The Next Chapter - Encouragement Café - January 4, 2017


The Next Chapter
By Dawn Mast

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

"Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge Him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth."  Hosea 6:3 (NIV)

As I write this, he's lying on the other side of the room in a hospital bed and wearing one of those regulation gowns that costs a lot, but covers very little. My thoughts over the past 24 hours have ranged from holy and godly to helpless and genuinely freaked out!

My husband is the calm, healthy, sane, steady-Eddie one, but yesterday his heart went out of rhythm. Externally, I was calm, but inside I was jello. And not the good kind.

Even when they handed him the EKG slip and he saw that his heart was in a-fib (a medical term meaning "heart isn't beating like it should"), Mark was calm and said, "OK, so we need to go to the ER." I watched them load my strong, handsome, doctor husband into the ambulance and I followed them to the hospital.

No lights. No siren. Just a calm ride through the country to the local emergency room. No one even seemed upset.

I had some time to think about Mark and our almost 25 years of marriage together and my mind went to places it really didn't need to go. Of course I thought about the good times, but I also thought about the "what if's" and I started to envision life without him. What if the outcome is bad? What if they can't fix his heart? What if...he dies?!

That's what I was really worried about and the bottom line of all that pointed to my own selfishness. This wasn't about him at all, but about me and how I'd be alone, raising 4 kids.

I suddenly felt like I had heart trouble. And stomach trouble. Maybe I needed a ride in an ambulance. No. What I needed was a reality check and to get a grip on grace and gratitude.

The future was my focus and I was living there and planning the next chapter of my life. What I really needed to do was take care of the present, pray and trust that the Lord knew what to do about the days ahead.

 I knew it in my heart, but I allowed the fear and uncertainty of the situation to block what I knew to be true about my Lord.

After a day and a night in the hospital, Mark is fine. We are sitting here waiting for him to be released and feeling thankful that we still have each other. Life can be unsettling.  Unscheduled things can completely shake us and we can feel like we are coming apart.

However, through all the uncertainties of life, God is faithful. He is the next chapter, the beginning, the end, the Alpha and the Omega. How reassuring that we can always rest in His peace when we feel the chaos of the world.

When life overwhelms you, picture Jesus taking your stressor and replacing it with His complete peace.

Father God, things feel very, very out of control sometimes. I like control, regulated and ordered, but today threw me for a loop! Even though I felt scared, lost and very out of control, I knew You were in charge and knew how the situation was going to work out. Just knowing that You have it all figured out helped give me peace, hope and calm in the middle of me feeling fearful. Thank You! In Jesus' Name, Amen.

© 2017 by Dawn Mast.  All rights reserved.

Do you know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior?  Pull up a chair… He’s been waiting for you.

Need a refill?  Please join us at the Encouragement Café with Luann and Friends

The conversation at the Café is always hot and fresh.  We invite you to listen in as we gather around the table to discuss everyday life.

Comfort food for your soul is always on our menu, and friends are always close enough to hug.  We invite you to join us daily, as our writer’s share how the Lord continues to transform them into His glorious image.

Still craving more…Join us as we grow together in grace and truth through our online bible study.

Stop by Encouragement Café and listen as the girls share life. Find podcasts, videos, Bible studies, prayer, resources and daily helpings of hope, laughter and friendship around our table. We've saved a seat just for you!

Originally published Wednesday, 04 January 2017.