Translation – Management of Distress (Part 3) – The Anguish Table

This Bible reflection is about the appointment with the oncologist to discuss the results of the PET/CT scan.

The PET/CT scan showed some lesions in your liver,” said the oncologist.
– “What does that mean? Do I have a tumor? Did the cancer spread to the liver?” I asked quickly.
– “It means that your liver needs to be biopsied” she replied.

I looked at my husband Fernan, I touched my belly … a needle in my liver !!!

– “What happens if the cancer has spread to the liver?” I asked.
– “We identify a treatment plan for that. It is not curable, but it is treatable” she said.
– “For how long I would need to be treated?” I continued asking
– “Indefinitely” she said
– “Like…forever!!” I thought out loud
– “For “as long as it works”, that sounds better“, she answered.

I breathed deeply, I do not like the word “indefinitely“.

When evil people come to devour me, when my enemies and foes attack me, they will stumble and fall.” (Psalm 27: 2)

Often, in difficult situations we feel as the main course of a meal. The guests at the “Anguish Table” are:
  • “Evil” – that intended to hurt  
  • “Enemies” – that intended to oppress you
  • “Foes” – an enemy or opponent (physical, spiritual or emotional)
But there is great hope in knowing that the Lord is our light and salvation. The Lord is our fortress, who protects us from danger. When anguish wants to include us in the menu as the main course, her plans get ruined. Not because we are strong, not because we are brave, not because we are self-sufficient. But because we are those who can say: “The Lord is my light“, a light that never goes out. We are those who cry out: “He is the Lord of our salvation“. A salvation purchased on Calvary’s tree and secured from any disease. And instead of the main dish on the “Anguish Table”, we become guests at the “Good Shepherd Table”

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life... “(Psalm 23: 5-6, NIV)

We are guests at the Good Shepherd’s table because of Christ’s sacrifice. We were enemies. We were not worthy of a place at the table. But now we are welcome and when God prepares the table the anguish is hungry and we are satisfied. There are no distractions, there is no fear, there is joy in the presence of the Lord. At the Good Shepherd’s table the word “indefinitely” loses its power and authority. The word “indefinitely” is not defined by a treatment or a disease. It is not about the anguish or the pain; nor about the loss or the uncertainty. Psalm 23 states that it is His goodness and mercy that follow us all the days of our life. It is God’s constant kindness; it is a brand new mercy every morning.

I don’t know what situation is inviting you to the “Anguish Table” today. I just know that there’s a place for you at the “Good Shepherd’s Table”.

All rights reserved. Rebecca Parrilla April/2015 

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