2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Psalm 103:2 (NKJV)
By Bro. John L. Cash, “Country Preacher Dad”
When Susan had her surgery earlier this month, there were two outcomes that she wanted. First, she was praying the doctor would not find any cancer. And, secondly, she hoped the doctor would leave her an ovary so she would not have to take hormone replacement therapy. (The doctor said that HRT would not be a good match for Susan because of a cancer risk in her family.) These were the things for which we asked God in prayer.
As soon as Susan woke up from surgery, she began asking questions about what the surgeon had done and what she’d found. She had a whole list of rational and well-thought out questions, and each query I answered led to another list of questions. The conversation went something like this (only longer and much more drawn-out):
“Did Dr. Nelson find cancer?”
“Did she leave me an ovary”
“Your left one.”
“I thought that was the bad one.”
“No, when she got in there, it was the good one.”
“What was wrong with the right one?”
“It had a cyst on it.”
“Did she do the surgery robotically?”
“No. She had to make an incision.”
“Because she wasn’t able to see what she needed to see with the robot.”
She was so rational and reasonable I thought, “My goodness, she certainly is alert after having major surgery.” But then a tedious pattern emerged. After each 10 minute conversation about her surgery, her eyes would roll back into her head and she’d take a nap for 5 minutes. Then she would open her eyes, ask the same questions, and we would have a conversation identical to the first.
It didn’t take long for me to realize my wife wasn’t remembering at all. She was stoned out of her gourd on anesthesia. She was exactly like Drew Barrymore on the movie Fifty First Dates. Or maybe like Dory, the little blue fish on Finding Nemo —you know, the one that forgets everything she knows every seven seconds.
This went on all day. Then it went on all night. The next morning, she awoke in the sunlight with a kiss and a smile for me. Then she began her list of questions again. I thought, “Finally! She is sober, and I can tell her once and for all.” And this time, since she was lucid, I gave her a long explanation of everything I knew. After our detailed conversation, she smiled and closed her eyes. Then she opened them again and began her list of questions for the 999th time….
I have to confess, at this point I lost my patience. Wearied by the previous conversations (and the extensive explanation I’d just given) I said (a bit sharply), “Susan, look. The doctor said you’re fine. Everything is fine!”
I’ll never forget her shocked expression. She looked up at me and said, “I got a bad report. You’re not telling me everything. And on top of that, you’re being mean to me!”
Well, readers, eventually she sobered up. We got it all worked out. We’ve even laughed over this story a number of times since then. But let me tell you something I learned through all this. It’s bad when a person can’t remember.
Today’s Scripture text (at the top) teaches us about the importance of remembering—especially when it comes to remembering the blessings of God. David, the Psalmist, teaches us the importance of recalling the many ways the Lord has blessed us, and he tries to construct the whole list. David doesn’t succeed in listing the manifold blessings of God, and neither will we. But it’s important for us think on all the benefits that God gives us so we can offer thanks to Him. That’s bound to make us all more grateful and joyful in our daily lives.
By the way, there’s a part of the story I left out until now. Each of the many times I gave Susan the good reports of her surgery, she had the same reply: “Praise the Lord. Thank you, Jesus. Praise God.” It made me think. Maybe it’s not so important if you can’t remember your own name—just so long as you remember the Name of the most important One of all. Mamas, let’s remember, give thanks, and make it a blessed week.
Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and is enjoying his 25th year of being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. He and his lovely wife, Susan, and his sons, Spencer (age 18) and Seth (age 15) live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where the Preacher’s wife says the entirety of Psalm 103 is her new favorite passage. We studied it at Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting.)You should write him at firstname.lastname@example.org.