Friday, 8 February 2008

Seen the doctor today.

For those who don't know, I had a collapse at work on the 17th October 2007 due to Viral Encephalitis. It parallelized me on the right hand side of the body for a few days, and had to relearn to walk once again. I was also in hospital for nearly 7 weeks and came home on the 7th December.

I saw the doctor today for a check up and to go back onto asthma medication which is something that I have not had to use for a while now. He also put me on some anti depressant medication for I'm not really handling my sudden collapse all that well, and will refer me to a counselor.

Its amazing what a difference to ones life what a sudden change of circumstances can do to your mind.

Yet in spite of my circumstances, I will still lift my eyes to the Lord, and lean not on my own understanding for he is my healer, he is my comforter and he is my shield and I shall walk through this valley and he shall uphold me.


Paul said...

Our prayers are with you, Craig.

I've never had a serious illness and can only imagine what you're going through.

I hope this doesn't sound too morbid or insensitive, but do you think you have gained anything through your suffering, e.g. in your relationship with God?

Craig Bennett said...

G'day Paul.

Funny you commented now, I was thinking about making another post about that very subject.

Yes I have gained in my relationship with God. The night before my collapse I was reading 1 Peter chap 1. and felt God was really talking to me through it. When I was on the ground the following day, my mind was full of that Scripture thinking God, couldn't you give me another trial to go through.

I see it as Gods method of guiding me ministry wise. I was studying at Southern Cross for a degree to become a Army Reserve Chaplain. Now I will not be able to do so even with full recovery because of the medical requirements. But during the 7 weeks in hospital I saw the great need for hospital chaplaincy. I asked God for some encouragement in this, and it came in 4 ways.

1) The hospital Chaplin who met with me on a regular basis thought I would be good at it.
2.) A nurse told me I would be good at it.
3.) A patient recovering from a back tumor and was in a solitary ward told me that I would be missed when I went home. I used to go from ward to ward on a daily basis if I had the strength saying hello to every one, and as I have a loud voice he said he could here me coming and looked forward to my visit.
4.) There were a few times when I was able to speak about Christ and pray with patients.

It has also helped us see Gods promises in action through His people providing for us in many ways. Perhaps more so for my wife who was really worried that now I'm not working and earning income how will we live. This has been a real obstacle to her releasing me into full time ministry.

Such as my wife coming home from hospital late one night, opened the fridge wondering what to cook and finding that someone had left a big quiche there for her.

People dropping envelopes of money in our mail box. The church taking up an offering for us.
A lady knocking on the door giving my wife a cup of coffee and donut and then leaving.
People praying for us etc etc.

It has also led me to concentrate on finishing a book which I started about 5 years ago and have done the outline and am fleshing it out.

And then there is choice, either to believe Gods promises or not. Knowing that king David wrote Psalm 23 towards the end of his life after he went through some horrific times and that we too have to walk through our own valleys.

Its believing Paul when he says that nothing can get in the way of Gods love for us, neither depth, height, power, sickness, demons, etc.

Going through depression is an interesting experience not having had it before to this degree. admitting it has been the biggest hurdle, but how do you admit something when you don't know what it is?

Learning to find God, when,

Suddenly finding I can't do what once was so easy.
Having to suddenly drop out of college without being able to tell them what happened.
Having to learn how to get out of a chair.
Having to learn how to walk.

Yet with each victory over what would seem like minor issues, such as being able to waggle my tongue on the right side of my mouth - I was able to praise God for his faithfulness in healing me and giving me strength.

So i find great comfort in the psalms where I read others praying to God through their own depressing circumstances knowing that I can do the same myself. knowing that the very same people who Scripture says they had great faith, were also frail creatures who went through the hard times, still believing God was there with them, though at times they could not see, feel him.

Thanks for asking. I hope I have answered your question properly.

Craig Bennett said...

P.S Paul thanks for your prayers. I appreciate them.

Paul said...

Thank you for sharing your experiences, Craig. I'm sure that others going through tough times will take comfort from your reflection. I hope that it will also help others not to take life for granted and to recognise all the blessings God has given us.