Friday, February 8, 2013

A Week of Highs and Lows

This has been an incredibly amazing week, and I am really unsure how to adequately put into words the things that have taken place this week in both our immediate family, and close friend's lives.  I guess the overall theme of the week has been "Trust in God... no matter what.”  We have faced some very dark clouds this week, and through it all, we turned our faces towards the Lord and believed, in spite of the seeming insurmountable obstacles, and God has not disappointed us. 

The week began with the devastating news from my sister that their beautiful little angel of 3 months old had been diagnosed with bilateral cataracts.  This essentially meant that for the last eight weeks or so, this precious little one had not been able to see.  When she was born, things were completely normal, and no abnormalities were detected.  And at her first well child checkup, nothing abnormal showed up.  Yet a few days later, we think, she began to have bilateral cataracts grow on her eyes.  After being taken to the doctor, it was discovered that she had these cataracts clouding her vision.  Because of the rarity of cataracts occurring in both eyes, she is having to undergo more tests to discover what could be causing the cataracts.  It has been an absolute nightmare for my sister and her husband as they now face the possibility of their daughter dealing with eyesight issues at a very young age. 

However, an encouraging event took place when the doctor dilated her eyes... the baby could see, and she began to focus, and interact with her parents.  The doctors believe that when she has the surgery next week to correct the cataracts that she will be able to see again.  We are believing for a complete miracle when the doctors undertake this surgery next week, that a complete healing, and restoration will take place in her eyes. 

Yesterday a close friend of mine went through her own valley and then a mountaintop experience.  Her husband was told that he had serious heart vessel damage by the doctors who had run a stress test on him.  It was possible at this point that stents were no longer going to work, and that an open heart bypass was going to be needed.  The stress test was very concerning to the doctors that he was experiencing high levels of chest distress, yet not exhibiting any symptoms.  In great faith, many friends and family began to pray.  When the doctors went in to do the angioplasty, they had to recheck their stress test findings to be sure they had not made a mistake.  In the end, he only needed one other stent, and everything looked much better than the doctors believed possible.  It was an incredible relief for them, because the possibility of open heart surgery was very real.  A deep valley of fear was crossed in faith, and a miracle waited on the other side. 

Then, my husband called me early this morning to let me know that his mother had suffered a heart attack, and was being air-flighted to the nearest heart hospital.  There was no word on her condition at that time.  As we began to pray and ask the Lord to undertake on her behalf, I recognized again that valley of fear and worry that we were crossing.  I began to feel praise raising in my heart though, that all would be well, even as I texted, emailed and called as many of those as I could who would pray on behalf of my sweet mother-in-law.  Again, even as the prayers were being prayed, God was answering on her behalf.  She indeed had suffered a heart attack, but the doctors were able to go in and place a stent, and she should be released from the hospital this weekend.  Yes, we traveled the valley, but God was faithful! 
I realize that many times we cross the valley, and sometimes we don’t see such spectacular results. 

Sometimes it takes days, months or even years for the answer or miracle to come. 

Yet we read in scripture, that all that is NOT of faith is sin. (Romans 14:23) And so, any unbelief on our part, even in the darkest nights of our life, can only hinder us from God’s perfect plan. 

I am learning each and every day that trusting God completely with each and every single little detail of my life is really the only way to live.  Many times we have questioned God, because we don’t understand right now why things are they way they are.  But, He sees far beyond the place that we are at, and knows exactly what we need for the days ahead.   

Those rocks that we face now, may be the stepping stones to the miracle in our lives ahead! 
For if we never had a problem, a trial, a desert experience, or a lonely valley to walk through… how would we ever get to experience the miraculous?  How would we ever know what a miracle is… unless we first face the darkness, the trial, the sadness, and the pain? 

It is times like this that you begin to see clearly that when trials, misfortunes, difficult events come our way, it is the time to try to look past the difficulty of the moment, and allow God to work out His perfect plan in our lives, and await the miracle that is coming. 

So, in that vein of thought, here is another detail that God worked out for us several weeks ago that didn’t make sense at the time.  I needed to schedule a flight home for my husband who has been working in Texas.  I had scheduled the flight for Saturday morning, and we were discussing changing the flight to leave Friday evening instead.  I had gone into Southwest’s website, being quite sure that it wouldn’t be a problem to change a flight from one day to another, especially because it does not cost to change flights with Southwest (one of the reasons we love to fly with Southwest!). 

