Recently I was driving through down-town Nashville pretty angry with God. Yahweh had let me down. He hadn’t answered the prayers lifted to him by my wife, myself, and so many others. He had failed us. Yes, we have seen God’s hand move since Jesher’s birth. And yes, our son is still alive which is a testament to Yahweh’s sustaining power, but we shouldn’t even be here. We shouldn’t be driving to a hospital preparing ourselves to once again be as positive as we can in the face of such disappointment. If God really cared, why are we even having to pray concerning our micro-preemie’s stability and health? Why are we having to fight off doubts concerning developmental challenges, long-term impairments, or acute disorders? And if His Biblical promises didn’t work before, how can we expect them to work now?
These questions–and many others–flooded my heart as I pulled up to the Charlotte Avenue and 21st Street intersection. I put on my left blinker. With every tic of the signal, I grew more and more angry. I ripped the steering wheel to the left, not caring what on-coming traffic might be approaching. Death didn’t seem to bad. But before I died, God would need to face me. Yahweh would need to explain how he could be so cruel. He needed to prove why He should still be called a good, good Father. For I now know what it means to be a father, and Yahweh had not been for me what I desperately want to be for Jesher. He had not been Abba for Lhorraine and I.
My vehicle roared up the avenue like a bullet aimed at the heart of God. But just as soon as I had accelerated, I was brought to a screeching halt by construction ahead. As I slammed on my breaks to keep my anger from hitting the care in front of me, I looked to my left and saw this building dawning this beautiful image, “Nothing shall be impossible” [pictured above]. I believe I noticed it due to the baby in the poster: I too can wrap both of my hands around my son’s entire frame. And like a mighty wave energized by a brooding storm, Yahweh flooded my vehicle. A revelation splashed on my face with the force of a hurricane: I was the baby in the picture! I was the helpless human that was being covered by loving hands–hands that cover my entire frame. And with God, “nothing shall be impossible.”
I was so arrested by the image draped over the face of this building that I missed my cue to move forward and was startled by the honks of agitated commuters behind me. No, God didn’t answer my questions, but he did give me what I was actually in need of, and he did it all in one well-placed poster. I needed to know that Yahweh was near, and I needed to feel that He cared. I needed to know that His hands are big enough to carry Lhorraine, Jesher, and myself at the same time.
Here is Jesher’s current medical report:
LUNGS–Jesher’s lungs are not improving at the rate we are needing them to improve. The longer he is on the ventilator, the more at risk he is for permanent damage to set in. So the doctor’s have tried weaning him off of the machine’s aid to encourage proper lung development. Unfortunately, they had to increase Jesher’s lung support last night. PLEASE PRAY AGAINST ANY SPIRITUAL OR NATURAL INHIBITOR TO JESHER’S BREATHING TO BE DEFEATED IN THE NAME OF JESUS.
BILIRUBIN–Jesher’s bilirubin levels spiked on last night. The doctors did expect his levels to rise, but they did not expect them to jump 4 points over night. Their hunch is that Jesher’s liver and gallbladder are not working together as they should (due to immaturity or physiological disorder). We need the bilirubin levels to fall today so that Jesher’s already sensitive brain is not damaged by bilirubin deposits. PLEASE PRAY FOR JESHER’S LIVER AND GALLBLADDER TO BE ACTIVATED AND FOR THE BILIRUBIN LEVELS TO BE ERADICATED.
BLOOD–Jesher’s blood platelet levels fell again. This means he is not yet producing adequate blood on his own. Platelets partner with proteins released by the liver to create appropriate clotting of blood. Jesher needs his platelet levels to increase in order for him to stabilize his immune defenses and his bilirubin levels. PLEASE PRAY FOR A SUPERNATURAL ACTIVATION OF JESHER’S PLATELET PROCESSES; PRAY THAT THE BLOOD OF JESUS WOULD HEAL JESHER’S BLOOD.
HEART MURMUR–Jesher has a heart murmur that is concerning the doctors. This murmur could be caused by PDA [Patent Ductus Arteriosus], and if so, we need this hole in his heart to close. However, he is going in for a scan today to see if there is anything else causing his heart to make sounds in between beats. PLEASE PRAY FOR JESHER’S PDA TO RESOLVE ITSELF WITHOUT A NEED FOR SURGERY, AND PRAY THAT GOD WOULD RAISE UP A STANDARD AGAINST ANY OTHER HEART DEFECTS.
Whenever I get a little low, I return to the intersection of Charlotte Avenue and 21st Street. I make the left turn, and pray that the light is red at the next intersection. Now, I want to stop. I want to revisit the moment when God encouraged me. I want to stare at the baby who is completely covered by loving hands. I want to pause long enough for the wave of compassion to rush over me. I want to hear the disgruntled commuters honk at me when I’ve taken too long. And I want God to hold my family like that.
“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. The righteous person faces many troubles, but the LORD comes to the rescue each time.” Psalms 34:18-19