My favorite Bible verse is Joshua 1:9 "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified or discouraged, for the Lord you God will be with you wherever you go!" I adopted this verse as a my "life verse" as a teenager long before I would ever know how much I would lean on its truth. This week as we ride this roller-coaster of seeing Cooper back to health, I lean on this truth as much as ever.
This verse reveals two distinct concepts that are often thought to be incompatible. The first is God's call for Joshua, or you and me as 21st century readers, to act with strength and courage. This is obviously easier said than done. Nevertheless, it is God's expectation of His followers. Joshua, specifically, faced the great unknown of entering the Promised Land...a land of unknown challenges, difficulties and disappointments, a land of promise for God's people, but not yet a land of reality. This was the Promised Land, not yet the Holy Land. Joshua had to act in strength and courage based on a promise - based on faith.
This is where we live. We must act with strength and courage based on God's promises...God's promise to be good, caring and loving. We still face unknown. Ultimately faith is acting on the known in the face of the unknown. I know God is sovereign and in control. I know he loves Cooper and will do what's best. But like Joshua, I'm just not sure how everything will work out. I'm facing the unknown.
The second concept in this text is God's promise of His presence. God's balance to acting in faith is matching faith with His presence. Strangely, God does not always provide answers. Answers are often what we want. The questions of "why me?" or "why now?" or "why not?" fill our minds and make us hungry for answers. God, instead, gives us Himself. I get this as a dad. There are things I just cannot explain to my kids. Even now, my four-year-old son, Cooper, has endured two surgeries and countless medications and treatments, none of which he understands. I cannot explain this to him, but I'm here. He needs my presence more than my answers. Please hear this...we need God's presence MORE than His answers. He is our Heavenly Father, and there are simply things we will never understand. Just as He promised Joshua, He promises us..."the Lord your God will be with you."
God's presence provides the backdrop for our strength and courage, bringing together human activity and divine providence.
Just after last night's post, we have a very difficult night. We struggled to keep Cooper calm and the little champion decided to take out his breathing tube. We finally got him settled down and he has done much better today. Coop had made a name for himself here in the CVICU. You better bring your A-game if you're working with Coop! Cooper needed two additional check tubes to drain out some extra fluid, which have done their job. Our current plan is to remove all four chest tubes tomorrow, change out his wound dressing and finally get the breathing tube out for good. Tomorrow is a big day. Thankfully, Amanda and I got a little sleep today but were up all night last night, and we're feeling pretty wasted. We are so grateful for all those providing food, encouragement and prayer.
- Cooper needs a calm and restful night, as do Amanda and I.
- Pray for God's grace in tomorrow's procedures. We are praying these steps alleviate Cooper's pain and allow him to continue healing well.
- Pray for God to comfort Cooper in a supernatural way. We ask the Holy Spirit to minister to Cooper in ways none of us can.
- Pray for Cooper to be calm when we bring him out of sedation. It is critical that he not thrash about too much and damage the surgical site.
- Pray that God is glorified in Cooper's life.
Feel free to share your prayers, encouragements and comments to this post.
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