Sometimes, you get to a low place where all you can do is hum a familiar tune. On this occasion, Lhorraine and I were there. We both sat in bed staring at the slightly opened closet door in front of us. My wife’s wet cheek rested against my shoulder as I turned my attention to my tablet’s screen. I had been nervously scrolling through my apps for about four minutes. I didn’t know what to do, and the moment was definitely not calling for conversation. I had opened my iPad to begin reading scripture, but repeatedly swiping from left-to-right and then right-to-left was as far as I had gotten. I didn’t want to read. I didn’t want to pray. I didn’t want to cry. I didn’t want to sit still. I wanted to scream. And just when my composure was about to erupt, my eye caught an app that I had forgotten about. I pressed the Music icon and opened my Hymnal App.
Hymns have an uncanny ability to calm the raging emotions of the soul. They contain antidepressant properties, void of any pharmaceutical side-effects. The chemistry between a hymn’s lyrics and its melody make for an inseparable union–a healing potion. And we needed the relief. So I kept crooning familiar hymns until one hymn stopped my humming…it was so apropos that it caused my heart to quicken and my breath to shorten. I couldn’t believe it. The second verse of this hymn was embarrassingly close to my situation:
“How sweet to hold a newborn baby,
And feel the pride and joy he gives.
But greater still the calm assurance,
This child can face uncertain days because He lives.”
Where did this stanza come from, and why hadn’t I noticed these lines before? I have often heard senior members reprimand song leaders for not singing all stanzas of a hymn; however, I never saw much merit in the argument…until now.
I had heard the 1971 Gaither-classic hundreds of times, but I had never noticed this second stanza. Honestly, I really only knew the chorus. “Because He Lives, I can face tomorrow…and life is worth the living just because He lives.” But on this stressful evening, the forgotten (and oftentimes disregarded) stanza of this hymn arrested my attention with brute force. My captivation was so complete that I missed the moment when Lhorraine drifted off to sleep. I turned to show her my newly discovered omen, but upon noticing her peaceful breathing, I could not bring myself to wake her. So I just remained still, basking in the encouraging glow of my smart screen.
Here is Jesher’s current medical report:
LIVER–Jesher is being tested for liver complications due to his inability to produce his own blood platelets. He did receive another blood transfusion to help him in the interim; however, doctors are wanting Jesher to graduate from needing periodic blood or platelet transfusions. To do this, Jesher’s liver needs to produce an enzyme that triggers the production of blood platelets. The test will let us know if the lack of platelets is being caused by a liver-development issue or being caused by the TPN fluids [Total parenteral nurtrition] given to help Jesher’s nutritional values (which is known to slow the enzyme production of the liver). PLEASE ASK YAHWEH TO STRENGTHEN JESHER’S LIVER SO THAT HE CAN RELEASE THE ENZYMES NEEDED FOR HEALTHY BLOOD PRODUCTION.
LUNGS–Jesher’s lungs are improving at an amazing rate. The improvement is so noticeable that the doctors are considering extubating him late this week or early next week. At that time, he will most likely be transitioned to a CPAP [Continuous Positive Airway Pressure] machine. Seeing Jesher relieved of his breathing tube would be amazing, but we don’t want this transition to happen before Jesher is ready (the last thing we want is for him to be extubated only to be intubated once again). PLEASE ASK THE LORD TO KNIT JESHER’S LUNGS TOGETHER WITH DIVINE PERFECTION, MAKING A WAY FOR JESHER TO BREATH WELL WITHOUT THE NEED FOR A VENTILATOR.
WEIGHT–Jesher is now 32 weeks and 3 days old [2lbs 7ounces / 15 inches long]. We are so excited to see Jesher making his way towards 33 weeks old! And we need him to receive a special gift for his 33rd week celebration–we need him to gain weight : ) PLEASE ASK GOD TO GROW JESHER LIKE HE GROWS THE TREES…ASK HIM TO BLESS JESHER WITH SOME HEALTHY BABY FAT!
I fell asleep with “Because He Lives” echoing in my mind. Specifically, I continued to hear the melody of the second stanza as if God was singing me a lullaby. As in times past, another hymn had soothed my discouragement and successfully resolved the inflammation of my emotions. I slept well that night–primarily due to the renewed assurance I found in the second stanza of hymn #526: “This child can face uncertain days because He lives.”
