"This Too Shall Pass!"

Our summer vacation was not so much fun for an important member of the family this year! I could call this report, “The “Kidney Stone Saga” as it would likely have some of you tremoring and wincing in pain over your own memories. Over years of pastoring, I have heard some graphic “war stories” that a few of you have reluctantly shared on this subject!

It's smaller than a baby aspirin,
but prickly as a cocklebur! 😠

This story started the day we arrived in Georgetown for our extended family visit. Monique felt some discomfort and thought she was dealing with another bladder infection (UTI), so we dropped into the local Urgent Care to get an assessment. Meds were prescribed and we were on the way with the usual advice to push the liquids.

A week to the day later, we were back at the same place. This time it was advised that we visit a nearby emergency room that could offer more extensive testing services. After a C-Scan with contrast, the emergency room doctor offered what I felt was  a little too enthusiastic and folksy report. He said to Monique, “Well, you don’t have a UTI. But congratulations, little momma, you will be birthing a baby kidney stone real soon!” And he laughed.

I wish now that I hadn’t tried to press the good doctor about the date of delivery. I should have known what was coming as he hesitated and waffled at my directness. Eventually, he commented that 70% of patients usually pass their kidney stones within 48 hours. That assessment would prove not to be helpful as the days wore on. It would be 28 days later before the “little booger” would make an appearance at just under 4mm in size!

The doctor had failed to mention what happens to the other 30% of patients who don’t readily pass their stones! Throughout the ordeal, Monique began referring to the pesky stone as Oscar and I emphasized how “Wilde” the experience evolved day by day! So much for doctor predictions and projections of this kind!

One upside to all of this is that Monique began “drinking like a sailor!” Now wait a minute, I’m referring to water! She forced herself to consume about 85 fluid ounces of bottled water each day. Eventually, this disciplined effort at keeping well hydrated became the necessary prescription to sufficiently flush her system! What is so extraordinary about this regimen is that she has never been one to drink much water at all. I think this is going to change going forward. Who was it that said it only takes a few weeks to establish a good habit?!

Although we had several friends along with family members mobilized and praying, the days of suffering took their toll on the afflicted patient. It was hard to exercise patience not knowing how long this travail would drag on. Monique’s schedule had to be put on hold. Substitute teaching and volleyball scoring had to be canceled.  Church worship was limited to online and thankfully, our church makes this available. Even daily responsibilities became more challenging. Stress impacted every aspect of physical, emotional, and spiritual health.

Although you will hear the proverbial expression, “This too shall pass,” it is not a direct quote of Scripture. There are many related passages though, and Paul’s counsel to the church at Corinth is one that I often think of during trying times. The Apostle offered this helpful perspective, “So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18, MSG).

There really isn’t a way we can predict or time out our adversities. They come and go without warning. What we can do is to keep in daily fellowship with God and continue to trust “His unfolding grace” for whatever comes our way.

Mike Keppler, retired pastor,

active churchman and
doting grandparent.
Contact: drmjkeppler@gmail.com 



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