Sunday, August 31, 2008

Memorial Stones

Michael and I had been studying, prior to the Great Staph Adventure, different scriptural accounts of keeping track of the Lord's faithfulness. We had said that we want to be intentional in keeping a record -- keeping "memorial stones" (Joshua 4) -- of God's work in our lives. We discuss how it can sometimes be so easy to forget some of the ways God shows up, ways in which we have an encounter with Him. Before going into the hospital, we'd discussed some ways we could create tangible reminders of God's work in our lives.

When we came home from the hospital, I cut Michael's (purple) hospital ID bracelet off his arm. He said, "This is our memorial stone." Although our hospital experience isn't something I think we'll soon forget, I'm fearful that what we won't recall are all the little ways He made Himself so obvious to us while we were there.

I was reading Psalm 29 yesterday, and I was struck by David's call in the first two verses:

"Ascribe to the Lord, O mighty ones,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness."
Psalm 29:1-2

I thought, Where do I even start? And immediately, I felt that I needed to record examples of the Lord's strength and faithfulness during our time in the hospital.

Here are just a few of the ways we experienced the greatness of the Lord:
  • Timing: We had initially planned to be out of town during this time. A few things had been rearranged the week before, so our trip to the lake fell at the beginning of that week. Also, Michael's parents were in town; their beach trip had been moved from Thursday to Saturday, and then to Monday because of the hurricane. We had no worries about childcare, dog care, etc. the entire time we were with doctors or in the hospital. As a result, I was able to be with Michael the entire time he was in the hospital, including through the nights -- which was when he had some of his greatest needs.
  • Sufficiency: Nothing was more than we could bear. Michael's struggles were physical, and although he experienced tremendous physical pain, it was not more than he could bear. When further procedures were required, anesthesia became an option that we gladly took. My emotional struggles were also tremendous, but the Lord provided specific encouragement for me at exactly the right time. I received emails and phone calls that were perfectly timed, and visits from friends or family that were the exact provision I needed for that time. I also think of the energy the Lord provided for me in the middle of the night when Michael needed me to be present; the sleep I received was always just enough
  • Relevance of Scripture: I often didn't know where or what to read from scripture, but no matter what it was, the Lord spoke sweet words of comfort to both Michael and me. Sweet friends encouraged us with scripture as well, and the scripture was always the perfect Word for our hearts. Michael has said that hearing scripture was literal pain relief for him in times of extreme pain.
  • Protection: In spite of Michael's infection being infectious and untreated for almost a week, none of us have gotten sick. Also, I was protected from any other illnesses lurking around the hospital.
  • Peace: I don't handle being "out of control" very well. Obviously, going to the hospital was not on my to do list until sometime in October, and I was supposed to be the patient. I've spent so much time focusing on how to prepare for Nora's arrival, this kink in my plans would have typically brought me tremendous stress and unrest. At no time while I was in the hospital with Michael did I worry about the project in the master bathroom, the diapers not yet purchased, the rooms not yet organized. Even now, I'm able to rest in the knowledge that I never was in control... and that God is in charge of all of these little details anyway.

It's impossible to adequately "ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name", but even the attempt causes me to love Him and want to worship Him more. I'd challenge you to try to do the same.


Anonymous said...

A great way to start back into the week...recounting the victories found in Him! I have been refreshed. :D Good to talk with you Sunday evening for our "brief and surprising" conversation! Take Care! God Bless, Love, Ann

The Pink Potpourri said...

what a wonderful post to read. its such a blessing to hear how the Lord is working in your life, and how His perfect timing plays out! thanks for sharing those wonderful things about our Lord in our post!