Four years ago today, I climbed into the back of an ambulance. It wasn’t the first time; as an ER nurse at a regional center I have often transferred critical patients to the city.
But this time, that critical patient was my daughter.
Reminders of that season trickle to the surface as Facebook memories direct me back to that journey. I find myself carried along the stream of remembrance like a leaf sitting atop moving waters: The day it all began, the three months in hospital, the people we met, and all the prayers; the way a relentless virus plagued her lungs, the secret her body carried.
There are pieces of that journey I would rather forget; the gripping fear, the numbness of shock, the tearful questions, but, I can’t. For even in the darkest days, in my greatest pain and discomfort, God’s presence was near and his purposes were good.
“From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the Lord is to be praised” (Psalm 113:30).
Sustained the rough
Our journey of life will take us through rough patches, to say the least. We’ve persevered through the beginnings of a pandemic. We’ve experienced pain and hardship in relationships, finances, and illness. We know that in this world we will have troubles.
Every morning, we can count on the sun to rise and in the evening for it to set. There is a perpetual rhythm in the day. We know and trust that God is sustaining his created world, but also, that he is attending to everything that happens in between.
Elisabeth Elliot writes, “the deepest things that I have learned in my own life have come from the deepest suffering. And out of the deepest waters and the hottest fires have come the deepest things I know about God.” So we trust and believe that God is doing something in our suffering that we sometimes cannot explain, but hold to his promise, because “we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Rom 8:28).
How have you seen God sustain you in your rough times?
Believing his name
To know and believe that God is working for our good in all the in-between times of our day, encompassing both the deep, dark pain, and, joyful lightheartedness, we must have a high view of who God is. For he works, “so that all may know from the rising of the sun to its setting that there is no one but me. I am the Lord, and there is no other” (Isaiah 45:6, CSB).
There is no other.
As revealed in scripture, the God of all creation is not on standby. He is actively at work. He is the alpha, and the omega, he is the Almighty God, our refuge, and our fortress; the one whose grace is sufficient for us, the Shepherd who leads us and he is the prince of peace. When we hold tightly to what the word tell us about the one true God, we deepen our understanding of who he is, with greater faith at his work in our world.
What name of God has been teaching you more about who he is?
Glorifying God with praise
Seeing the evidence of God’s hand at work in all things, and learning the deep riches of who he reveals himself to be in the word, how can we not stop and praise him?
In the most frightening moments of my daughter’s illness, when I could only whisper to myself, “he is faithful, he is good,” he was glorified. Our praise to the Lord isn’t limited to the good times, it’s recalling truth of who he is and speaking it out, even when times are hard.
How can you give praise to God, even in your struggles?
The most difficult parts of my journey are usually the ones I don’t want to remember, but they are the moments where grace abounds; where my eyes learn to see God’s handiwork all around me, where I can grow deeper roots in trusting his name, and praise him even in groans and whispers.
He is the faithful one, from the rising of the sun to it’s setting and everything in between.
**[Read more about our transplant journey, in the Memoir of SCIDS series.]