Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Not shaken

I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand I shall not be shaken. - Psalm 16:8
Six months is not that long. But the six months separating us from one of our darkest days seems like an eternity.

Maybe it's because we don't remember much that happened before August 3 last year. We talked the other day about how when we recall events these days, we talk of them in terms of whether they happened B.C. (Before Copperhead) or A.D. (After its Death).

Or maybe its because we're desperate to put it behind us.

Thankfully, Levi already has. He's quick to show us his "snake finger" when it's time for physical therapy. He knows where he was bitten, and he knows he got his stuffed lion "Roardie" from the hospital. He still guards his hand instinctively when we drive near any of his doctor's offices or the hospital. But when pushed for more information, he doesn't seem to remember anything else about that awful day, about the pain or the panic. I take a lot of comfort in that.

Today, all he has is an ugly fang scar on his index finger to show for the whole ordeal. His physical therapist (now a dearer friend than she ever was) says his healing and mobility look great. In summary: he's fine.

August 2014

I still get upset when I think too much about all that he went through. I still get mad and play the "what if" game when I think about that stupid snake and the moments leading up to the bite. I still cry when I look at the pictures.

I've thought a lot lately about the passage in John 9 where Jesus' disciples question him about a man born blind.

"Who sinned," these followers and close friends of Jesus asked him, "this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"

Jesus answer is perfect, as always. "It was not that this man sinned, or his parents," he explains, "but that the works of God might be displayed in him." (John 9:2-3)

I'm not going to claim to be any sort of expert on why bad stuff happens. Theologians more learned than myself have debated and studied that for years. I'll leave it to them to explain.

What I know is this. Levi's injury was no accident. I don't blame God for causing it, and I don't curse God for not preventing it.

But God, in His sovereignty, certainly used it "that the works of God might be displayed in him." We saw healing miracles. We saw the power of prayer. We felt the comfort of the Holy Spirit. We felt the body of Christ holding us up by prayers and petitions and presence.

When we first arrived in the PICU on that awful night, we were assigned a nurse who hummed familiar hymns as she worked on our son. She gave us hope without speaking a word.

...the works of God displayed.

Later she got a smile out of Levi. It was the middle of the night, and he was in tremendous pain. And yet, for a moment, he smiled. And there was that hope, bubbling up to the surface again.

...the works of God displayed.

Our church family, our friends, people literally around the world prayed for healing. Some heard the gospel for the first time.

...the works of God displayed.

Do I wish it had never happened? Of course. Of course I wish my son had never had to suffer like that. But when all the control is stripped from you and you fear for the worst, you have to lean on something. We leaned on our Savior. We leaned into the One who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us. And I wouldn't trade those moments for anything.
Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare. - Psalm 40:5

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