As I write these words, my dear wife lies in a bed across from me, in the Intensive Care unit of a hospital. Two months ago, she began to experience headaches and a loss of vision. An M.R.I., revealed that she has a Craniopharyngioma, a tumor, about the size of a golf ball, inside the very center of her brain. The optic nerves of her eyes, as well as the Pituitary gland, have been compressed by the presence of this slow growing tumor, during her entire forty-eight years, until it has finally robbed her of all vitality of life.
Two months previous to my wife’s awareness that she would require two intensive brain surgeries, I suffered a heart attack on a remote island in the Philippines. We had been working together for the past five years, to bring relief to the poor of an forgotten people who live in object poverty. Just after midnight, on October 10, 2014, I awoke with a searing pain in the center of my back, left shoulder, arm, and chest. I didn’t know at the time that I was having a heart attack. I had been working so hard that I believed my pain was caused by a torn muscle in my back. I did not receive any treatment for my heart attack for another three weeks. I should have died during the early weeks after this event, but incredibly, I survived. A blood clot had formed in the lower part of my heart that doctors describe as a “Thrombosis.” Nearly one-third of my heart muscle had died during this attack. Shortly after arriving back in the United States for treatment in late November of 2014, we learned of my wife’s brain tumor.
Surgery was scheduled at the beginning of March, 2015, with promising results that allowed a return of about ninety percent of my wife’s vision. After six weeks, a repeat M.R.I., revealed that more than half of the calcified tumor remained on the right side, and just under, the optic chasm—where the right and left optic nerves intersect. A second surgery was scheduled within days, and a ten hour procedure to remove the remaining tumor was performed. Two days after the second surgery, my wife noticed that she had no vision in her right eye, which was near perfect prior to the second surgery. The left eye had severe temporal vision loss on the left side of the left eye.
The two neurosurgeon’s who performed the second procedure, are both world renowned physicians with a combined forty year history of successful operations. The second day that my wife lay in the intensive care unit of the hospital, both men were also near tears as they witnessed my wife’s loss of vision. I was particularly impressed with their compassion, though they must have certainly seen this very result on many occasions before.
In the first follow up visit with the primary neurosurgeon, he put his hand on my shoulder and told me: “You give hope to people, do you not Mr. Robinson? Isn’t this what you do, you give them hope? Give yourself some hope, give your wife time to heal. The cells of the optic nerve are the most sensitive in the body and they take a very long time to recover. We will wait and hope that your wife’s vision does return.”
As I have read through and taught the entire Bible over the course of the past forty years, I have observed the many occasions where the Lord often required those who believe in Him—to wait. It seems to be a part of the Lord’s nature, and His enduring manner of teaching us, that time is a very good remedy for faith. The longer we wait for something, the more our faith has a chance to grow. That is, if we properly channel our thoughts into the right area. If we focus our hopes upon the goodness of the Lord and remember the many times that He has rescued us in the past and provided so many wonderful blessings, we can survive those frequent moments when the Lord waits to deliver our requests.