Yesterday morning, I stepped out on my porch at 4:50, like I’ve done so many times in the last four years. Only this time, I was going to work for the last time.
In 2013, the day after Thanksgiving, I was getting off work for the last time on PCU. I was excited about my new venture in cardiothoracic surgery. My dad was in the area and took my photo downtown for my Christmas card, beside the heart I had painted. A little snow drifted around the plaster statues and caught on the black and purple heart.
This morning, the day after Thanksgiving 2017, was a beautiful clear morning, just a little cool. As I headed down my steps, I looked up, and there above the tree across from me was Orion.
From our early childhood days, our parents pointed out the mighty hunter in the sky, with the three stars forming his belt and his bow drawn.
Later, I remember freezing Wisconsin nights, when the temperature fell below zero and the snow squeaked under our boots, and there Orion would be, still hunting. For awhile I had a thing for stars and I would look at them through a binoculars, not as good as a telescope, but better than the naked eye.
Now here in 2017, Orion was still there, and a feeling of perfect confidence in the faithfulness of God washed over me, as I headed into the hospital one last time. I opened the outside door with my badge and took the staff elevator to the 3rd floor and let myself into the locker room with my 6-digit code, all things I will never do again like this. I packed my bags and took care of an emergency. I road in the elevator with the portable X-ray machine toward the end of the day.
“Coming for our post-op?” I asked the tech, and she smiled and said yes, and I knew I would probably never say “our post-op” again.
Things change so much in our world. Almost everything is unpredictable.
Even Orion’s schedule changes, and he appears in different places in the sky. Some nights it’s too cloudy to see him.
Today, as we navigate two huge life changes, Orion reminds me of his Creator. Like Orion, God may seem gone for a time as changes in our atmospheres conflict with our feeble eyesight, and winds of change push in clouds of uncertainties or rainstorms of sadness.
But God’s absence is only a limitation of our sight! And soon again He appears in all his stunning splendor, to remind us that He is faithful. He never breaks his promises, never changes, and never leaves.
Later last night I messaged my Elkhart church friends.
Just turned in my keys and pager at work. Thanks for your many prayers and your support through the last four years!
And I was reminded again how blessed I am to have friends through thick and thin. They themselves are a reminder that God is faithful.
So now, as we face more change, exciting change, I take with me one more reminder that God never changes: the mighty hunter, still standing in the sky!
He was with me all those years, and he is with us now! God is faithful, God is faithful, God is faithful!