Praise God, we remembered to give Abby a Zofran before her chemo dose last night at bedtime and she slept the whole night without incident.
As I was praying this morning, God drew me to Luke 18, which is the story of the persistent widow. It speaks loudly to me today--I like the New Living translation version, but the parenthetical asides below are from the New American Standard for clarity.
One day Jesus told his disciples a story to illustrate their need for constant prayer and to show them that they must never give up ("not lose heart"). "There was a judge in a certain city," he said, "who was a godless man with great contempt for everyone. A widow of that city came to him repeatedly, appealing for justice against someone who had harmed her. The judge ignored her for a while, but eventually she wore him out. 'I fear neither God nor man,' he said to himself, 'but this woman is driving me crazy. I'm going to see that she gets justice, because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!'" Then the Lord said, "Learn a lesson from this evil judge. Even he rendered a just decision in the end, so don't you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who plead with him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? ("will he delay long over them?") I tell you, he will grant justice to them quickly! But when I, the Son of Man, return, how many will I find who have faith?
Two things strike me about this passage--the first is that we should not lose heart, we should continue to pray constantly. Unlike the judge, we will not wear God out, nor exasperate him with our constant asking. That's not the point here, like many other passages in the Bible this is a contrast showing two extremes--the evil judge against a perfect God. Secondly, Jesus asks us when he returns, how many will he find that have faith? I hope and pray that our (including our kids!) experience with Abby will not be one that shatters and crushes our faith, but would strengthen and bolster our faith, that we may be found faithful at His return. Indeed, if we can point the way for others to find faith in God in all His awesome power, majesty, and infinite love, what an honor and privilege!
Any of you who have read our story over the past year know that we have innumerable examples of God's hand in our experience, from the staggering to the simple. Like every single time Abby came out of surgery (brain surgery, mind you) we would hear her doctors say "that's amazing. Most kids don't do this well." We've had doctors come to visit Abby in the hospital, and been stunned because she's not there, she was discharged. We got through a bone marrow transplant with so few complications. The list goes on. God has been present for us. God does not change. Therefore, He will continue to be there for us.
Even now we are seeing people "come out of the woodwork" so to speak, telling us we are "strong", or they can't believe our faith. I can't stress enough that we don't do this because we can, we are doing it because God is working through us, strengthening us on a day by day (sometimes minute by minute) basis. And though some may disagree, there's nothing "special" about us, God's blessings, strength, and support are there for anyone for the asking.
So here's to another day, a gift from Him, may we use it in a way that pleases Him.
Yes, indeed the Oldham family is special. You are special because even in the face of great adversity, you allow God to work through you. You give yourself a vessel for His glorious work. God is faithful. Melinda Isaacs
by Melinda Isaacs on 08/11/05
Abby's daddy stated in his post that "God does not change. Therefore, He will continue to be there for us." As I was driving to lunch today, this song came on the radio. It really reiterates C.R.'s observation: 1. Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father; There is no shadow of turning with Thee. Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not; As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be. Refrain: Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies I see; All I have needed Thy hand hath provided Great is Thy Faithfulness, Lord unto me. 2. Summer and winter and spring-time and harvest, Sun, moon and stars in their courses above join with all nature in manifold witness To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love. Refrain 3. Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth, Thy own dear presence to cheer and to guide, Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow, Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside! Because of their relationship with Jesus, this family has hope not only for tomorrow, but for all eternity with a God who is faithful, merciful and loving. This side of heaven's gate, we will never fully understand His reasons for allowing trials in our lives. All He asks us to do is to trust in Him and He will see us through.
by S Lingo on 08/12/05