Saturday, December 4, 2010

they shall know...

"Therefore, behold, I will this once cause them to know, I will cause them to know mine hand and my might; and they shall know that my name is The LORD." (Jeremiah 16:21)

There have been many times in my life that God has shown me His power. Many times that He has shown me exactly who He is, exactly what He can do and that His name is The LORD.  Many times that He has shown up in my deepest need and shown me His greatest grace.

This time last year, I had just brought my daughter, Melissa, home from the hospital. A week earlier, she had been diagnosed with P. Falciparum malaria and was admitted to ICU a very, very sick girl. She contracted this terrible disease while she was on a medical mission trip in Cameroon, Africa. While she was doing good. While she was serving the Lord.

During her illness and clinical trial treatment process, God kept His hand upon her daily.  There were many unknowns during this period of time. The doctors weren't sure of how she would respond to the experimental treatment. They weren't sure what the side effects would be. They weren't sure if she would suffer any long-lasting complications from the malaria. They weren't even certain that she would live.

God was so present in my life during this time. He was so real to me. His presence was so manifest in my life that I was astounded by it. There was a night when Melissa was in so much pain and so sick, I sat by her bedside holding her hand and singing to her. I prayed for God to reach down and touch her. And He did. She felt His hand stroking her head as she fell asleep that night. He showed up in that room that night and His mighty presence filled the room. His healing presence.

Many people have asked me if I ever wondered why God allowed her to get sick. Why didn't He just heal her immediately?

We don't always know the answers to our questions. God doesn't owe us any explanations. He doesn't have to defend His actions.

I know why Melissa was in ICU at precisely the time she was. I know why God placed me in that ICU waiting room at that particular time.

There was another woman in the waiting room with me during those few days. She was from south Louisiana and her 25 year old daughter was in ICU as well, with meningitis. We had spent several long days in the waiting room together, passing the time from one visiting hour to the next. We had spoken to each other briefly during this time, checking on each others daughters after each visit. After one visit with her daughter, she came back in the waiting room, visibly shaken. She was crying and I could tell that she needed some encouragement. I went over to where she was sitting and asked her if everything was alright. "No, it isn't", she said. She then proceeded to tell me that the doctors had just told her that her daughter had AIDS. And that she was in the end stages of the disease.

This precious woman had no idea that her daughter was battling this. This mother was hurting and she was scared. She was alone and she needed a friend. And I was there.

My husband and I prayed with her and talked with her for a while. She thanked us for being there for her during that difficult time and it was then that God showed me. He showed me that He is in all the details. He showed me that His grace is sufficient. He showed me that He places us just where we need to be for that moment. Just where He needs us to be.

If Melissa hadn't been sick, I wouldn't have met this amazing woman. If Melissa hadn't been in that particular hospital, I wouldn't have formed a bond with this woman and been able to minister to her at that time. For the next few days, we were two mothers concerned for their daughters. Two mothers, who most likely would never have crossed paths outside this hospital setting. Two mothers, sharing the pain that accompanies having a sick child. Two mothers from different places. Different circumstances. Different.

Two mothers sharing a deep love for their children. Two mothers desiring the healing Hand of God upon their offspring. Two mothers, able to say with confidence, that their daughters had a personal relationship with Jesus.

A few days later, I was able to take my child home. And although Melissa was in a weakened physical condition and still had many months of recovery ahead of her,  she was still home. And she was on the mend. God had reached down and ministered mightily to her body and was restoring her back to health.

My friend wasn't able to take her daughter home for several weeks. And even then, she wasn't in the process of recovering but she was in the process of dying. During the next few months, she and I kept in touch. I let her know every few weeks that I was praying for her and her daughter. I let her know that I cared and that I hadn't forgotten her or the hard times she was facing. In May of this year, her daughter breathed her last and went home to be with Jesus.

I know that this Christmas season will be especially hard for her. Her first one without her daughter. And God placed her on my heart once again. I let her know that I was praying for her still. I told her that I knew these next few weeks would be hard and that I would be lifting her up in prayer daily.  She thanked me for remembering her during this time. She let me know that God had been working in her life. He was becoming even more real to her and she was growing deeper in Him.

"I will cause them to know mine hand and my might; and they shall know that my name is The LORD"

Thank you, Jesus, for doing what only You can do. Thank you for working even when we don't see it or understand it. Thank you for your Mighty Hand and Power. Indeed, You are LORD!


Peggy Arteberry said...

I am breathless with tears. thank you for this. We need to not forget those in need..and to remember, Christmas is a very sad time for a lot of people. I pray too, that God blesses this family that lost their daughter in May. May he wrap his loving, comforting arms around them. At the same time, I thank God for allowing you to be there for her. Yes, God is in all the details. Praise His Name!

Sassy Granny ... said...

Oh that our foresight could be as wizened as is our hindsight! Faith would have a greater luster, I think.

I love hearing about how God has made Himself known. It is rarely in the profound, and often in the simple gestures of day-to-day life. Either way, miraculous!


Mariel said...

praise God for how He reveals Himself! Praying for your family!

nita said...

thank you for sharing this, god does indeed work in mysterious ways his wonders to perform. God Bless you and your family - Nita

Nana Jul said...

I find it incredible...that even in the midst of your fears and your own battle, you were able to minister grace and love to another hurting Mom - That is so God! And things like this are those "treasure's in the darkness, riches stored in secret places"
He goes to such great length's to show us His love!
Thank you for sharing your story! It's a great encouragement!

Lynda Young said...

So much happens we are unaware of, but God knows. In this case you were given the grace to see and recognise the reason. You've touched more than one woman's life, but everyone who reads this blog.


Stacey Dawn said...

So hard to believe it's been a year already. So thankful God healed Melissa and allowed you to minister to your new friend... praying for her as she goes through this season...

Anonymous said...

Oh, we just never know, Beth. God knows all and when we are obedient to His call, we are in His given moment for His use and for His glory. What a wonderful reminder, Beth, and verses to keep in our hearts.
loving you, ~ linda

NanaNor's said...

My dear dear friend, What an incredible testimony on God's healing-one way or the other. What a light you and your man are, continually, pointing others to Jesus. I well remember praying for your daughter. We may never know the whys of some situations but we know He who is in control. Blessings and much love to you today.

Nancy said...

What a beautiful story of God's amazing love and how He knows just how to arrange situations.

Thank you so much for your prayers. They help more than you will ever know.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Beth... as I read this I can't help but think of that season in your life and how the lessons learned there have now become the lessons I'm learning as well. I don't need to understand the "why" behind my cancer diagnosis. I just know that every two weeks, I get the privilege of sitting next to some of God's hurting creation so that I might interject his light and witness into the darkness. This has become my mission field, if only for a season, and I feel so blessed to be entrusted with so much.

I hope and pray that Melissa is feeling herself again; we all have much to be thankful for in this season.