It has been a while since I’ve written, and this post will be a little different from normal. Today I’m going to talk about sacrifice.
Thirty months ago this very week, I went into the hospital with severe pain. I’ve written about the experience previously in my post “The Will to Overcome All Obstacles.” And I’m not going to retell the whole story here, but mention a detail I had left out previously. The detail – thirst.
The kind of thirst you have while suffering from pancreatitis is like nothing I’ve ever experienced. I had 6 different IV bags, two of which were saline, going at the same time, so my body couldn’t have been needing fluids. In fact, in a short time, they put about 30 pounds of fluid in me. Still, the thirst was unbearable.
I was not allowed anything orally. I finally got permission to have 2 or 3 ice chips. They lasted a few seconds and I did my best to savor them. But within 2 minutes, the effects were completely gone. I could barely talk because my tongue was sticking to the roof of my mouth.
I don’t know why the subject of thirst came to mind this evening. As I was thinking of my experience, I remembered an old TV show called “Family Affair.” One episode had the oldest sibling trying her first job in a hospital as a nurses aide. Walking past a patient’s room, she heard cries for help. “Please give me some water. They won’t give me any water and I’m dying of thirst.” Sissy gave in, and when the medical staff found out, she was told she couldn’t work there any more.
I know that thirst that the patient had.
Another thought came to mind tonight. In the Old Testament book of Psalms, there are the lyrics to many ancient hymns. Many are written by King David or King Solomon. One in particular is unique, because it gives the gruesome details for a kind of death that the Romans would invent hundreds of years later.
Psalm 22 was written by David. But it’s really about events that would happen to one of his descendants, Jesus. When you read this Psalm, it is almost as if David is recalling the experience of a crucifixion – again hundreds of years before the Romans were in power. It’s an amazing passage.
Vs 15 says:
My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth, you lay me in the dust of death.
Just before or after this verse, it talks about how people gloat over him. How they gambled for his cloak. How his hands and feet were pierced. All of his limbs were out of joint. All of this would happen in the New Testament as recorded in the gospels.
I can imagine that kind of thirst. I can’t imagine the rest of it. Even reading Psalm 22, and being acquainted with pain, and wondering if I was going to make it – there’s a long way between what I had and what He did.
I know this is hard for many to understand. For Him, what He did was a sacrifice. He was the offering. Others thought they took His life. He laid down his life. Willingly.
Theologians say that Jesus came to experience the kinds of trials that man faces and to overcome them. By doing that, his perfection could pay for our evil.
If that is true, His measure of our worth is much greater than we can imagine.
Today, as this is published is a day celebrating sacrifice – that of Veterans.
I don’t know how people willingly offer their bodies for this nation, our ideals, these people. I don’t know how and, as a civilian, it’s hard to comprehend why. It’s not that I don’t love my country. It’s that this kind of sacrifice goes beyond any reasoning.
So, today, Veteran’s Day, take the time to acknowledge their sacrifice.