As you may remember from previous posts, pastor Mark Beach contracted COVID last April and has been in the hospital ever since. HIs battle with COVID has been incredibly challenging. Mark was in a coma for weeks and still remains in ICU on a ventilator.
Many friends have joined in praying for Mark and Theresa, asking the Lord to raise him back up to health. We’ve been grateful for God’s sustaining and healing grace so far. But Mark still has a ways to go in his recovery.
Last week, Theresa sent out this reflection on what the Lord has been teaching her through this long, difficult journey. I was deeply moved her insights and asked her permission to post them on this blog. Here’s what Theresa wrote:
I have been keeping a journal since Mark was admitted to Brantford General back in April. This is mostly for keeping track of all the medical things, but I also have some pages dedicated to: “blessings and lessons” – to identify the things God is giving or showing to us.One of the most obvious lessons you can learn when in the hospital for a long time is patience. Medical team members tend to be good at patience. They know that the human body takes time to heal, a lot of time, not just a little. I remember many weeks ago, when Mark first began the real “weaning” process to come off the ventilator, a Respiratory Therapist said to us, “we are not in a hurry.” At the time I thought, well why not!?? I am in a hurry! I want my husband home! Let’s hurry this thing up!
We have come to realize since then that we cannot hurry this thing up. It is going to take a long time for Mark’s body to heal and get strong again. This is a ruthless virus that has really taken a toll on Mark’s body. A few years ago, I read The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer (I highly recommend this book!). After reading it I was sold out to this concept: Christians are not meant to be people who hurry through life. As Comer puts it, “Hurry is incompatible with the way of Jesus.”
And yet our culture and, let’s face it, our sinful nature tells us it is best to hurry and be busy and productive. As the rubber hits the road now for me and Mark, I am being reminded in a very real way that the way of Jesus is: Being still; Waiting for God; Letting God fight for me.
God is healing Mark, making him stronger little by little each day. If we are paying attention, it is amazing to watch the way the body can heal. God rarely speeds up the natural healing process he created in our bodies. He can speed it up, but often he does not. I think there must be purpose in this divine healing design. It reminds us that God is not in a hurry. He has his own timeline, and it is not our timeline. But that does not mean he is not at work for us. It is not only okay for us to be still and to let things take time and to let God work on our behalf; this is the way he intended for us, and it is the way of Jesus.
I recently was reminded in a sermon that, before Jesus’ ministry began on earth, he spent nearly 30 years as a carpenter’s apprentice. Just pounding in nails. To our way of thinking, not a very productive few decades. But that was God’s timeline. Jesus wasn’t in a hurry.
So, what do we have to report this week? Mark gets stronger and heals little by little each day. I think the most significant thing about this week is that we have had 6 conversations with different medical team members (trust me, I can count them – they are in my journal!), and all these conversations have had the exact same themes: Mark is healing. He is getting stronger. We should celebrate the healing! This is going to take time . . . a lot of it. Be patient.
How can you pray for me and Mark?
- Please pray for Mark’s weaning: weaning from the ventilator and breathing on his own is proving to be a real mountain for Mark. This is the only thing standing in the way of him moving from the ICU to the next stage. But Mark finds it incredibly difficult – he often feels like he is drowning. Please pray for strength, both of the muscles he uses to breathe and for his mind through this process.
- Praise God for the healing he is doing: the pressure sore is looking better gradually, Mark is gaining strength, and the weaning from the ventilator continues.
- Pray for continued healing, that infections would not come.
- Mark and I both get impatient and discouraged with the healing process. Please pray that God would increase our patience. Pray that Mark would be encouraged.