Posted by: Michelle Knoll | March 20, 2013

A Tale of Two Kings – Journey into the Unknown

At last!  After four days, the king was home from the hospital.  He was better and back to his playful self.

At last!  The girl could get back into routine with her little son, and try to get her head wrapped around the cardiologist’s comment: “Get him well and we’ll talk about surgery in a month.”

A month?  Okay, the girl thought.  I can prepare for this happening in a month.

But in just a couple of days, the phone rang.  It was Duke University Hospital:

“We’re prepared to have your son’s surgery next week.  Have him here on the 6th.”

The girl froze.  Next week?!?  They had to be kidding!  She was not ready for this!  She called her husband at work, and told him the surprising news.  They prayed.  They told their friends at church.  They prayed.  They told the king’s grandparents, who also prayed.  They told all their friends as well, and they prayed.

The girl’s mind was racing at top speed and not getting anywhere.

Surgery!?  NOW!?

Yes, now.  As scary as it seemed, the king was going into open heart surgery.  And the little guy wasn’t even aware of what he was headed into.  The girl watched him as he played on the living room floor of their tiny apartment, and started to cry.  She turned her face to hide her tears from her son.  Oh, God, what if… what if… what if…

NO!  She almost screamed the word out loud.  He would NOT die!  He would NOT!  She would not bear to even think the phrase!  She would not allow this fear to dominate her thinking!  She would hold on, past all fear, past all the comments well-meaning people had made about the king dying from congestive heart failure. She was determined to hold on to the tiny scrap of faith she still had, and she would dig her nails into that tiny scrap, and hang on for all it was worth.

But even as she made this declaration in her soul, she knew exactly where she was at.

This was the crucible of faith, the stress point of all believing, when you’re standing in the edge of your own Red Sea, holding the staff up as high as you can.  This is where the waters aren’t moving, the sky is dark, you can’t hear God speaking, and demons are flying around your head, spitting their curses in your face.  “You’ll never win!  This is going to crumble all around you!”  “Face it, there’s no point in believing!  Your God has forgotten you!  He never promised anything to you anyway!”  “Loser!  That’s what you are!  You don’t have any faith!  You never did!”  This is where the army of the enemy is bearing down on you from behind, like ravenous dogs.  You can hear them.  You know they’re getting closer.

And the only thing between you and destruction is the column of light, the whisper in your ear from behind you, the Word of God you cling to.  And in that Word, there’s a verse that says, “with God, all things are possible.”

But if she were honest, which she always tried to be, the girl was afraid to look behind her, afraid the column of light had moved on to another place, to another believer more “worthy.”

The bags were packed, and off to Duke they went.  Grandparents came as well, and everyone tried to be as positive as possible.  The king was excited to be in a new place, and smiled for everyone.  He was almost walking on his own, and showed off for the girl and her husband, and the grandparents, and even for quite of few of the hospital employees on the pediatric ward.

They were interviewed by at least 12 different people from the hospital staff: nurses, anesthesia team members, and others.  Finally, the surgeon came to discuss the surgery.  He explained the procedure in great detail, and the girl and her husband listened intently.  He asked what medicines the king was on.  “No medicines.”  Impressed, the surgeon smiled.  Summing things up, he then said, “Well, since he’s not on any medications, he’s growing, gaining weight – though slowly, and is as active as he is, I see this as a quick procedure.”  He took the time to interact with the little king, and after a few minutes smiled and said, “This will be a piece of cake.”

Piece of cake?  Is that what he said?  The girl held those words in her heart.

And wondered.

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