In my “Mornings with Jesus” devotional this morning, Jeanne Blackmer’s theme was faith or fear. She presented an interesting analogy, saying that uncertainty is the soil that either grows faith or fear. Think about it. We have that choice, to face uncertainty with growing fear or with growing faith.
With our oldest granddaughter just out of ICU, my faith was sorely tested this past weekend. We were visiting our other son in Maryland and I strongly felt that we needed to head to Virginia right away and be with Scott and his family. Praying before we left, I felt a calm peace wash over me. Of course, I cried a lot as we left because it meant I would miss the birthday of little Nathan, our youngest grandson who just turned one. Nevertheless, God’s Spirit was telling me strongly that we needed to go see Iris. We prayed as we traveled, for traveling mercies and for Iris to be okay. When we got to the hospital after almost an eight-hour trip, Harry and I were both running on adrenaline and a lot of faith. Melissa, our daughter-in-law said that Iris was doing well except she wouldn’t eat. Melissa couldn’t leave the hospital to get Iris some of the food she likes because Iris would pull out or bite her IV. So, we took Iris chicken, fries and hot sauce along with her favorite tubes of yogurt. She gobbled up all of the yogurt and ate the chicken and fries eventually. Of course, we also took Melissa some food. This seems small but it was confirmation that we were needed in Virginia to help out, particularly since our son Scott was flying back from Kansas City that day and would not return home until about 8 or so that night. We were filling the gap of his presence and being there for family. The uncertainty of what we might find when we got to the hospital was overwhelming at times, but we chose faith, praying and believing that God was going to touch and heal Iris’s lungs. For those who missed my earlier post, Iris is nonverbal autistic. The activity that she loves the most is going to the gym to swim and on Friday night, she had a seizure while swimming and sank quickly to the bottom of the pool. Her mom always watches her carefully in the water even though Iris swims like a fish. She saw her sink to the bottom, quickly got to her and lifted her out of the water, getting her onto the deck and on her side with the help of another patron who was swimming at the time. The ambulance came and whisked Iris away to the ER where she was evaluated with water in her lungs, sedated and put on oxygen and into the ICU. Now, for the amazing “God is good” part of the story. During her seizure, Iris’s windpipe contracted so she did not inhale as much water as she would have. Instead, the water went down her esophagus and into her stomach, so she had an upset stomach but not lungs filled with water. Yes, she had some water in her lungs, but not enough to cause a great deal of damage. She is home now and is taking a larger dose of seizure meds and an antibiotic for a possible lung infection. We are so blessed that she is okay. The fear that gripped me when I heard the word ICU was replaced with faith as we prayed and traveled. God heard and answered our cries for help for Iris. The nurse at the ICU, when she was discharging Iris, said that she was their youngest patient ever in that ward. Iris is eighteen, but I’m guessing that the ICU is filled with the elderly after strokes or cardiac events. After all, that is where I ended up after my stroke seven years ago. I’m so thankful that Melissa got to Iris quickly, that the man was there to help lift her onto the deck, that the ambulance arrived right away, that the ER doctors treated her quickly and thoroughly and that she now has a new neurologist who will see her more often than once a year. Uncertainty in this case provided the soil for faith, but it could just as easily have been fear. We had a choice and we chose faith and prayer, trusting God to take care of the situation.
I pray for each of you to face the uncertainty of the future with faith. As someone said: “I don’t know what the future may hold, but I know Who holds the future.”
Have a blessed day, my friends. I hope that this testimony encouraged you.