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

“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

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Happy Valentine’s Day

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See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God;
and so we are. 
The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 1 John 3:1

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Wash your hands! And one more surgery

Wow, I just noticed we haven’t posted on this blog in over a month! How time flies when you’re having fun. Below is just a quick thanks to everyone and what is next in our journey with Reese. But first a recent picture of our adorable little girl right when she woke up from a nap. Her smile is infectious!

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Is it that time of year or what? It seems like everyone is sick. My work looked like a ghost town a few weeks ago as everyone kept passing the same bug around. Also, for a few weeks, the flu was in a full blown outbreak and the ER waiting rooms looked like the line for Splash Mountain. All of this will make parents of medically fragile children sit on the edge of their seats. We worry about every sniffle, every warm forehead, and every single cough. We can’t stress enough how important it is to wash your hands and not come around Reese if you don’t feel well. Thankfully, everyone we know understands this and has been just as diligent as we parents are. Thank you to those who have told us they’re staying away because they’re sick or to not bring Reese to visit them. We understand and are so very grateful when someone tells us this. Thank you everyone for your help!

Now this week we have one last surgery for Reese. She has severe sleep apnea which causes all kinds of issues that she doesn’t need. The only way to remedy this for small children is to have her tonsils and adenoids removed. This surgery is scheduled for this coming Friday afternoon. Usually it’s an outpatient procedure for most children but our Princess Reese always likes to be different. Her doctor expects her to stay overnight in the hospital for one or two nights at the most. The surgery was delayed a few weeks because the surgeon wanted to consult with her other doctors and surgeons since Reese has specific medical issues that need to be adressed before they can proceed.This will of course not be as stressful as the open heart surgery. We’re still apprehensive as always but we haven’t been on pins and needles this time. Once your daughter has had her chest opened up and her heart stopped, all other surgeries seem minor. Yet we do realize that nothing is minor with Reese and we will always be in prayer for her. We ask for your prayers as we make another trip to Kosair Children’s Hospital. We pray for God’s understanding and comfort. We pray our little girl heals from this as quickly as she did her heart surgery. We are so very thankful everyone’s support and prayers!

 Romans 8:35-39

 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: 

 For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 

 No in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Jesus Christ our Lord.

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