Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Hope

Not much to report--rough early morning resulting in another procedure to clear lungs. When we saw him he was pretty tired though resting peacefully. We did get a few eye openings & that’s been about the case the remainder of the day.

Again, I have to say that they are taking such wonderful care of him. Everyone at the hospital has been great to him & working hard to address our concerns too. One nurse in particular has really befriended Brian. She said she really likes working with him--he's fun & she enjoys the playful sarcasm. It is amazing how much Brian can communicate (when he's able & he wants to) simply with those eyes. The nurse that came on tonight & will be with him the next four days honestly was a Christmas gift, especially for my dad.

They have been giving him a spectrum of antibiotics for pneumonia & decided today to hold off on all of them to pinpoint a possible bacterium that might be hindering a move past pneumonia. They'll figure this out by most likely doing another lung clearing tomorrow & comparing what they find. The good news is that his right lung is looking pretty good & his white blood cell count is good.

I really feel like these "little" things that keep prolonging his stay in ICU are meant to prepare us all, including him, for the long road ahead. This is basically the way it will be for the next few months, quite possibly even more: A few minor steps of progress & then some frustrating setbacks or plateaus.

We had a wonderful Christmas dinner tonight, painstakingly & graciously prepared by my aunt. She & my uncle are taking such good care of all of us! Eli & her family also joined us. I think I’ve said it before but it merits saying again—she & her family bring such an air of uncomplicated love; a calm sense of genuine care wherever they go. They are absolutely wonderful people & we were so glad to have them join us. Wait till Brian finds out about the Christmas dinner he missed! And she did look quite cute in her dress… ;)

It would be amiss to not take this opportunity to share a testimony with you all. Going through this with Brian & knowing more about the road to recovery right now than he does really, really hurts. How do you get through a situation like this without hope & trust in a loving God? I just don’t think you can. There’s either hope or hopelessness. It’s a choice. We choose hope. Here’s why:

We know that God is good & we are provided for when we believe in Him.
Oh, taste and see that the LORD [is] good; Blessed [is] the man [who] trusts in Him (Psalm 34:8)!

Because He is good, we know that all He does for us is out of love.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).

Personally, John 3:17 speaks to me even more about that love.
For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

It’s like what little I’ve learned as a parent of a 16 month old. Sometimes love for my son requires me to make choices that are hard but that I know are necessary for him to learn & develop. If I give him what he wants when he wants it—what sort of life am I setting him up for?

Since God is good & He works in love through sending His Son, I believe in His Son.

As I believe in His Son, I learn that He provides all that I need.
And Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst (John 6:35).

I mean, He was born in a feeding trough for goodness sake. The imagery doesn’t get any more literal than that.

And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn (Luke 2:7).

These life provisions include Hope.

Behold, the eye of the LORD [is] on those who fear Him, On those who hope in His mercy, To deliver their soul from death, And to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waits for the LORD; He [is] our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in Him, Because we have trusted in His holy name. Let Your mercy, O LORD, be upon us, Just as we hope in You (Psalm 33:18-22).

It can be hard to trust in a God we can’t see but evidence of His goodness is everywhere.

Right now, in addition to the work He’s doing in Brian’s life, tangible proof of His existence, His goodness, & His love also comes in the impact he’s made on so many of you & the outpouring of all of your love, support, & prayers for us.

You all.
Your love, compassion, prayers, support, & willingness to believe for the sake of my brother is more proof that there is Hope.

[Let] love [be] without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. [Be] kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality (Romans 12:9-13).

So there you have it, I have hope in Brian's situation & God gives us reassurance when we seek Him fully.
And you will seek Me and find [Me], when you search for Me with all your heart (Jeremiah 29:13).

We thank you all so much for the Merry Christmas-es you've shared!

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