Vince was born 7 years ago. Since then, a series of crazy events has swept through our lives. I have never had to learn to handle and understand this many machines: breathing machine, breast pump, suction machine, Pulse Oximeter, stomach tube, Ambu-balloon, stethoscope, oxygen tank, inhaler, coughing machine, humidifier, breathing monitor.
I knew it was going to be difficult, because Vince’s illness, Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita, was diagnosed when I was 25 weeks pregnant. But I didn’t expect to be facing death day after day instead of life. Because in fact, as I look back now, I died a little bit every day. Last year at Vince’s birthday I couldn’t stop crying. All the memories came rushing back, and I just wept. I called my soul mate and asked to pray together, because I couldn’t fight these images from the past. After praying I had great peace coming over me!
At this year’s birthday the choking feelings of the past started returning again, but something happened. The men of the house were still asleep, I was getting ready to decorate the place when Vince woke up. The memories started to reappear. I stopped in front of the window. I looked out at the frosty morning, and through the window I heard a bird chirping. The kind of bird song you hear when spring is already here. God planted hopeful spring sunshine into my heart.
I thought about this. How fragile are we really! In one moment it is death, the torturing depth, in the next it is life, hopeful sunshine that moves into our heart! Could this be salvation? Could it be decided in the fracture of a moment where we are heading? Yes, I believe this is what God calls us for! He gives us redeeming life in the fracture of a moment, we just need to turn to Him. I am certain He is always behind us; we just have to look at Him!
Thousands of years have passed, and people still experience today what they did so many years ago. This morning I opened the Bible at the Book of Habakkuk, and I was amazed at seeing that only three lines separate the feeling of hopelessness and death from redemption, the life-giving force:
“…decay crept into my bones, and my legs trembled. Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity…” “The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.”
Of course the situation was different, because Babylon had captured Judah, and there are different events that go on in a war than at a birth. But the feelings are the same! The battle for life is the same! Only the costumes and the backdrop differ. But the fight in our soul is the same! Of course we don’t need to go all the way to a childbirth to experience the emotions. It’s enough to go back to the flue I’ve just had. I felt the pain in my bones during the long-lasting fever. Truly, only the stage set changes. The feeling of facing death is the same! However, it matters whether we deploy the weapon of faith, or we let self-pity and physical pain take over. This time I only had enough strength to ask my soul mate to pray for me and Vince, because I was already sick, and he started getting the flu as well.
“Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among
you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.” James 5:13-14
Our souls are fragile! We are on the side of life or death in a situation in the fracture of a moment. God always lends a helping hand; we just have to remember to turn to Him! And when I don’t even have the power to turn to Him, I can ask others to pray for me. I have such strong faith that others’ prayers help, that half an hour after my prayer request text messages I could already see Vince was past the worst, and I was overwhelmed with great peace.
“Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security.”
Lord, I am so thankful for You offering a solution for every difficult situation and telling us the how to! Thank You for giving us a user manual! When we are in trouble, or when we have joy in our lives, we can just open it up and find the answer!