant to overcome. Even (and we should contemplate this mystery during Lent) if one of those things is a lethal and torturous and barbarous cross.

    When your mom’s time comes, it will be your calling to let her go gracefully. It is futile to get into a tug of war with the will of the Lord. Folks try it, but the Lord wins anyway. And, when she slips finally away, it will be time to raise a glass and cheer for her. For a life well done, as best she could, and as a welcome home from whence she originally came.

    Peace brother!


    • Thanks, Scott! I didn’t take your comments in the wrong way at all. I appreciate your heart, and I know that when she does pass, she will be in a far better place. I know she’d rather go now and be with my dad again than be here like she is, but God’s timing is different for some reason. I couldn’t agree with you more: we have a vision of what we think constitutes goodness and His is much different. As the Good Book says, His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts – but rather they are much higher and loftier than we could even think. This I know: He is good and He is trustworthy and His way is perfect!
      Thanks again, brother!

    • Thanks, Laura! In fact, things got better about 5 minutes ago…they’ve found a place that will take my mother and care for her at least temporarily, if not long term. It’s a real blessing right now as she can’t go home for a variety of physical and mental reasons.

  2. Hi Galen, when my dad was operated on in his 80’s he was the same way he didn’t know much and got real combative but he did know me and asked me to help him out of there he was filled with anesthesia and it took him two weeks for him to recover, it is harder for the elderly to be operated on it sets them back quite a bit and he knew this before he did the operation. He was fine after that and he is now going on 93 but you do know the rest of this story so I won’t go on any more. Pray for her and I will pray for a break through I know this can happen don’t let anyone get you down,no one walked in the steps of Christ and all think they can but I don’t think anyone really can unless they have walked, really walked, side by side with him first!:) God Bless!

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