A few weeks ago Dr. M (my favorite endocrinologist in the Whole Wide World) shared a verse in response to a question during mid-week Bible Study. I can’t remember the specific verse he shared, so I just did a quick word search and wrote down a few for you:
Luke 18.1 “…men always ought to pray and not lose heart.”
2 Corinthians 4.16 “…we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.”
Galatians 6.9 “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”
The idea of “losing heart” connotes “giving up.” There are lots of reasons a person might lose heart, but the scriptures consistently tell us not to give up! The antidote is prayer…things might look bleak on the outside, but we have the resources for inner renewal…and there is a “reap and sow” concept in play here – decisions, actions and reactions will have consequences even if we don’t see the immediate impacts.
This reminds me of my candle wrap template:
“I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” Psalm 27.13
One of the biggest reasons to lose heart is fear. I think my family’s hearts sank when they saw me for the first time in Oregon. They had gotten flights as soon as they could and arrived at OHSU to see me hooked up to lots of tubes, with (almost) a full head of hair, but with a lot of swelling and eyes buttoned shut. Personally, I think poor Tanpo was too sad to write the following email on the day of their arrival, but he pulled it together and wrote it in time for Dr. M (in charge of the announcements) to read it on Sunday morning to my heartsick friends who had seen me bouncing around our church only a couple of weeks before.
I’ve wanted to take a trip down memory lane, so here’s Daddy’s email. I promise, the story gets better. Come back tomorrow. Xoxo
4.9.11: Day 2, Saturday
Thank you for your prayers for Ning and for us. We arrived safely in Portland, Oregon yesterday Friday (April 8) at about 3:30 pm. We were met at the airport by one of the believers in the W Assembly who took us to a hotel 2 miles away from [OHSU]. It is reputed to be the top hospital in Oregon. We met up with L, a workmate from China at Intel with whom Ning had the privilege of sharing Christ’s love and leading to faith in the Lord. L has been with Ning since Thursday when she found out and has not left the hospital even though we have repeatedly asked her to go home. She kept vigil throughout. We saw Ning as soon as we could. She was resting and the staff informed us that she is not under sedation after surgery as they wish her to recover and they can evaluate her condition in order to determine what they need to do next. She has tubes all over her and she is hooked up to the ventilator to help her breathe. She had a slight fever and they are trying to keep her temperature within acceptable range. Juio and I talked to her and she seemed to hear us though we really cannot tell. L had told us that when she first saw Ning in the ICU, she (L) cried audibly. She then saw Ning’s eyelids move a little and she noticed Ning’s eyelids were wet. Ai Ai and Ernie took their turn to see Ning and they prayed with her and read the Lord’s Word to her.
As informed earlier, the 72 hours after her admission and surgery are consider critical. The staff said to us today that she is very sick, in fact “the sickest person in the hospital”. They are monitoring her closely and doing what they can. They also informed us that as of this Saturday morning when we saw her, Ning has not responded to “commands” from them like squeeze my finger, etc. When they pinched her she has reflective responses that we saw with our own eyes. But they are looking for a higher level of response from Ning to commands, which so far is not forthcoming. One of the doctors said they will evaluate her further on Monday (that’s when the 72 hours will be over) and see where they go from there.
All said, Ning’s life hangs in a balance. Ning, according to the nurses, is not doing well. And we are weeping our eyes and hearts out to the Father of mercies to preserve Ning. The believers at W are most caring and want to know what they can do. They wish they could do something. But there is little they can do or anyone else can do except to pray.
• We thank the Lord that her temperature is within range and pray that her fever will subside completely,
• We thank the Lord for her every breath (she is breathing a little on her own now though she has the support of the ventilator),
• We thank the Lord for every heartbeat -‐-‐ her heart was “stunned” from the episode and needs time to resolve itself,
• We pray that the bleeding will stop and the affected part of the brain (posterior) will heal -‐-‐ she is still draining fluids through a catheter from her brain area,
• We pray the Lord will “restore her life” and both her mind and her body will fully and completely recover
• Please pray the Lord to mercifully intervene under the circumstances.
Thank you and with much love in the Lord, Juio, Ernie, AiAi & PT