Do I start with a Chase status report, or reflect on this whole thing? I guess first things first: Chase.
And I’ll start with a picture of the little guy and my dear sister Andrea, his mother. The baby is Kristin, my niece, daughter of my brother Eric and his wife Amy. Kristin was a newborn then and is 16 months now. Chase turned 5 in July.
He’s doing good. In some ways better than my sister in my opinion. He’s still unconscious, but he’s breathing on his own and responding to stimulation. He tracks the light they shine in his eyes and he’s blinked briefly a number of times. He might be a ways off from loading the Spider-Man and Sponge-Bob PEZ dispensers I bought him today at Meijers, but he’ll get there.
My sister wasn’t handling things very well this afternoon. I can’t imagine being in her shoes, having the image of her baby–blue and not breathing–burned in the back of her retina. She says that is what she sees whenever she wakes up from whatever sleep she manages to catch. She’s simply terrified of the unknown, the future.
And my heart just goes out to her. Not that we aren’t ALL struggling greatly with this situation, but the fear of losing Chase–or Chase as we know him–is written all over her. Thankfully, the Lord helped me confront that fear straight on from Day 1 when I told it what I thought.
You see, I’m at such a differently place in my faith and walk right now than I was say 4-6 months ago. Then, I probably would be dealing with this whole thing much like my sister and the rest of my family are: with a lot of fear. Though optimism and peace were much more present today than yesterday, fear and uncertainty understandably lurked.
But the Bible says perfect love drives out fear (1 John 4:18). So I flooded my mind with the Word and promises of God first thing on the drive home from Virginia–because God is love and he’s perfect and perfect love drives out fear. I feel I can honestly say I understand Philippians 4:6-7 for the first time in my life.
NIV: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard you hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
I really like the Message version as well: Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
That is exactly what I am experiencing now. I am undeniably CONFIDENT God will stick to his promise in Romans 8:28 in this situation. I haven’t prayed out of fear of what could happen to Chase, but rather in confidence in the positive outcome God will bring about in his life. I KNOW that God will bring about a greater good in this situation and that years from know we’ll look back upon this experience as a landmark in the expansion of Maust family kingdom-building.
Lastly, I’ll close with a passage from Isaiah 55–a chapter that has been powerful to me as I’ve dealt with some stuff the past few months:
“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my Word that goes out from my mouth. It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
Amen; so be it.