Thursday, 17 April 2014

The Great Exchange

Last week Mike had his feeding tube changed. It had been over a year since the first feeding tube was put in. When we went in October to have the tube changed, the doctor told us it was still good for another few months. Because sedation is required, and because Mike is nervous to be sedated in his condition with ALS, he wanted to wait — he wasn't going to have the procedure any earlier than necessary.

We were assured that having the tube changed was quick and easy…compared to the last procedure of having the tube placed for the first time. That was tough on Mike. We were in the hospital for a few days…recovering in Mike’s condition wasn’t easy. 

Mike’s parents and sisters, Aileen and Pat were here for that first procedure and came back for the appointment last week (they come every two to three months for a visit anyway).  Remembering the physical tole the first procedure took on Mike and the emotional tole it took on the rest of us, we were all a little tense. 

Sure enough, the procedure was pretty quick and easy. Mike has an issue with excess saliva though so when the doctor sprayed his throat with a numbing spray he immediately started to cough (clear his throat) and continued for a few hours after, but other than that he was fine. 

During the procedure, Mike’s family waited patiently in the waiting area and Elanna and I stood right outside the surgical room door. When it was over, I’m sure our collective sighs of relief could be heard throughout the ward. Mike recovered in the recovery area for a couple of hours and then we were free to go home. 

When we left, I wheeled Mike out to the waiting room where everyone rose to their feet and cheered. It was fitting to celebrate at a time like this. Mike had a big smile on his face and was so encouraged!

Speaking of celebration, this past Sunday was Palm Sunday. On Palm Sunday, Christians celebrate the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem one week before Easter. When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, less than a week before his death by crucifixion, the celebratory crowd laid their cloaks on the road before him along with palm branches; some waved palm branches in the air.

The great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting,
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Blessed is the king of Israel!” 
“Hosanna in the highest!” John 12:12,13

The Pastor at church titled his sermon, “The entrance of a King” and delivered a good message. I’ll admit though I didn’t catch all of it because I nodded off a few times (not because it was boring but because I hadn't had enough sleep). I was wide awake however at the end when the Pastor finished his sermon with a question. He said, “What do you need to let go of, so you can pick up a palm leaf and celebrate?”

Wow, he totally caught me off guard. I became a little emotional when I closed my eyes and saw myself with a heavy load which made it impossible to raise my palm. I thought I had let go, but apparently I picked some cares back up again. I hadn't realized my celebration/praise was impaired by burdens.

Whether its cares or worries or sin or regret or un-forgiveness, it weighs us down and keeps us from raising our palms and praising Him. 

At Easter or anytime, you can cast your cares at the foot of the cross and raise your palms and celebrate!

“Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”

                                                        Four Generations!  

A walk on a beautiful spring day!

Happy Easter Everyone!


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