be our joys three parts pain

(June 2005)

Five years ago when my oldest child was just a newborn I had an ultrasound that found “suspicious” spots on my liver and kidneys.  The radiologists recommended further diagnostic imaging to investigate.  A CT scan was scheduled but not for a few days.  For a few days I was sure I was dying.  All joking aside, I was very worried and so were family members who were aware of the problem.

The results of the CT scan showed small cysts on my kidneys and livers.  They were asymptomatic and not causing any problems with liver or kidney function but my doctor diagnosed me with polycystic liver and kidney disease.  He suggested I have yearly CT scans to moniter the cysts.

Well other health problems came and went, two more pregnancies and two more babies.  Five years went by and I all but forgot about my yearly CT scan.  A few weeks ago while doing some spring cleaning I came across my medical chart from my doctor’s office in Pocatello.  My doctor had given it to me when we moved to give to my next doctor for the sake of the detailed health history it contained.

I made an appointment with my current physician and she read over the radiologists report from my original CT scan five years ago.  It described small cysts on my liver and kidneys, etc.  My doctor suggested blood work and scheduled a CT scan for me to check the status of the cysts. 

I wasn’t worried about the CT scan.  I didn’t expect any bad news.  But I certainly didn’t expect to hear what the nurse said when she called after my doctor read over the radiologists new findings.

“You don’t have any cysts on your liver or kidneys.”
“I don’t have any?”
“Nope. Looks good.” 

I am not here to try and offer a scientific explanation for why the cysts that once existed no longer exist.  I am here to testify that all things are in the hands of the Lord.  That is why I am eternally grateful for faith.

Sometimes we don’t understand why bad things happen.  It is the universal question when someone is asked to endure a trial. 


But just as asking this question in times of difficulty rarely brings any answers or peace, I believe the same is true in times of blessing. 

Why this trial? Why this blessing?  Because our Father in Heaven loves us.  He has a divine plan for each of us that involves rough roads and smooth ones.  But we can be grateful for Him and His love because all these things are ultimately only for our good.

I know it is easy for me to write this when I am experiencing the ease of a smooth road.  But know this, that I believe these things when the road is rough as well.  And no one is exempt from rough roads.  Five years ago this same faith carried me through three very worrisome days.

Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in His hand
Who saith “A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!”

Then, welcome each rebuff
That turns earth’s smoothness rough,
Each sting that bids nor sit nor stand but go!
Be our joys three-parts pain!
Strive, and hold cheap the strain;
Learn, nor account the pang; dare, never grudge the throe!
Not once beat “Praise be Thine!
I see the whole design,
I, who saw power, see now love perfect too:
Perfect I call Thy plan:
Thanks that I was a man!
Maker, remake, complete,—I trust what Thou shalt do!”
small part taken from Rabbi Ben Ezra by Robert Browning

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