Posted by: John Adams | July 24, 2010

Thoughts on the Last Few Weeks

As a believer in Christ, it is beneficial to look at events in retrospect and look for signs of God’s providential hand at work, to turn around and see the view of the valley floor after climbing the mountain. Rarely, however, does one get afforded a bird’s eye-view so quickly as I have over the last few weeks. The last time I wrote a post for this blog was July 3. The following day, my father suffered a brain aneurysm while visiting a church in Calgary, Canada. He collapsed and was taken to the ICU. The doctors told us that one of the carotid arteries in his neck had burst after weakening. His brain had flooded with blood and he was in very grave condition.

The next day, my siblings and I flew out to Calgary, where we spent eight days shuttling back and forth to the hospital from Didsbury, an hour away. After a week, our time was up and I flew back to Kentucky, where I have been prayerfully following my dad’s recovery from a distance. After 17 days (during which time the doctor in charge said that my Dad skirted death on three separate occasions), Dad had finally recovered enough to where they could remove him from the ICU. He is now in the neurology unit, awake if not completely coherent, and able to respond to some of the nurses’ commands. We are very grateful for every step he makes in the direction of progress. I am firmly convinced that if God had not intervened, he would already be dead.

Needless to say, this has been at times a very dark and scary time in my life. While I have had a sense of peace due to the fact that I know that God is sovereign, the thought of living the rest of my life without my dad, or with my dad as a permanent invalid or even a vegetable, has been daunting to say the least. Adding to this stress is the looming burden of what will be astronomical medical bills. From man’s perspective, we are in a very difficult spot. Nevertheless, I know that there is a higher principle than science at work and that if God can keep my Dad alive, He can also provide for all of his needs according to His riches in glory. In retrospect, I can see God preparing me for the difficult road that these last few weeks have been with the sweet blessing of a mountaintop experience of joy.

Beyond that, I can see the Lord’s hand woven into the warp and woof of the year 2010, which began for us with powerful services in Cap-Haïtien and Grand-Goâve, Haiti. The presence of God was thick and His affection for the Haitian people tangible at those meetings. We were blessed to have Pastor Bob MacGregor from Vancouver, Washington, and Henry Mears from TriCities sow fundamental principles into the churches there, and we had some tremendous times of worship. The level of faith and expectation was very high. I felt the Lord speak words to me about the coming restoration of Haiti, a cloud of rain upon an exhausted land.

Then came the earthquake of January 12. As we struggled to make sense of the suffering and devastation we were seeing on the news, there were small causes for rejoicing and hope–stories of believers whose lives had been narrowly spared, tales of believers boldly proclaiming the majesty of God amid the rubble, my own experience of God’s protection in flying out of Port-au-Prince just hours before the earthquake. A few months later, God blessed me with the privilege of returning to Haiti and preaching twice to a people whom I love more than any other, once on following Jesus outside the camp (Hebrews 13) and once on getting a vision of the holiness of God (Isaiah 6). At the time, I felt a conviction that God would indeed have me preach on those themes, but a lack of adequacy to the task since I was hardly the equal of Haitian believers in either suffering or perseverant faith. The last few weeks have been a sort of baptism into suffering, into the vulnerability and uncertainty that accompany a firsthand realization of our own mortality.

So far, crisis has been the theme of the year 2010. I have experienced crisis before–in 2006, my dad was kidnapped by bandits in Haiti seeking ransom money. He was released after 48 hours without incident, an outcome that my father would later attribute to the importunate prayers of the saints, since those bandits had been hired not to kidnap but to kill him. That trial was a bit easier than this one, I think, since it was over within two days, whereas this one promises to last several months at the very least.

Nevertheless, God is sovereign and I believe that He has a purpose for the suffering that 2010 has brought our way. The Scripture says that the tears of His saints are precious to Him (Ps. 56:8). We have cried our share this year, but “the Lord loves the gates of Zion…glorious things are spoken of you, O city of God” (Ps. 87:2-3). This momentary, light affliction is fashioning for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison (2 Cor. 4:17). This hope is sustaining us through the days of back-and-forth in the hospital and through the wreckage of a broken nation back in Haiti. We keep glimpsing the glory of God, and the memory of that light is enough to sustain us through the wandering dark.

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Responses

  1. There are lots of folks who love your and your family. Know that we continue to pray.


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