Anyway, upon logging in and trying to change the flight date, we found that for some very odd reason, to change the flight from Saturday morning to the Friday night flight would cost us over 250 dollars!  I really thought it must have been an error because that seemed ridiculously high.  At any rate, we ended up not changing the flight. 

And here again… a perfect example of God’s perfect timing.  Because several weeks ago there could have been no way for us to know that Dan needed to still be in Texas on Friday night in order to go see his mother in the hospital because of her heart attack … that very Friday he would have been leaving had we changed the ticket!  As it stands now, Dan is with his mother now at the hospital, and because of God’s touch on her life, and the wonderful doctors who saved her life, he will still be able to fly home to Idaho tomorrow and have been able to visit with his mother!  It never ceases to amaze me that God desires to be involved in our lives in such intricate ways … even down to each very last little detail! 

One more story.  I promise! 

For the past day or two, I’ve been fighting off a head cold.  I haven’t been sick for a couple of years with a cold as bad as this one.  Last night, it moved in with a vengeance.  The pressure in my head, ears, and forehead was so intense, that my eyes were watering and I looked like I was crying.  I lay down for a while on the couch hoping to get some relief with my head lying down.  I felt that I should try to read my Bible, so I got my Bible and opened it up before me, and it fell to Psalms 4, and the last part of that chapter stuck out to me.  It says, “I will both lay me down in peace and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.”  It seemed to confirm that I really just needed some sleep, so I determined to go to bed. 

As I walked into the kitchen to get things ready to end the evening, I thought of something I had read earlier in the week for head cold congestion.  I found the article, and thought, why not? What have I to lose? 
It was for a steam bath using eucalyptus oil.  I just happened to have some pure essential eucalyptus oil, and I knew I had to try it.  I boiled some water on the stove, and added the essential eucalyptus oil to it.  The article said to put a towel over your head, and kind of “tent” your head over the steam, and just breathe in the steam for 10 minutes. 

I think I made it to about the three minute mark when my son walked into the kitchen.  As I turned away from the stove, he said to me, “Mom, are you dying?!” I guess I looked so bad with the water from the steam pouring off my face, and my red-rimmed eyes that he thought things couldn’t get much worse! 

I laughed, and told him, that no, I only feel like I’m dying, but I’m not.  Sorry! You can’t get rid of me this quick.  Ha.  I don’t think he felt any relief at my words. He stood close by and watched as I “tented” my head again and breathed in the hot steamy air. 

After I was done, I went to bed earlier than normal.  My daughter came in to say goodnight, and I still felt so bad, that I couldn’t even stand the light in the room, but had to talk to her in the dark because the pain was so intense.  After we finished our conversation, my head still felt like it was going to split wide open, and so I drifted off to sleep hoping for the best.

I woke up a couple of hours later, and sat up in bed, and I was amazed.  The pain in my head that had been there for several days was completely gone! The eye pressure was gone, and my head felt so much better.  I woke up this morning worried that it might have just been something that I dreamed in the night, but… my headache and head pressure were completely gone.  I still have a small remnant of the cold, but I felt like a new person this morning.  So once again, I am so thankful to the Lord for the little things that He can speak into our hearts, and help us, if we will only listen.

And then when we face the big battles, the nightmares, the fears, and the worries, if we have been “practicing” listening to the Lord in the quiet ways He speaks to us in the “little” situations in life, then we have learned a practical lesson in getting through this life when the big things come our way.  

I want to share the rest of Psalms 4 with you, and hope that it will bless you as it did me.  I got a restful night’s sleep because of it, and a healing for my cold in the process.  A small thing you may say… and yes, I agree.  It wasn’t anything to make headlines in the local newspaper for sure… but it was a healing that took place on a smaller level, that makes me believe, and know without a doubt… that all these medical issues facing our families and friends… are able to put into the Lord’s capable hands in just the same simple childlike way… trusting… believing, and carrying on until… the miracle comes! 

Psalms 4
Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: 
thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; 
have mercy upon me and hear my prayer.

Oh ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? 
How long will ye love vanity and seek after leasing? Selah.
But know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for himself: 

The Lord will hear when I call unto Him.
Stand in awe and sin not: 
Commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.

Offer the sacrifices of righteousness and put your trust in the Lord.
There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? 
Lord lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us.
Thou has put gladness in my heart, 
more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased.

I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: 
For thou Lord only makest me dwell in safety. 

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