This is the second of Nathan’s posts following Josiah’s diagnosis. He wrote this two days after the MRI. We were certainly overwhelmed. But yet, there was peace. Peace that transcends all understanding.
September 29, 2012
Do you have a list…a list of questions you want to ask God when you get to heaven? I am sure you are wondering where I am going with this. You may be thinking I have hundreds of questions going through my mind such as: “Why me?”, “Why Josiah?”, “What is your plan?”, “How will this turn out?” and on goes the list. However, these questions are nowhere close to being in the forefront of my mind. Yet today I added a question to my list. My question: How many prayers were lifted up for Josiah today? Which brings me to the title of today’s post, overwhelmed.
There are two reasons why I find myself overwhelmed today. The first and lesser is the vast amount of information Amy and I attempted to take in. In the last 24 hours we have met a half-dozen or so different doctors, been to four different appointments, and have at least one more scheduled for Monday. We have met with a radiologist, a neurosurgeon, an ophthalmologist, and an endocrinologist. By the way, did you know that the pituitary gland secretes nine different hormones? We have been impressed with the care, thoroughness, service, and timeliness of the University Of Missouri Hospital system. On top of everything going on with Josiah, we have our rental house under contract (huge praise!) and we close next Friday. Last weekend I discovered that the air conditioner condenser unit was stolen. As a result I have also been on the phone with our insurance agent, the adjuster, realtor, and HVAC contractor in order to get it replaced by next Friday. As I read back over the list of everything we dealt with today I am sure I have left a number of things out, however despite the craziness of life God has definitely blessed us with His peace that transcends all understanding. In the midst of all that went on today God took the time to help me better understand His words in Philippians 4:7 – “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” I honestly do not understand how I can have peace and contentment in the midst of all that is going on, but I do. As God clearly points out though, it transcends, it goes way beyond, it surpasses our understanding of it. So while I cannot explain it, I am forever grateful that God has lavished it on Amy and I.
The second and greater reason I find myself so overwhelmed today is the countless number of prayers that have been lifted up on our behalf. Earlier today I was doing some figuring, ok so maybe it was rough guesstimating, but whatever way you look at it I know the number of people who prayed at least once for Josiah is well into the thousands. I received dozens of emails, texts, and phone calls. There were hundreds if not thousands of Facebook posts. Prayer chains were started in dozens of churches. Food was prepared and delivered… and consumed! As I ponder this I find myself completely humbled and amazed at the goodness of God. I mean, who am I that thousands of people literally all over the world are praying for me, for my family, for Josiah. I am totally blown away by the love and generosity of so many people. I am completely overwhelmed and humbled. Words cannot express how grateful I am for my family, friends, and countless brothers and sisters in Christ. We serve an awesome God! When I get to heaven I look forward to asking not only how many prayers were lifted up for Josiah, but the name of each and every person who prayed for him. I look forward to spending part of eternity thanking each and every one of you! But most of all, I look forward to worshipping God with my brothers and sisters from every tribe, tongue, and nation. Indeed, that will be a glorious day.
I feel that I should close with this. I do not want to give you the illusion that everything is butterflies and rainbows. I am human, I am a sinner , and I am far from perfect. I hurt. I cry. No words can do justice to the longing I have as a father to take this from my son. I would do anything to take his place. Words cannot describe the anguish I have for the pain and suffering my son will have to go through. As I think about Josiah’s upcoming surgery I cannot help but think about the pain and agony that God the father had to have experienced knowing what His son would have to go through on the cross. The difference between me and God in this situation is that God had the choice to protect His son from the impending pain and suffering. Given that choice, God chose us. He chose to allow His son to die on the cross so that we, you and I, could have the opportunity to spend eternity with Him. To be completely honest, if I were given that same choice, I am not so sure I would choose you over my son. I am thankful I did not have to make that decision. It is because of the sacrifice of the Son that I have confidence in God’s plan for Josiah and our family. While there are moments when I struggle with our current circumstances, moments when I lose sight of God; all I have to do is look to Him, and He once again overwhelms me with His peace that transcends all understanding. And that is a beautiful thing. If you have never experienced that peace I would love the opportunity to visit with you. To share more of my story with you, to tell you more about how you too can have peace in the one true God.