Thursday, June 24, 2010

Where would I be without the Lord?

This post is a bit of a departure from the norm. Typically I don't post things about my life, simply Scriptural posts. This will be a bit of a hybrid of the two.

At 10pm Friday my daughter will turn five years old. Now, I celebrate her life and the life of my son every day. They are a tremendous blessing and gift to me from God. He has chosen to give them to me to steward them towards Him. I celebrate each one of them daily, but this birthday is especially meaningful to me. When Preslee was three years old, through a LONG set of circumstances, she had to have a full body MRI done to assess how her shoulder was injured... Well the shoulder ended up being slightly fractured but it was so minor that it could barely be detected.

In that process we were told that she possibly had a condition known as White Brain Matter Disease. Now, I've never researched it online (at the advice of the doctor), but from what he told us that day, it is a cruel disease that is rare but is deadly and has no known cure. We were also told how it would manifest itself and that it would take her life within 1 year. He wanted to run blood tests to be more certain that this was in fact what she had because he wasn't entirely sure. By this time though all I was hearing was that my baby was going to be taken from me. He rushed the order to draw the blood so we could start the process as quickly as possible. Immediately Meg and I were calling upon every Christian we knew to pray and pray fervently for my little Preslee.

They drew the blood a couple of hours later and sent us home telling us we'd have to wait 1-6 weeks for results. I waited one day and then began calling the doctor every day for one week until finally they had completed the testing.

Of course during this time, as you can imagine, Meg and I were devastated. No, devastated doesn't even begin to describe what we felt. Only someone who has been through a similar or worse situation can understand this.

I cried myself to sleep night after night. Always pleading with God to please spare her this disease. If He was willing, to heal her. I would hold her as she slept and rock her and cry and pray and pray and cry.

God answered my prayers immediately as I prayed and studied the Word over that week. He assured my heart as He did Paul in 2 Corinthians 12. He reminded me that His Grace was sufficient. He reminded me that Preslee was not my child. She was His. He made her. (Psalm 139) And it was His to do or allow as He saw fit.

I altered my prayer. I began pleading still of course that He would heal her. But also that if He chose not to heal her that He would supply my family with His Grace and care to see us through the whole process.

You're probably wondering how it turned out... well, after a grueling week that felt like a million years the nurse checked the status and reported that in fact the tests had all come back. They had all come back NEGATIVE for the disease!

The Doctor was baffled. I knew full well, as did my wife and family, exactly what had happened. God had healed my daughter. My legs buckled and I fell back into my office chair. I asked her again to repeat what she'd said and to make sure it was the proper results. She double checked. It was true! She was healthy!

I can't begin to express in a blog how joyous I was. I ran out of my office and drove home quickly to tell Meg. Now we were both overjoyed but we hadn't told Preslee anything about any of it and so Preslee was confused as to why Meg and I were now crying tears of joy and hugging her and her brother tightly all the while thanking God for His Mercy and Grace.

Reflecting tonight on the whole thing. I am especially thankful for this passing birthday because from those doctors point of view I would not even have my sweet precious little Preslee any longer today. And as it is in the Bible, so it is in our life, some of the most beautiful words ever, BUT GOD! BUT GOD, in His divine and sovereign perfect will chose to heal my daughter. I still have her and He has kept both children healthy. I can't thank Him enough because I know parents who've lost their children suddenly. I won't even pretend to understand what that feels like but I know that it must be worse to actually lose one than to just be told you are going to lose one. If being told you are going to lose a child is a small sampling of the feeling of actually losing one.. well I can't begin to understand what they go through, nor will I pretend to. But I will pray harder for them as they cope.

As I think about the whole ordeal I can't help but observe that were it not for Christ in my life, I would not have been able to have even dealt with the thought of losing Preslee, or Spencer for that matter. Or my lovely wife or any family member.

I find myself in Peter's place in John 6 asking, Lord... where else would I go but to you? Whom else would I follow? The answer: No one, for there is no other name under Heaven by which we are saved. No false God provides mercy, grace, eternal peace and joy... only Jesus Christ.

If not for the sustaining Grace of God, I would be utterly hopeless on all levels.

When did God heal my daughter? I don't know exactly obviously, but it does not escape my attention that it likely happened sometime between the MRI scan that morning, the results, and the blood work a few hours later. Could it have happened after the blood work and God supernaturally altered the blood tests sometime over the week and changed the outcome? Sure He could, He's God and He can do whatever He jolly well pleases. But I am more inclined to think that it was God reacting to the fervent prayers that went up from so many for my daughter that moved Him to act on her behalf in a healing way in that three hour span between the results of the MRI and the subsequent blood work.

The doctor told us in that if the disease had not manifested itself before age 4, then Preslee was indeed in the clear. Well, my healthy happy little girl turns 5 tomorrow and not a trace or sign of the WBMD is anywhere to be found.

Praise GOD from whom all blessings flow. Praise Him, the maker and sustainer of all things, upon whom we live and move. Upon whose very Word we are dependent for life. Praise Him for His all sustaining Grace that would have carried my family through had Preslee not been healed, but that same sustaining Grace moves me still to bow before Him in humble adoration of a Good and Holy God.

Does God still heal? You bet He does. But whether He does or not, is He still a good and loving God? You bet He is. A God whose Grace is sufficient, whether He answers our prayers in the way we ask them or not.

I hope this encourages or helps or at least gives a little insight into my heart and my God.

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