I lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip— he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD watches over you—the LORD is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. Psalm 121 (NIV)
I have what my family calls the Pace stomach. It comes from my mother’s side of the family and really should be named after her mother, not her father. The women on that side seem to have stomachs prone to gastrointestinal disturbances to say it nicely. I have managed to survive thanks to a drug my doctor prescribed a number of years ago, but prior to that medication, as a young woman, I endured several diagnostic tests that just confirmed what my mom told me all along. I was just a product of heredity. In those days, patients undergoing colonoscopies or other procedures remained awake during the exam. Twice, I suffered through it without the benefit of anesthesia. One of those times, the doctor even placed a second screen in front of me, thinking I would like to follow along with the camera. No thanks! Nowadays, because of better drugs and surgery centers, an anesthesiologist is present to ease you out of your misery while the doctor takes a virtual trip through your insides. Because of my earlier experiences, I was very nervous about having the test done again even though everyone assured me it was a very simple process. Because my workplace makes it mandatory for anyone who turns fifty to have one, my husband already took his turn last year. He bounced back so quickly that he wanted to go straight from surgery to breakfast and then, to a haircut and Home Depot. Still, I was edgy this morning as I lay waiting on the gurney. Not only were they doing a scope of my lower tract, but the upper as well. A two for one deal, the doctor joked. It turns out that people on the medicine I take are supposed to get checked six months after starting it, but I never did even after being on it for a long time. All kinds of outcomes raced around my mind as I laid there huddled shivering underneath a blanket. I have found a cure for hot flashes by the way. It is spelled “laxatives” as from the moment I took the first dose, I felt chilled. I think I prefer to sweat, however. As I lay there all alone, I made the choice to pray, and these were the verses that I included in my prayer. What better time to trust God to protect my coming and going and to remember that He never sleeps than when I am about to experience anesthesia? Finally, someone rolled me into surgery. Several doctors and a nurse introduced themselves to me, asked my name and why I was there. Then, one nurse said, “Time to go night, night” and that was all I knew until I woke back up in recovery less than an hour later. With my husband at my side, the doctor reported there was nothing to be concerned about. Less than two hours after our arrival, I was back home thanking God for His protection one again.