So, remember how I sprained my wrist? I alluded to the humorous side of that story in my last post, but there has been a bit of learning intermingled in that humor.
After I sprained my wrist, I couldn’t give it complete rest. My job consists of working primarily on the computer, which includes typing and keeping my wrist at a funny angle at almost all times. So, right when I injured my wrist, I thought if I just rested it some, it would be okay. It got better for a time, and then it started to get worse. It began to ache to the point where I couldn’t push anything with the wrist. I had to practice getting out of bed in the morning like a ninja without using my hands. I also learned how to brush my teeth with my left hand and how to cut my food up with my opposite hand.
After a month of getting worse, I finally broke down and asked for an x-ray. I was so scared I’d broken my wrist. Husband-Man had to ban me (at my request) from looking up pictures of what corrective wrist surgery is all about. The x-ray came back fine, and after another few weeks of pain, I was sent for an MRI.
Now, I’ve had an MRI before. When I was a senior in high school, I had what turned out to be a month long stress headache, and the doctors wanted to make sure I didn’t have any visible brain issues. I had to lay in a small tube for about half an hour that day, with loud noises, no movement, no ear plugs, and a crippling headache. I tried to forget that experience.
I wasn’t as worried about going through this MRI. I didn’t have a monster of a headache, and I was more concerned with the results than the test itself. And then, as I was taken back into the MRI room as posed for the MRI, I started to lose my cool. I was told to stretch my arm out (Super Man style) and to lay with my arm extended, with my wrist held in place with a heavy cushion to reduce movement. I was told several times that I could not move, or we would have to restart the test. And then I was slid into the machine. I felt like a torpedo waiting in a torpedo bay. It was small and loud, and although I normally don’t get stressed in small spaces, I was not comfortable being shoved into that little tube with my arm fully extended.
Now, as you can imagine, I was okay for about five minutes. And then, I started to panic. My shoulder started to shake because I am not physically conditioned to hold my arm still like that for so long. My head was wringing with the noise of the machine. I was so worried that I would move involuntarily and mess up the test. And time felt like it was standing still. I was sure that the test would never be over.
And then I remembered the story in Acts 16 about Paul and Silas and their reaction to being thrown into jail.
25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, 26 and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were unfastened. 27 When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” 29 And the jailer called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas.30 Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”31 And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he was baptized at once, he and all his family. 34 Then he brought them up into his house and set food before them. And he rejoiced along with his entire household that he had believed in God.
I realize that I wasn’t in jail. I was receiving valuable medical care, that I was privileged to receive. But, I was panicking. I didn’t think I could make it through the entire test. I didn’t feel strong enough, mentally or physically. So, I sang songs in my head. I sang hymns to the rythmn of the machine. And I prayed for each and every person that I could think of. I prayed for my family, my friends, the MRI technician, the nice greeter at the welcome desk.
And eventually, the test was over (after about thirty minutes). What are you panicking about? Your job? Your health? Something else? How is God calling you to respond? Focus on the goodness of God, and keep Him at the forefront of your mind. Be encouraged, my friends. To borrow Husband-Man’s expression, it’s okay.