I claim this promise on behalf of our son (in the name of Jesus). Amen.
“And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” John 14:13-14
13 thoughts on “Hymn Therapy”
I praise God for bringing you through that moment. I am continually praying for the specific needs that Jesher has based on the medical report that you share. Thank you for sharing these difficult yet share-worthy, “blessing my heart” testimonies.
May God continue to bear you and Lhorraine up with his righteous right hand and provide abundantly for your needs. May He give you in many ways, reasons to smile and laugh everyday, despite the trials. Blessings.
Praying for the needs you outlined, and appreciate you sharing your roller-coaster of emotion and faith with us. Powerful application of that old Gaither song. Blessings to you both. Or rather, all three. Nick
To the Polite Family,
I continue to lift you up in prayers, with the all knowing authority that our Father hears every cry and will attend unto you needs.
This season will not be in vain, and one day you son will be reminded of the miracle of his life in such a time like this.
I will pause at this moment and lift up your “mighty warrior” in prayers.
Keep humming brother. The song , thoughts, and prayers continue indefinitely in the subconscious even when we don’t realize it. Sometimes the western church deliberately leaves verses out because of conviction. Example, “I Heard the Bells of Christmas Day”. My Dear Brother I am remembering to help sustain you and your family in prayer. As you eluded to in the beginning of your email sometimes we don’t feel like praying. Therefore your fellow believers should come up under each other, giving as if we were coming under a sway back mule to prop him up to lessen his pain. No response is necessary. I love you brother.
We love you, family! Keep trusting
My heart hurts with your’s and Lhorraine’s. Nevertheless, I know GOD knows, cares and hears all our prayers!
I know that verse well. I, too, had “skipped” over it until I had my experience with August. Such a comforting verse! I’m glad that it found you! Tell my boy Titi loves him!
Praying that Jesher will surprise the doctors with miraculous improvement. God has a way of showing us how much He cares when we least expect it, like the second verse of Because He Lives. I know He will continue to sustain you when you need it most. Praying for all 3 of you. May GOD continue to hold you in the palm of His hand.
My prayer is that Immeasurable grace, supreme guidance, boundless comfort, incomprehensible peace, infinite joy of the Trinity and all of the love that Heaven can muster in Jesus Christ bubble up, splash, spill over and flood your lives, then reverberate through that hospital and the extended reaches of this world.
Praying for our Jesher today and for the strength that you and Lhorraine must have to keep moving on in Hope and faith. Praying for courage knowing that God has promised to go before you. Interesting that when just a bit older than a newborn, as Gloria held her own son in her arms, contemplating the uncertain circumstances he was facing, she and Bill composed this song. I’d like to believe that now Jesher will be a visible, tangible example of the truth of those words. You see, he’s already a miracle and your daily posts well wow! Such an inspiration and reminder of light shining in darkness and hope even in the most difficult of times.
So today Lord, in Jesus name, I pray for a touch from you. Touch Jesher’s brain, liver , heart, lungs, pancreas, spleen, colon, blood, kidneys. As the week progresses, let his weight increase. We say hallelujah and thank you. By your power and in your will, in Jesus name. Amen.
First off I want to say hello. I read your updates often and I pray for your son, both of you and for the doctors and nurses as they care for your son. I often relate to your post being a mother myself and understanding the feeling of helplessness when you can’t take away what your child is going through. I can only imagine what that situation must be like. I rest in the knowledge that We serve a GOD who cares about the sparrows and numbers the hairs on your head so I know he’s with you even now. I will continue to pray for your family. Thanks for the updates!
I too had to hold on to the second verse of that him some 21 years ago when I was expecting. That was the reassurance that your baby will make it! God reassured you like He reassured me then. It’s hard now, but very soon it will be like a bad dream. I am convinced that God is giving Jesher’s body time to develop normally. After all he is now almost 33 weeks. He will come out shining like gold. I know it’s hard, but i applaud your family for holding on to Him Who is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. Our all mighty God is still leading the medical team. Praying still and hugs to you three.
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I’m starting to now go back and catch up on what I have been missing partly due to the month early birth of a great grandson in March 26. I have shared some of the information r/t Jesher with my granddaughter in law and what I have shared have been appreciated as sources of encouragement. Still praying for Jesher’s continued development one to two times every day. Be encouraged.