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6-25-2014 (Wednesday)

Sometimes when God taps me on the shoulder and tells me to be Jesus to the person I am talking to or will soon have an encounter with, fear fills my mind and I am reluctant to follow through.  I am worried about what the other person might think.  I am concerned about what this would mean, how it would be interpreted by others watching.  I am afraid to speak up as it would be much more comfortable to not go there than to take a stand.  Fear tries to take over and divert me away from what God is asking me to do.  This is where I need assurance that God is with me, that I can do what He asks me to do as He will equip me and empower me to say the right words and do the right deeds to represent Jesus in my world.  I think of the story in Matthew, chapter 8 about Jesus calming the storm.

Matthew 8:23-37  Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him.  Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat.  But Jesus was sleeping.  The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us!  We’re going to drown!”

He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?”  Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this?  Even the winds and the waves obey him!” (NIV)

This spring Phyllis and I were privileged to go with a group from our church to Israel.  We visited the places where Jesus visited and walked where He walked.  We spent some of our time at the Sea of Galilee.  This body of water is surrounded by mountains and frequently storms will develop and descend down the mountains creating rather sudden bursts of wind.  While we were there the sea was smooth but some weather was developing across the water from us.  Within minutes the wind began to blow and a calm body of water changed to four-foot waves.  The sea is surrounded by rocky shorelines and any waves that come to these rocks are reflected back which adds an additive effect on the waves.  It doesn’t take long to have calm water turn into dangerous waves.  Being in a small boat like what the disciples and Jesus were in would make the situation even more unsafe as the waves would easily wash over the boat increasing the risk of swamping and capsizing.  I can easily understand why the disciples, who were seasoned fishermen, became afraid.  They probably did think they would drown.

Yet, notice in this short passage that Jesus was sleeping when all this developed.  He was asleep!  Can you imagine?  The wind is howling, the boat pitching and rocking, water is splashing into the boat, the disciples are frantic and probably talking loudly just to be heard and Jesus is asleep!  He was able to do so because He was secure in what was happening and what He could do.  Yet, He wanted in followers to have more faith in Him.

It would be difficult to have that calm assurance when it seems like all hell is breaking loose.  It is very difficult to have peace in the midst of panic.  At times in the middle of surgery and a large vessel tears open or a suture comes off and bleeding suddenly occurrs obscuring where it is coming from panic can easily take over.  Then mistakes are made, injuries produced and bad outcomes occur.  This is where a seasoned surgeon can take these events right in stride and with calm assurance correct the problem easily.  I find assurance in these times by stopping and praying, or at least praying if I can’t stop.  By focusing on Christ’s hands around mine and allowing my head to clear of the panic, I can quickly and efficiently work through the crisis and handle the problem.  He figuratively and even literally calms the waves and rebukes the storm.  This is where I find so much assurance seeing the picture by Nathan Green hanging on the wall in Jane’s operating room.  This reminds me that Jesus is there with us and guiding us giving us that assurance that He had in the midst of the storm.

When I am to be Jesus to someone and the storms of fear and panic roll in, I can turn to the One whom I am to represent and regain my footing and experience the assurance and incredible peace that only He offers.

This morning began like any other morning, lots of traffic noise, dogs barking, commotion all around us.  Our anesthesiologist is gone till later this afternoon so the morning started slow.  I joined Howard at our table in the kitchen in the house and we enjoyed a good cup of coffee and conversation.  Jordan joined in and Howard spent some time teaching Jordan on seeking the facts before making a statement that doesn’t coincide with the facts.  Jordan had said he had super inferencing skills.  Howard was trying to elaborate on these skills and get Jordan to think through what he thinks is going on and to seek the real facts.  This all came from understanding how a refrigerator works.  To Jordan, the refrigerator works because it has a fan.  That left him wide open to some learning about the mechanics of what a refrigerant does and how it cools.  I enjoyed sitting there listening to this conversation and thinking how much his mother, Darcy, would have loved to have been here just to hear the teaching moment.

A teaching moment

A teaching moment

Jane came over to our window and said we will soon have breakfast.  We went over to the clinic and Carmen was making French toast for us.  We had fresh mango and some freshly prepared naranjilla juice, freshly prepared from the fruit.  The juice was delicious.  The French toast was really good with mora syrup on it.  Again, we had a lot of good conversation with Jane and Damarys.  Our day will be rather slow until Dahlia arrives this afternoon then we will have 3 hysterectomies to complete.

Father, thank You for the restful night and the good conversation and food this morning.  Thank You for teaching You give us through Your Word.  Thank You for the assurance You bring me every day.  Lord, I remember yesterday in the middle of the surgery when I became stressed and nervous about completing the surgery correctly.  Then Your Spirit reminded me of Your presence.  I glanced at the picture by Nathan Greene and immediately realized that You were there with me and the assurance of Your presence and help immediately calmed me and helped me to think through what needed to be done.  Thank You for that, Lord.  I felt like the disciples in the boat in the middle of the storm until You calmed the waters.  Lord, I so appreciate the opportunity to walk with You and serve You.  Thank You, Lord.  Amen.

