Sunday, February 3, 2013

Life is not a snapshot

And hold on cause there’s good for those who love God
Life is not a snapshot
It might take a little time but you’ll see the bigger picture.
Josh Wilson, Before the morning

A brief explanation to why I posted the lines in the lyrics of 
this song I love.
Life is not a snapshot. There are moments in life when you feel, if anyone took a snapshot of what I'm going through right now, it would look really awful! Really.
I can't really complain. What I "suffered" today was not
persecution, torture, famine, a terminal disease or any of the serious afflictions a Christian may face. My tribulation was more annoying than anything else. But it was a real test (and stretch) on my patience muscles. 
And only God knows how to stretch those, to the point where we're just ABOUT TO suffer a mental breakdown including a serious fit of rage in public... God took me to the very limit of that... and then let go before I really made a fool of myself.
We're halfway through our dream vacation in Uruguay, a really amazing country not far from Argentina. We were invited by my mum and dad-in law, who rented a house for the summer. On the day we were leaving, my son had diarrhea. We got some meds to stop it (our trip was more than one day long, so we basically had no choice) and gave them 
to him. Too effective: three days later, no poop.

First night at a hotel on the way, uneventful. Second day, we arrive at our destination, son with very high fever. We call travel assistance, they give us an address. We had to wait quite a bit, but everything basically ran smoothly.
Thing is, four days and Ibuprofen-three-times-a-day later, our son still had fever, had cold symptoms, and his eyes looked irritated. Another travel assistance call. Hospital crammed with people (11 children before mine) and only two pediatricians available. Two hours later, a doctor sees little Samuel. That part was really wonderful. A great professional. She ordered a couple of tests, we went to the nurse room
and then to the lab, and at the lab we were told we needed an
authorization for the tests.

Back to reception. Many people waiting. Receptionist calls travel assistance and gets the "Why-are-they-ordering-this- throat-test-if-the-patient-came-to-the-hospital-with-diarrhea?" response... Doctor had to be called and write a complete report on what she saw at her office. Then that report had to be faxed to travel assistance so they would fax the authorization (unbelievable, in times of scanners and email, some businesses in the Third World still use faxes. I thought they were totally obsolete!). The receptionist says, Please sit down and wait. Ok. Carina waits for at least forty minutes and then stands up and asks, What about my authorization? And gets the "Sorry-I-faxed-it-but-then-the-faxing-failed-so-I-had-to- fax-it-again-I'm-waiting-for-their-answer-now -so-you'll-need-to-wait-some-more" response.
Imagine being told to wait after waiting four full hours. Spending four hours of your precious and SHORT vacation in a hospital waiting room, knowing full well your child has NOTHING serious and you could just as easily have waited it out having fun somewhere. If my inlaws hadn't insisted and my husband hadn't agreed (he's much more obsessive about Sami's health than me; I take a more relaxed and wait and see approach), there's no way we would have wasted an entire afternoon there.
Believe me, it's an absolute miracle I didn't lash out at the unfortunate lady right then. And to me it's an almost sure proof that I've really been born again because, believe me, the OLD Carina would have screamed her guts out...
And again, going back to the snapshot metaphor... This is the kind of thing I would have hated to experience before. I still hate it... But my reactions have changed. I've been changed. Self-control was not in my vocabulary before. It is now. And in spite of being internally upset and wanting to relieve my annoyance by screaming, I didn't. I didn't insult the receptionist (or anyone else for that matter). I didn't insult my husband. Ok, I confess I used a couple of expletives regarding the situation. But knowing my fleshly self, it could have been so much worse.
And all along I remembered the “All things work together for
good to those who love God” verse, which greatly encouraged me. Because I thought, Hey this little annoyance is conforming me to the image of Christ, and thus increasing the weight of glory in me. How awesome is that? So should I complain about losing one day of vacation when 
lots of Christians are losing their lives over their faith? 
No way! But oh, it’s annoying… Yep, but we need to see the 
bigger picture. Or if we can’t, trust that this awfully 
nerve-wracking experience we’re going through somehow 
fits into the Plan.

I need more patience, so God gives me those patience-stretching experiences. I hope I’ll get some time to rest those
muscles a bit after today!

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