Russ Ray

Trying to become more like Jesus

Not even close


I thought I had a rough week last week.

My wife went in for surgery last Tuesday to fix a procedure she had done in May. The scheduling was sudden, and we were scrambling to cover childcare (send them to family in Chicago), my work schedule (work from home/hospital where possible) and my other work schedule (two nights spent away from my wife in the hospital).

For some reason, I dreaded last week. I had fasted and prayed for my wife’s safety and health through all of this, but I had no peace at all about her surgery. I imagined all sorts of horrible scenarios of how it wouldn’t turn out. My trust and faith took a back seat to my imagination.

“One of these days, I’ll win that first prize for worrying,” said no one ever.

Her surgery was postponed into the night, moved from 5PM until 8:30PM. Thankfully, I ended class at 9:15, so I didn’t miss much. Driving home, I still had those awful thoughts, and then I could not figure out why I just couldn’t shake them. I had more peace about the failed surgery from six months ago than from the surgery now that has proven in every way to be a success.

I arrived at the hospital, took a nap on a couch, and then got a phone call. Her surgeon on the other end pronounced it a success… she should heal better than she did before… the infections that plagued her for months and caused her pain were removed… she should look better and have less excess tissue weighing on her scars to improve her healing. It was in all ways a miraculous display of God’s healing hands.

I called everyone and went back for my nap while she recovered, and when they wheeled her past, I saw her and I knew everything was fine.

US-SCHOOL-SHOOTINGFast forward to the rest of the week… work, work late, dinner at the hospital, work at home, sleep, work, work at school, late movie at the hospital, go home… grumble that I have no time for myself, grumble that I haven’t gotten anything done at home that I wanted this week, grumble that I’ve been driving from one end of town to the other for four days… sleep, work… wait, what’s this about a shooting? … get ready to go to Chicago to pick up the kids… wait, seriously? Another shooting? At a school?

I don’t know if what happened in Newtown can be explained, except for the fact that the world is an evil place governed by someone who wants to destroy us with that evil. Thankfully, the Savior who died for us so we could be His light in this dark world has already won. The enemy wanted to destroy those lives, but the children are in the arms of the Savior now.

When you see the faces of these children who were murdered, they probably look like your own children… happy, full of life, full of personality, full of potential…

I thought I had a rough week last week… but it was not even close.

I drove a little bit faster Friday night to get the girls, and when I got there, it was a relief to see them safe and sound, a relief to get them home again, a relief to get our house back to full strength… there are so many parents who would wish they could hear the giggling, the fighting, the silly questions, and the footsteps upstairs at night… again.

Matthew 19:14 (NIV)–Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”


2 thoughts on “Not even close

  1. Russ, good words, good perspective… VERY good God.

    • Thanks, Larry… I wish I could have been as eloquent about it as Doug was yesterday, but he has a knack for saying the right thing at the right time.

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