2:45 pm.  This morning has been one of doing laundry and reading.  We then decided to pay a board game, Ticket to Ride, as we really don’t have anything to do until Dahlia arrives from Quito.  The game was fun and Jordan actually sat still for about an hour as he got into the game and enjoyed building his routes.  Jane was the winner with the highest score.  Carmen prepared our lunch and it was delicious.  She fixed naranjilla juice for us to drink and then some beef and hot yapingacho, which is made of yucca that has been cooked, mashed and folded into a ball containing cheese.  She made some with tuna for Jordan since he can’t eat milk products.  Jordan loved it.  The yucca tastes somewhat like potato and the combination with cheese or tuna was very good.  While we were eating Dahlia texted Jane stating she was just leaving her meeting in Quito.  This was at 1:36 pm.  This means the earliest she could get here would be in 4 hours if she drives fast and doesn’t stop for anything.  That would put her her about 5:30.  We all guessed we would not see her until 6 or after.  That means we will not start our surgeries for the day until after 6 sometime.  It will be another very late night for us as we have three hysterectomies to do.

Playing Ticket to Ride

Playing Ticket to Ride

Yapingacho - the one in the left upper corner is cooked and ready to eat.  The others are ready to cook.

Yapingacho – the one in the left upper corner is cooked and ready to eat. The others are ready to cook.

The largest papaya I have ever seen - brought to us by a patient

The largest papaya I have ever seen – brought to us by a patient

Carmen preparing the papaya

Carmen preparing the papaya


7:00 pm.  Our anesthesiologist arrived and we are preparing to start our surgery schedule for the day.  We have three hysterectomies that will likely take us a couple hours on each one.

Father, I pray for Your presence once again with us in the OR as we start our surgeries.  It is late in the day and we have a full schedule ahead of us.  Please give us strength and stamina along with the wisdom necessary to accomplish these surgeries.  Lord, please be with the patients and give them a peace that only You can give.  Thank You, Lord, for the rest I had this afternoon.  This was refreshing and gave me energy.  Lord, thank You for Your unfailing love for all of us.  Amen.

Our first surgery was I.J., age 38, with multiple fibroids.  She had had a previous surgery for removal of fibroids because she has not been able to conceive.  She presents with multiple large fibroids with a uterine size the equivalent of a 16 week pregnancy.  She is in now for definitive surgery to remove the uterus.  We found a large multinodular uterus with the conglomerate size of a large grapefruit or larger.  We were able to remove the uterus easily with minimal blood loss.  Thank You, Father, for watching over I.J. and protecting her.  Thank You also for guiding our hands and thoughts to allow us to accomplish this surgery for her.  We ask for Your healing power to wash over her.  Thank You, Lord.

Our second surgery is on M.C., age 30, who has a lot of problems with bleeding and pain because of multiple myomas.  In 2009 I helped Jane do a multiple myomectomy on her.  Now her uterus is enlarged about twice normal size and is very painful on exam.  We will be doing a hysterectomy for definitive treatment.  Father, please protect M.C. and give her peace.  Help us, Lord, to bring healing to her, to correct her bleeding and pain.  Thank You for allowing us to be Your hands in bringing care to her.  Her surgery went well.  She had multiple fibroids that grossly distorted the uterus.  She also had several adhesions.  There were plenty of reasons for the pain she was having.  In spite of removing her chances of ever getting pregnant, her quality of life will certainly be improved.  Lord, thank You for guiding us and helping us with this surgery.  It could have been quite difficult but You were here and made it easy.  Thank You for covering M.C. with Your love and giving her peace.  Lord, thank You.

11:20 pm.  E.M. is our third patient for a hysterectomy.  Jane had seen her earlier this month finding a history of troublesome bleeding in the face of hormone therapy.  She has had enough bleeding to create an anemia.  Her exam revealed multiple large myomas and Jane recommended a hysterectomy.  I have not seen this patient pre-op as had seen her and felt the best option was hysterectomy.  Father, I pray for E.M.  Please watch over her and us as we do this surgery.  Your presence is so reassuring to us. Lord.  Thank You for constantly being here with us, guiding us, helping us.  Thank You, Lord.  The surgery was a little difficult because of multiple fibroids distorting the uterus and making exposure difficult.  However, with God’s help we were able to complete the surgery with minimal blood loss.  Father, thank You for helping us do this procedure.  Thank You for protecting E.M.  I pray for her and for an uneventful recovery.  Thank You, Lord.

1:10 am.  We are finished with our surgeries.  In a few hours a new schedule starts; however, we plan to start about 8 am for breakfast instead of 7.  This will give us an extra hour for rest.  I need to get off my feet and the extra hour will be welcome.

Lord, I worship You at this time.  You have been with us throughout this day, throughout the surgeries and helped us perform them without complications.  Thank You for Your invitation to walk with You here.  It is such a thrill to be able to serve You in this place.  Thank You, Lord.  I pray for all of us to have a good night’s sleep so we can be ready to continue Your work here in the morning.  Thank You Lord.  Amen.



1. Darcy Clawson - June 26, 2014

That is some serious fruit! Amazing! Darc

2. Bud Gibson - June 26, 2014

Continuing to pray for all of you , Marv that you experience the Lords peace and strength ,Bud and Freda .

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