These are some of the lyrics from the song, "You Are Good," by Nichole Nordeman. This album has kept me company on each trip to and from the hospital over the last three weeks. Each time I am tempted towards self-pity or despair, the words of the worship songs on the album, "Sing to Me" direct me back to the source of all comfort, the God of all comfort. I am writing tonight to encourage you that our God is still good.
As I cried out to God on my way home from the hospital with sweet MattyMatt yesterday afternoon, I couldn't help but ask, "why?" "Why the hope, the disappointment, another day away from "e&j," another day imposing on others. Why does "s" have to be on nights? Why must I walk alone through those long, scary halls to make medical decisions the consequences of which I am not capable of fully understanding? Why, God, did we have to go to the hospital again only to go home with the same disappointing diagnosis—hydranencephaly—and the same distasteful prognosis—alien brain followed by death. Why?"
Gently, the lyrics and Natalie's beautiful voice, encouraged me,
"You are so good…when the world has gone gray the rain is here to stay … you are still good."
God is good, and in His grace and for His glory, He opened my eyes to see that Matt had divine appointments schedule on Tuesday. I thought Matt went to the hospital to be healed, but he and God both seemed to know Matt was there to heal. Your prayers for healing were answered with a resounding, "Yes!" However, while I looked for physical healing, God used Matt to heal hearts with spiritual ailments. In some mysterious way, God employs Matt to brake down walls of bitterness and open hearts to the unconditional love of Jesus. Matt, our "mostly brainless-wonder", speaks in ways I can never hope to speak. Gently, the Spirit suggested that rather than complaining that I didn't get the sudden physical healing I desired, that I should thank Him that He allowed me to drive Matt to his appointments. Matt and Jesus are on a mission to save souls by introducing them to the unconditional love represented in the cross. They both seem to have their priorities in line, while I struggle because my selfish desires for self-gratification—
So, please do not be discouraged. "Do not grow weary in doing good. For if we do not grow weary, at proper time, we will reap a reward if we do not give up." Your prayers were not in vain for while Matt was not physically healed during this visit, God used Matt to articulate his unconditional love to a long list of people—nurses, doctors, techs, and their friends and families. I prayed for two things at the beginning of this year: 1) that we would know God's goodness and 2) that He would give us a tangible picture of heaven in our hearts. Heaven and goodness seem like lovely, safe things to pray for, don't they? He has been faithful to show us His goodness and to literally pull our hearts heavenward, however, His ways are certainly not our ways! Only God could use such tragic circumstances to compel us to place our treasure and thereby our hearts in heaven. Not only are His ways not our ways, His methods are strange as well (He uses the foolish things of this world to confound the wise).
"When somebody's hand holds me up, helps me stand you are so good. With every breath that I take in, I will thank you again…you are so good."
The antidote to worry is thanksgiving, and we have much to be thankful for despite the fact that Matt's prognosis remains poor. In the midst of our weakness, God continues to bless each of our days with tangible demonstrations of His care for us. Even Matt's nurse, encouraged me to rely on God as my rock today! We played with 8 children at our house for lunch, made it to ballet—just a little late, had dinner brought to us, and I was able to clean while "e&j" laughed and played with their aunt and uncle. Amy took the kids during Matt's blood draw, and overall, we had a peaceful day—which is certainly beyond my comprehension. Please continue to encourage us daily lest we forget that God is indeed good, and we will encourage you with the same.
May God bless you with His grace and peace and with a heart of courage to press on.