Throughout this whole ordeal, we have had good days and bad days. A hill followed by a valley, good news followed by bad news, hopeful, positive moments followed by disappointment…and then more positive moments.
Today, dear friends stopped by and we were blessed unexpectedly by them. We sat on the hospital bed together after they left and wept at their generosity. Their kindness was a direct sign from God that His plan is secure, even though our plans fail. We are unsure of the future; He is not.
Later this evening, after Wes fell asleep, I noticed his scar seemed to be swollen a bit. Yes, it’s just me. No nurse or doctor has confirmed my observation, but let’s be real: if anyone knows to the detail what my husband’s head should look like, it is I. My gut tells me that in the morning, the doctors will take one look at him and say, “yep, you’re gonna need a shunt.” More surgery, more time in the hospital, more time away from the kids. This is a heart-wrenching thought.
I have felt repeatedly through this process that I’ve had enough, that I don’t want to face this anymore, that the end of this struggle must be near–I can’t handle it much longer.
But I will look at the pattern, and remember the grace of God.
The surgery to remove the tumor went without a hitch. It was a huge success, with both teams (ENT and Neurosurgery) extremely proud of their work and confident of the future. In the words of Dr Thompson, it was a ‘formidable’ tumor. Very large, and could have done great damage to the brain stem and facial nerve. But it didn’t.
God preserved his life. Beautifully, miraculously. This was an unspeakable relief. Two weeks of improvement and increasing strength followed. Then after improvement and relief came disappointment, which we suffered when meningitis set in.
Recovery, setback. Blessings, struggles. Plenty, poverty. Gladness, sorrow.
See the pattern? 🙂
The God who knows the end from the beginning prepares us for future trials by strengthening us today. Little do we know as spiritual children what great need we will have to fall on the Rock, to return to the altar we built the day the Holy Ghost baptized us. The unspeakable joy that washes over a new soul reborn is the same which will carry him through the difficulties of life, when everything stable will be threatened. It will be his strength.
God, the ever loving, everlasting Father who loves His children more than anyone, knows where our road will lead, so he packs in our little travel bag just what we need to get us to our Destination.
This Holy Ghost, this Spirit of Christ, the ‘foretaste of glory divine,’ is the meat to sustain us until we reach That Other Shore. Oh, that we would carry it with reverence, protecting it, cherishing it, nurturing it! It is our most valuable possession, and our only hope.
Jesus spoke to His disciples in John 14, telling them He would be leaving soon. He began the chapter with the promise “I go to prepare a place for you.” The value of such a promise is unknown until one is forced to cling to it in desperate fervor. He knew they would later be tested, and would need to remember His words. So He followed with another promise: “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you…the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
Who can appreciate peace but they who have been shaken by chaos and tumult? What is the value of comfort unless it be compared to one’s struggle, pain, and sorrow?
Soak in His presence today! Feast at His banquet table! Eat the Word. Accept His strength, surrendering all. I beg you, invest in the full armor of God. The day is coming when you will need it.
And above all, remember the Promise, that He “hath begotten us again unto a lively hope…To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:3,4).