God is Faithful
By Daphne Delay
As I stood by his bed in ICU, he was unrecognizable. Moments earlier, the nurse had shown us a colored diagram of the percent of his burns. She said, “His age will help him. We add his age to his percent of severe burns to determine his mortality rate.” I thought, Did I hear her right… mortality rate? At my son’s side, I could barely process this information.
Benjamin had been with us for Father’s Day. On his way back to college, while moving another friend to Tulsa with him, their truck grazed a guardrail and in a freak accident, it flipped and caught on fire in mid-air. Both boys escaped, but Benjamin had been trapped in his seatbelt. Miraculously, he managed to pull himself out – but not before receiving third degree burns on most of his right side. The deputies on-scene reported they had never before found survivors of such a horrific accident.
I had stood by the bedside of many critical patients before. As pastors, my husband and I have been called in to pray with and encourage the faith of families in desperate situations. We have reminded loved ones of God’s faithfulness to His Word and comforted families and individuals with hope and peace despite all odds. Many situations turned into triumphant testimonies, while some left us with nagging thoughts of “Why God?” And with no sure answer, in our pastoral role we prayed for “peace that passes understanding” for all involved.
But this time, I wasn’t the pastor – I was the parent. If I could believe for others and not for myself, doesn’t that make God’s Word a lie? I could not allow my faith to change just because it was now my son in the bed.
So there is only one of two things a parent can do in this situation: have faith in God or carry a burden of worry and fear. I could not do both. Thankfully, I had hidden God's Word in my heart (first for myself, and secondly for others); and it now brought great comfort to me. David was right when he said,
"Unless Your law had been my delight, I would then have perished in my affliction" (Psalm 119:92).
We were told to expect Benjamin to be hospitalized for some time. He was on a ventilator to help heal the damage to his lungs and throat after breathing in the fire, and skin graft surgeries were a certainty. His burns covered multiple joint areas, which meant therapy and possible loss of mobility. Benjamin was a talented drummer with a great future, so this news was almost unacceptable – although you couldn’t downplay the fact that he was alive and we’d face tomorrow together whatever it may be.
Each night, my husband and I would be forced to leave ICU and the comfort we found in being by our son’s bedside looking for any and all signs of improvement. As human as we were, we would look at each other and make the same statement night after night: “Tell me he’s going to be okay.”
Despite a swirl of emotions, I was reminded of Abraham’s faith and how “…contrary to hope, in hope [he] believed” (Romans 4:18). Now was my moment of truth. As any mother would, I cried as I looked at my broken child. Yet in that moment, I made a decision: I will not cry for tomorrow… for God’s Word is true and His faithfulness shall be my strength.
The next day, I wrote in my journal: “I am fully convinced of God’s Word. We will have victory in the midst of this trial. I have not lost heart because I am confident I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living (Psalm 27:13). Just as Abraham chose not to rely only on "natural" hope (what you can do based on what others are saying), but instead chose to believe according to "spiritual" hope (what GOD can DO based on what HE HAS SAID) - I have chosen the same.”
Seven weeks and six surgeries later, Benjamin was released from the hospital. He had endured a tracheotomy and many painful skin grafts. We understood the road ahead would be long, but we all agreed it was what we had stored in our hearts prior to the accident that sustained us. Benjamin is now playing the drums as he heals. And more than ever, my heart says, “God is faithful.”
This article first appeared in Out of the Overflow, Reprinted with permission.
Copyright © 2010 by CLASSeminars Inc., Out of the Overflow, Winepress Publishing 2010
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Daphne Delay is the founder of Mirror Ministries in Seminole, Texas. She is the author of Facing the Mirror: Finding a Self to Live With. Daphne has written over 200 articles for subscribers to Mirror Ministries and other publications, and she blogs nuggets of spiritual growth encouragement every week. Daphne is the wife of a senior pastor and the mother of three. www.mirrorministries.org
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