Friday, July 18, 2014

In His Presence

It has been almost two years since Timothy's Traumatic Brain Injury that almost took him from us.  According to one ER doctor, about 15 more minutes and it would have been too late. There were many days following his accident that seemed like a blur.  Then there were days so clear, it seems as if it were yesterday.  One day in particular will always stand out to me as one those moments, if we lived in Old Testament times, where I would build an altar to the Lord as a permanent reminder of what He has done.

It was early in the morning on the Saturday after Timothy's accident.  By this time, I was very tired from so many sleep deprived nights and days full of activity.  My day began at 4:15 a.m. with the sound of coughing and then Timothy's voice saying, "Well that makes my nose feel better."  He pulled out the feeding tube that had been placed in his nose.  Since he was still unable to eat on his own, it would need to be replaced.  No child would enjoy having a tube placed in their nose down to their stomach.  With Timothy's autism, it made it even more difficult.   I've been with Timothy in the hospital more times than I count, so I knew the long day we were facing.  Attempts were made to replace the tube only to find out through an x-ray that it went down his airway instead of his esophagus. After several tries, it was decided he would need to have his IV replaced so they could give him sedation medication.  This was also a very difficult task.  Timothy has had many, many IV's and it usually takes 3-4 attempts to get one placed properly.  By attempts I mean him screaming and rocking violently while several nurses try to hold him down.  On this same day, I was supposed to go home see my other children and pack my bags for our trip to a children's rehab hospital in Atlanta.  I was trying to go home after they placed the IV and inserted the feeding tube.  My sister and husband finally assured me that they would wait with Timothy so I could go home.  Not too long after I left, they came and put in his IV.  I hadn't been home long when I received a call saying that while they were trying to give him the medication, his IV site blew.  This meant we would have to start all over again.  We were into the afternoon by now of this very long day.  I made the decision to stop packing and immediately return to the hospital.  It was very difficult to think of Timothy struggling and I wasn't there to comfort him.  Throughout the day, a sadness seemed to overtake me.  I spent a lot of that day crying.  I was mad at myself for being overtaken by sadness when I had seen the Lord work so miraculously for the past week.  On my way back to the hospital, I was crying out to the Lord, begging Him to take this sadness from me.  To this day, it would be very easy to convince me that I audibly heard the voice of the Lord.  He reminded me that although this day had been very difficult, it could have been much worse.  Since it was the Saturday following his accident, it could have been the day we buried our son.   I immediately felt the weight of sadness leave me and it was replaced with peace in the presence of the Lord.  When I returned to the hospital it wasn't all rainbows and butterflies.  The difficulties Timothy faced before that moment were still there.  The difference was being in His presence.  I learned that day, how powerful the presence of the Lord can be, if only we'll go to Him.  That doesn't necessarily mean that all problems we face disappear.  It means all we need to face those trials are found in Him.  I love the passage in John 15:4-5 that says, "Abide in Me, and I in you.  As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.  I am the vine, you are the branches.  He who abides in Me and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing."   Oh how true those words are!  On my own strength, the day before me seemed too much.  Abiding in Him, all the strength and peace I needed was available to me.  I learned to crave the presence of the Lord.  In His presence, I find everything I need.  Sometimes the victory comes in being rescued from trials.  While other times, the victory comes in being rescued through them.

My heart is heavy today for many people I know, but there are a few that stand out.  I have one friend courageously battling cancer who has used her diagnosis as a way to be the hands and feet of the Lord to others in the same battle. I also have a friend grieving today as the one year marker for the unexpected passing of her husband.  Another friend whose husband went into organ failure and is now on the long road to recovery following a liver transplant.  As well as a friend whose newborn grandson, that has been in the hospital since birth, is facing a surgery today.  There are days when it seems as if the weight of this world is too heavy.  While I would love to say or do something to ease their burden, I know that I can't.  So, I go before the One who can.  The One whose presence is able to supply all of our needs.  The One who gives us the strength to face this world and the hope of knowing the trials of this world are temporary.  I'm praying for the presence of the Lord to be with those struggling and hurting today.  That His presence would be so real, they feel as if they could reach out and touch Him.  "The Lord is near the brokenhearted;
He saves those crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18