Consider Pure Joy

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. James 1: 2-3

Reflections from the ICU at 2am

on February 16, 2013

“It is not that God’s help and presence must still be proved in our life; rather God’s presence and help have been demonstrated for us in the life of Jesus Christ. It is in fact more important for us to know what God did to Israel, in God’s Son Jesus Christ, than to discover what God intends for us today. The fact that Jesus Christ died is more important than the fact that I will die. And the fact that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead is the sole ground of my hope that I, too, will be raised on the day of judgment” - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“The question of why evil exists is not a theological question, for it assumes that it is possible to go behind the existence forced upon us as sinners. If we could answer it then we would not be sinners. We could make something else responsible…The theological question does not arise about the origin of evil but about the real overcoming of evil on the Cross; it ask for the forgiveness of guilt, for the reconciliation of the fallen world “Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Above are two of my favorite quotes from the famous Christian theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I’m currently reading the amazing biography “Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy” by Eric Metaxas.  Bonhoeffer’s life is absolutely fascinating and his last days on this earth at the end of Nazi Germany are legendary chapters in WWII history. This book has got me thinking and reflecting…..

Today Reese had her tonsils and adnoids removed. Everything went great! Because of her medical issues, they’re keeping her under observation in the ICU for at least tonight. Staying tomorrow night is still currently up for debate and it will be decided in the morning with the doctors. I’m pulling the night shift tonight and it’s currently 2am. As I sit here reading the biography on Bonhoeffer, I couldn’t help but reflect the evil of this world that he confronted and all of us confront everyday. On each side of my daughter are two children that are less than 6 months old. One has a trach tube in her neck. The other is hooked up to more machines than I ever thought possible. In fact, the amount of machines is almost overwhelming to even look at. Every bed in this ICU is full and it stays like that constantly.

Anyone can walk into this ICU and ask God why? Even a strong believer in Christ could ask why. It’s THE question so many believers and non-believers have. Why is there suffering in this world. Why has God allowed it? The fall of this world began in Genisus Chapter 3. Sin entered this world and has consumed it. God has allowed it for reasons we don’t always understand. The one reason we do understand is Jesus. God showed us his glory by sending his only son to die on the cross for us. His ultimate grace lies in his son. Whoever should believe in him shall have eternal life.

Tomorrow or the next day my daughter will go home. Her scars will heal like they always do. She will go back to her therapies, her play time, and her yummy food. She will get many kisses from everyone and her smile will light up every room. Her future is unknown but the odds are, she will be back at this hospital again someday. We all at some point cry out why and God hears those cries. He sent his child to take our place on the cross. The evil of this world can be washed away by the blood of Christ. Do you know Jesus? Have you confessed your sins to him and and asked for forgiveness? Do you want to someday leave this evil world and live for eternity in heaven? Right now I’m surrounded by good and evil, life and death. God’s grace and love is what gets me through these times. I could focus on the evil and let it consume me or I can focus on Jesus. He really is the answer.

After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:

“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. - John 17: 1-3


6 responses to “Reflections from the ICU at 2am

  1. Becky Frazier Caudill says:

    Just beautiful. God bless you and your precious Reece.

    • Michelle Samples says:

      AMAZING, you and Elizabeth are truly blessed to have little Reese in your life but she is also blessed to have you for parents. Your family is such an inspiration to me and everytime I see pictures on facebook of her beautiful little face and sweet smile it makes my day perfect. Thank You

  2. Pamela Pridemore says:

    Very insightful… How wonderful to hear this from someone who is going through trials, but maintains faith… May God’s grace, mercy, and joy continue to be in your family. Thanks for writing this.

  3. kim1mac@yahoo.com says:

    Beautiful words from an awesome dad. She is a blessed little girl. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Judy Sparrow says:

    Reese gives all of us a real reason for getting up each day She is my strenght right now when I am scared to wake up Love to my lovies

  5. Judy Sparrow says:

    Easter was great as always just perfect for all and the family continues to grow. God bless you everyone. remember this Easter to be the best ever I know I will Thank God for Reese.

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