Monday, November 27, 2006

Of sorrows and joys

Blessed are those whose strength is in you...As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs. -- Psalm 84:5-6

Comfort, according to L.B. Cowman, is not given to us when we are lighthearted and cheerful. It comes after we travel the depths of emotion. Comfort, along with peace, I must say, are God's most precious gifts.

Here's an inspiring poem from L.B. Cowman's Streams in the Desert.

I have been through the valley of weeping,
The valley of sorrow and pain;
But the "God of all comfort" was with me,
At hand to uphold and sustain.

As the earth needs the clouds and sunshine,
Our souls need both sorrow and joy;
So He places as oft in the furnace,
The dross from the gold to destroy.

When he leads us through some valley of trouble,
His omnipotent hand we trace;
For the trials and sorrows He sends us,
Are part of His lessons in grace.

Oft we run from the purging and pruning,
Forgetting the Gardener knows
That the deeper the cutting and trimming,
The richer the cluster that grows.

Well He knows that affliction is needed;
He has a wise purpose in view,
And in the dark valley He whispers,
"Soon you'll understand what I do."

As we travel through life's shadowed valley,
Fresh springs of His love ever rise;
And we learn that our sorrows and losses,
Are blessings just sent in disguise.

So we'll follow wherever He leads us,
Let the path be dreary or bright;
For we've proved that our God can give comfort;
Our God can give songs in the night.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Our healing journey and more...

"Do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed." -- 1 Peter 4:12-13

It's been a while since my last posting. Since Star and I got back from Hongkong, I had to catch up on work. What can I say? It's been such a wonderful, wonderful time for us. Not the illness part, but experiencing God's faithfulness once again. While the kids are not yet fully well, we continue to be overwhelmed by how God has been walking us through.

One important lesson I've learned in our experience is to never, never disregard the power of prayer. To many of us, prayer comes as the "last resort." When we can still do something about the situation, we do what we can. Then, we turn to God when all else fail.

But to us this time, the challenges were just too great. My husband and I could do nothing but to still ourselves before the Lord and pray. And then we stayed back and let Him move for us. There is no telling how amazed we are by how things turned out.

Ben recovered quickly. While he stayed in the hospital for 13 days, the extent of infection in his lungs would have required longer confinement. Star, on the other hand, had a smooth work-up in Hongkong. As a bonus, we both enjoyed our trip. Since we came back, Star has far lesser nosebleeding episodes.

We cannot thank God enough for how He walked us through our trial, for the outpouring support of friends and for the abundant provisions. God used so many people to bless us in so many ways. What can we say? We did not deserve it. We are overjoyed. As always, God is good all the time.


Saturday, November 04, 2006

Rejoice in the Lord always!

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!...Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.--Philippians 4:4

Tomorrow will be the first full week since Ben's confinement in the hospital. Star and I would have left for Hongkong already for her medical workups at Queen Mary Hospital but my husband and I decided we postpone the trip a few more days. (We're leaving instead on Nov. 8, 8.15am flight.)

These are difficult times for us. In fact, I've told some friends I'm torn with our situation right now. On one hand, Star already needs to be diagnosed and given proper medical attention. On the other hand, how can we leave Ben in a delicate situation?

Six days in the hospital is not easy. Ben's fever is still on and off (but "on" most of the time). Thankfully, it's lower now than the first three days. Last night, we freaked out when were told he has fluids in the lungs and that Ben might need to undergo an OR procedure to remove the water. Under these circumstances, what parents would not?

But early this morning, when the pulmonologist came and explained to us Ben's situation, my heart jumped for joy! Looking at the x-ray plates and not seeing the patient, he said, he would have imagined the patient to be in a miserable state. Ben's lungs are full of water. His heart slightly enlarged.

Yet, when he saw Ben, rosy cheeks, chubby, smiling and all, it just doesn't jive. "I would have imagined a patient hardly breathing, losing so much weight..." the doctor told us. WOW! As in WOW! Only a miracle-working God can make Ben defy what the clinical evaluation otherwise say. Truly, He is a God of miracles.

God's amazing grace is sustaining Ben. He hears the prayers of His people. So many people have been praying for us and the way things are turning out, we are sustained only by God's mercy.

God is good in all of His ways! What can I say? PRAISES BE TO GOD!