Tuesday, June 8, 2010

One Moment Leads to Another....

For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 NLT

It was the end of a long day. Andrew had relapsed 2 ½ months after his first episode of metabolic distress. It had been building for a few weeks but nothing we did made a difference. Then he “crashed” and ended up in an accidental, drug-induced coma from the massive amounts of medicine pumped into his little body to stabilize it. The 6 days he was out included the day of his fourth birthday. But now he had come to, was out of the PICU and we were finally in our own room upstairs. It was a joyous day, even though tiring.

That night I turned to the end of our bible story book for our bedtime story. I read about heaven and how perfect it would be; that there was no pain, no tears, no sickness or disease; that we would live forever in God’s presence and how wonderful that would be. As I glanced up from the book, I suddenly realized Andrew was starting to cry. Instantly alert, I asked what was wrong. His tears turned to sobs as he struggled to speak, “I can’t go there.” I didn’t understand. Finally, he managed to explain, “Heaven, it’s perfect there. I can‘t go there. I’m not perfect,” before he started sobbing once again.

It broke my heart to see his pain, but it let me know he was ready for the beautiful gospel message of grace. I explained that he was right and could not get to heaven on his own. Heaven was perfect because God lived there and he was perfect. People were born wanting to do things their own way instead of God’s perfect way, so no one, none of us could ever be perfect. No one qualified to go there. But God loved us so much and he wanted us there with him. So he made a way for us to come. He sent his own son, Jesus, to live on earth and die to pay the price for all our wrongs, for wanting our own way, and took away all the sickness, and all the pain. Since Jesus was God, and even more powerful than death, he came back to life and now is in heaven waiting for us to join him. If we will just tell Jesus that we are sorry for our sins, and ask him to forgive us, the Holy Spirit will come live in us. He’ll help us live God’s way, a better way, instead of our own way. Then, when we die, we’ll go live in heaven with God and Jesus forever.

My perfectionist son, who was always aware of not measuring up, soaked up the good news like a sponge. When I asked him if he wanted to pray, to ask Jesus to forgive him and live in his heart so he could live God’s way and one day go to heaven, he eagerly said yes. That night he became a child of God. What an amazing moment in time!

The various effects of that decision were plentiful. The peace it brought was especially clear at another moment in time…

Fast forward 5 ½ months. Andrew was again in the buildup stage of another metabolic crash. The random jerking episodes had again become constant, but this time on his right side. After almost 2 months of this, the movements had moved into his throat and stomach and eventually into most of his body. After returning to the hospital for several more tests and unsuccessful treatments, it was decided to try a controlled drug induced coma. Maybe by slowing his entire body down to a state of complete rest, his body would recharge and things would stabilize like before. There were no guarantees but we were running out of options.

I could not be present when the medical team intubated Andrew and started the coma. I was scared. I had no idea what would happen. But Andrew was picking up on my fear so I had to pull myself together before I left his side. I hugged him close and held his hands. I looked into his beautiful brown eyes and reminded him one more time, “Remember who loves you?”

He could no longer talk by this point but he mouthed the words, “Mommy.”
“Who else?”
“Daddy”
“Who else?”
“Jesus” and with that I said goodbye.

Andrew never came out of the coma. That was our final conversation. But, oh such a gift!

You see, that moment, when Andrew surrendered his life to God almost 6 months prior, gave both of us the grace to handle the goodbye. It hurt. I was sad. But I could stay in peace because I knew the separation was temporary. We cared for Andrew for almost 9 more months before he died. But even when that happened, in some ways it was just like Andrew went off to college early! The security of our personal relationships with God kept me then and even now keeps me at peace. It’s only a matter of time until we are together again.

The Bible describes the peace of knowing God personally as a peace that passes understanding. It is a peace that doesn’t seem to make sense because even when your world is collapsing around you, you still feel it. It’s not dependent on this world or anything in it. It’s dependent solely on a God who loves you and will never leave you. Do you have that peace? You can. In this one moment in time, you can simply say yes to God’s great love and forever have the peace that will get you through every moment that is yet to come. If you’d like that peace, to have God forever in your life, then pray the simple prayer below. And then tell someone! I’d love for you to send me a comment so I can get you some more information. And I want to celebrate with you! Know all of heaven is rejoicing with you too– including my Andrew!

I can’t wait to hear from you!

Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
Romans 6:23a "...The wages of sin is death..."
Romans 6:23b "...But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Romans 5:8, "God demonstrates His own love for us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us!"
Romans 10:13 "Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved!"
Romans 10:9,10 "...If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation."

Jesus, I need your peace. I have been doing things my own way long enough. I want to know you and your love. God, please forgive me for every wrong thing I’ve done, including the choice to simply live my own way, as if I were in charge instead of you. Jesus, thank you for paying the price for my sins, and for offering me a way to be in relationship with you. Holy Spirit, come into my life and help me live for you instead of myself. Thank you for taking my place, for being in my life, and for the chance to one day live forever with you in heaven. In Jesus name, Amen.

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