Friday, February 6, 2009

God is still good

"When its dark and its cold and I can't feel my soul, You (God) are so good."

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—
supernatural physical healing—are left unsatisfied. Rather than asking why things didn't go my way, I should have been asking why God allowed me to follow Him and Mathew around on their holy mission.

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.

love, "r"


  1. "R",
    I know you know but PLEASE KNOW there are so many of us praying for you, your family and of course little Matt! People you don't even know have you in their hearts on a continuous basis. Your words in this post are amazing and I feel, even though we are praying for strength for you and your family, YOU are the ones giving us the strength and teaching that we need. Thank you, God Bless and love on that baby for those of us who can't.

  2. ..and this again, is a time where you show me what grace and faithfulness looks like on. beautiful. your heart, broken as it may be right now, is always wanting to be a mirror reflecting us all back to the Cross and you do so with your words and with your tender heart. and this, sweet friend, this unique treasure is just WHY God chose Matt for you..and for "s". because God knew the perfect woman who would carried this fragile little body while on earth, pointed him and all those who love him heavenward, your Savior, our Saving Love. thank you, once again as you always seem to do, for encouraging me and so many others with your humble heart and daring, bold childlike-trusting faith on this journey with your little man...we ALL are "healing" with you and praise God for letting us simply be a part of it and know this special child.

  3. you've left me speechless. thank you for putting this into words. you are so encouraging to me, daily. i am blessed and honored to be your friend and to know matt. love you.

  4. amazing, absolutely amazing! indeed if we could learn that God's mission on this earth is all about the eternal and not this little blip of time we call life. you have put it so well. surely there will be numbers of people in heaven because of matt and the mission he is on with God.

    thanks for sharing your heart.

  5. I will continue to pray especially that God will continue to use you and your family along with little Matt to accomplish His will. There are no mistakes with God, He will continue to strengthen you and show Himself to you.

  6. Amen! As a previous poster said, there are no mistakes with God. He alone sees the "big picture" and knows exactly where and how each of us fits into it, even "Matty Matt". Thank you for continuing to allow us to glimpse Matthew's beautiful little life with you and your family, and to partner with you in prayer AND praise!

    For we must praise the Lord, despite the wind and the waves all around us....even as He beckons us to leave the safety of the boat and walk out to Him on the water. I will pray that God holds you and Matthew in the palm of His Hand, and that His will be done in your lives, and in the lives of the many people that are being touched by Matthew's story.

  7. My sister-in-law did a post on her blog requesting prayer for your family, that connected me to you. I will start praying for you all. God has great plans for all of us, and He does not make mistakes. We are missionaries in Albania and we are learning, in new ways how to totally rely on God. The reason we came here was to work in a health care clinic. And when we arrived, we found that the clinic was not opened, and it doesn't look like there is any change of it opening while we are here, if ever (we are only here for a year and a half). But God gave me this verse, Psalms 138:8 "The Lord will fulfill, his purpose for me: you love, O Lord, endures forever, do not abandon the works of you hands". It has great meaning to me, I hope it will be for you as well. He has created Matthew and has given him to you for His purpose. Thank you for being willing to love Matt the way God does.

  8. I am new to your blog..What a story you have to tell! I admire your strength, your courage, your faithfulness! I will be following your blog/your life story! Please know I will be thinking of and your family often and saying prayers for Matt's work!! God Bless! Stay strong!!

  9. thanks for being so open! I will continue to be praying. thanks for letting us be a part of this too. I really love your insight. the Lord is doing so much, thanks for being so open to be used by Him to take care of this beautiful little one He loves so much!

  10. we're praying for you! how God is blessing you and those around you through this beautiful boy! I'm grateful that he has such loving parents for his time.