My father-in-law was experiencing atrial fibrillation, his heart rate approaching 200. His doctors were sequentially trying several medications to get it back down to normal. It looked as though he might have to spend Christmas in the hospital.
Such incidents around the holidays, days that are supposed to be filled with joy and laughter, are especially hard on family members. And those memories returned to my mind as I visited my father-in-law.
Then the next day we got word that my wife’s aunt, who lived in the same town, had been rushed to the hospital with breathing difficulties. She was admitted to a different hospital across the street from where my father-in-law was. When it rains it pours!
The good news, in this instance, is that the doctors finally found a medication that lowered my father-in-law’s heart rate, and he was discharged late in the afternoon on Christmas Eve. My wife’s aunt was able to come home two days later. Through it all, my sister-in-law worked tirelessly to keep her parents on an even keel, active enough to feel needed yet not so active as to threaten their health.
During all these events, I had been reading (in snatches and grabs of time) a book that provided some perspective, reminding me of a valuable lesson and helping me regain a right focus. The book, I Shall Not Want by Robert Ketcham, deals with the Twenty-third Psalm. I thought that for today’s post I would share a few quotations from it; perhaps you will be helped by the thoughts that helped me during a trying time.
Now everything and everyone is back to normal again. We enjoyed Christmas with the in-laws and returned home safely amid very heavy holiday traffic. We were protected from any accidents, though we saw a couple of bad ones along the way. And now we anticipate the resumption of our daily routines with a greater trust in that Shepherd. But it’s a lesson we must often be reminded of lest we again are assailed by fears and doubts. May you find comfort in this truth as well.