“Your dad has two aortic aneurysms and possibly an old dissection” were words that I heard this past Sunday along with some other aortic related concerns. Where did this come from? My dad went to the ER to because of kidney stones that are apparently stuck in his bladder now, but when did he develop a 5.2cm aortic aneurysm?
This is all very confusing because my father was tested for Marfan syndrome nearly 9 years ago and was told that he didn’t have it. But does he? The easy answer is no, he doesn’t. These aneurysms aren’t because of Marfan syndrome like mine have been, but to truly answer why they are there, I guess they just happened. Thankfully the heart doctors (some of which have worked on me in past years) gave him the all clear to come home from Pittsburgh today and the stones will be dealt with by his local urologist. I'm very thankful for that and they are just going to monitor his aneurysms regularly. End of story #1.
A couple of weeks ago a passage of Scripture was being discussed. I can’t remember where it was used, maybe a pastor’s conference Amanda and I were attending, but it was Romans 5:3-5 and it reads like this: “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” I have read and studied and preached on this portion of Scripture before, but when I heard it this time it struck me in a way that I hadn’t been affected like previously. End of story #2.
While visiting my father in the hospital yesterday I read this portion of Scripture to him. He was suffering, but I told him what the finished product will be through this suffering according to Scripture. I know that his finished product isn’t there yet, but can you see what his suffering will produce? (I know that this portion of Scripture is referring more to suffering for one’s faith in Jesus, but honestly it can reflect all suffering.)
I told dad that although he is suffering now, guess what it will produce? Perseverance! And then after that, here comes character. Character is something that is truly missing within much of society, not only here in the USA but around the world. After character is developed the final product is just around the corner. . . HOPE. And that hope doesn’t disappoint!
I told him to look at it this way, those stones and his aorta concerns will ultimately produce hope. Who wouldn't want more of that?
This is a fantastic way to look at suffering. I can honestly say that my Marfan suffering has progressed in this exact sequence. Suffering built perseverance which has developed character that has produced my hope.