My good friend Scott is back in the hospital again. He has, as you may have read in past posts, a condition called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, an ultimately fatal muscle-wasting disease. He’s had a rough winter, battling pneumonia, dehydration, sepsis, and a slew of other heart and lung issues. He also had to get a feeding tube (you can imagine how slow the recovery from that surgery has been in light of all the other stuff) and can no longer eat or swallow regular food (even pureed). When he did finally come home, it was only to find that his driving hand had stiffened and he could no longer drive his wheelchair. The health issues started in December, and he recovered enough to be home from the hospital for a couple months, but not really getting out of bed. His spirit had changed. He was dealing with depression and severe anxiety, and seemed to have lost his will to live. At the very least, he seemed to lose his will to fight to live. I don’t blame him, really. This disease has taken so much from him already, and now the two things he could still enjoy – eating and moving about independently in his chair – were taken too. But now, with so much spent time in bed, the pneumonia has relapsed. So, back in the hospital he goes. This latest time, he passed out and was unresponsive. He was rushed to the hospital but remained unresponsive. He is on a ventilator that breathes for him, so I can’t say he wasn’t breathing, and he did have a pulse this whole time; he was just unconscious and unresponsive.
To be honest, I was initially torn when it came to praying for him. I know what I want – a healing. Call it selfish, but I want him here. With me on earth for as long as I’m here. But at the same time, I know he knows Jesus and I know where he’s going when the time comes. In light of that, it seems cruel and selfish to pray for a healing for him when he seems so ready to be called home.
So what to do? In the end, I just started praying into God’s will over his life, and that all things surrounding him other than God would be removed from him. I prayed for God’s plan to come to fruition regarding Scott’s fate, and I prayed hard. I praised Him for having a plan in the first place, and being loving and attentive enough to carry it out over each of us. And as I prayed, something cool happened.
God really just wanted me to open my mouth in prayer and praise. As I did, He guided my prayers. Once I got started, words just came pouring out of my mouth, things I hadn’t even thought to be concerned about. I opened my mouth and God filled it with the prayers that Scott needed, prayers that aligned with His perfect plan.
Sure enough, later that night and throughout the day today, Scott woke up. He can’t talk right now (he is on a hospital respirator instead of his own so he can’t speak), but he has been mouthing words and communicating via eye blink.
Yes, times like these are difficult. But it’s in our own weaknesses, our own limitations, that we see how much God truly has it all in His hands. In times like these, when our very words fail and we need to be carried, we feel how much love and attention God has for us. When we no longer can control our circumstances, we feel how in control God is. Sometimes knowing that we don’t have to go it alone is the greatest gift there is, and it’s a gift that God gives to us constantly.
And that right there is reason enough, no matter how bad things seem to get for us here, to praise Him to the skies.