It was a rough week last week. After I wrote my blog, I was sick all night Tuesday. Had the worst case of the “chills” I have ever had. I could not get warm. Up every half hour trying to urinate, having difficulty, but strong urges to go. So I went to the doctor on Weds. and he told me I had a urinary infection and put me on an anti-biotic. Kinda painful, plus I was running a 101 fever.

Wednesday night I had a bad night sleeping. I was gasping for air all night, and I got two hours sleep by sitting up in a chair. Not comfortable, and my back caused me not to sleep. As I got up, and for the next hour, whether I was sitting or standing or laying, I’m gasping for air. The doctor’s office said go to the ER.

Bonnie came home from work and she took me to the ER. The insurance is a mess, long story short, my doctors are covered but the local hospital (about a quarter mile from my house) was not covered. So off to their competitors I go.

In the meantime, Bonnie had been experiencing severe back pain so the poor thing had to take me, sit and wait, then deal with her pain and her worry for me. I go to the ER to check in, the lady checking me in says, “There is a line in front of you, so if you remain unable to breathe, let us know.” I think maybe if I pass out on the floor, it might be a clue. Here’s your sign.

They did x-rays, CT Scan, and ultra sounds. They were looking for blood clots. Meanwhile I’m still running a fever. At the end, they found nothing more than my blood work showed a probability of blood clots, but no clots were found, thank you Jesus. The doc said it could be a sign of a heart attack, but the EKG looked good. He asked if I wanted to go home. I thought, “Isn’t that part of HIS job?”, but said I felt ready to go.

Now, not quite fully recovered but better, I thought, “Lord, I want that week back. OK, not that specific week, but maybe add a week toward the end of my life.” That brings me to another story.

Today is February 1. Today, it was 55 degrees. This is western Pennsylvania. Bonnie and I took a walk in the Park, and it was gorgeous. Did I mention it’s February 1st?

This past week has been in the fifties, and it will be in the fifties at least until Wednesday. I haven’t had to shovel snow this year. This is February 1. My grass is green. I look at the neighborhood and the park, and it’s green. On February 1st. What a pleasant surprise.

What do these two stories have to do with each other. Little else than this.

When I was picking insurance, I had to figure out if I felt I would be going to the hospital this year and pick an insurance that would benefit that if I was, or if I felt I wouldn’t be going to the hospital this year I’d pick an insurance that would benefit that. I chose the one thinking that I wouldn’t go to the hospital this year (as I didn’t go last year), and here we go, by the end of January, I’m visiting the ER. Surprise!

Then this winter has been such a blessing, never expecting to have weather like this and to save on the heating. Both of these events were “surprises”.

You can count on getting surprises in your life, some good and some bad. You can’t stop them. Whether it’s illness, losses of loved ones, financial, mental, whatever, your boat can get rocked, and whether it sinks or remains afloat, is up to you.

If you’re a Christian, this does not make you immune to surprises. On the contrary, it should make you more aware that surprises happen and to pre-empt them with prayer. While an atheist or “casual” believer will be more “que sera sera, whatever will be, will be, the future’s not ours to see. Que sera, sera”.  Basically, “life happens”.

As a Christian, our boat may get rocked, but it shouldn’t sink. If we know the Captain of our ship, we realize He and He alone gets you through the storm because He knows what the storm will do. The atheist or casual believer has no such assurance of getting through the storm, as he is his own captain. And he doesn’t know what the storm will do.

Are you ready for surprises, good or bad? I don’t know if I am, but I know my Captain is.


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