Late into the hours of the night last night I sat, staring at the wall and pondering the universe. The inside in my throat continues to be painful and that pain is persistent. In spite of the tenacious pain, I have been struggling to gradually reduce my dependence on pain medications. The result — too edgy with nervous anxiety to sleep, and yet too exhausted to occupy my mind with anything but aimless wanderings.
I considered the journey I have ventured on to this point – a long journey by my standards. But many have undertaken far more lengthy and arduous passages in life. My voyage has been both personalized and laden with purpose. I have been called upon to learn something. And I might succeed in escaping the education which my Father in Heaven so desperately wants me to grasp. So many prayers and blessings exerted in my behalf, all over the world, might indeed persuade me that I could be healed and slip from the grasp of destruction. There are things I have to do, missions yet to fulfill and ‘miles to go before I sleep.’
But immediate healing, and escape from pain, is unlikely. Heavenly Father doesn’t waste his time. No. In spite of the faith of the righteous and the power of the cosmos – all effectually called upon my head in hearts to the altars of holy temples which dot the earth – God is not through with me. And he has made no pronouncement to the contrary. Father, I love thee with all my heart.
Answers to my petitions in personal prayer and priesthood blessing have reaffirmed the realities of my situation as my ordeal progresses. I have been counseled to follow the instructions of my doctors, submit to their treatment, to endure to the end of this medical process, and to be patient under the length of that care. That does not sound to me like a miraculous and instantaneous flash of televangelical healing power – though Heavenly Father still manifests his power with such healing command. No, my miracle may be even more dramatic, in teaching me to be more humble, more patient in affliction, and more long-suffering in endurance. ‘So Father, in the midst of my ongoing ordeal, I ask a simple fulfillment of the promise that thou hast always made to thy children – and to me. Walk with me Father. Take me by the hand, let me cling to thy side, bear me up in the gloom which goeth before – and abide with me. That is enough.