Update on Isaiah

Thank you to everyone who has been praying for Isaiah’s surgery. Isaiah is doing fine. I just got a text message from my wife that they are closing him up now and he should be out in the next 20 minutes or so.

Things got off a little hectic this morning. The plan had been for Cristy to take Isaiah in for his surgery while I stayed with are little girl Nadia. The departure time was supposed to be 4:30AM. So about 4:15 I wake up to notice that no lights are on. I woke Cristy, and I must say I’ve never seen her move that fast in my life =).

Isaiah will spend one night in the hospital for observation and should hopefully be home tomorrow.  I’ll be updating here later as the day goes on.

Here’s a little pre-surgery photo to brighten your day. (I’m serious folks, we don’t stage these)

Isaiah watching his sermons before surgery.

Isaiah watching his sermons before surgery.

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Post-Op

Isaiah came through surgery like a champ and is recovering well. He’s already watched several sermons and a couple episodes of 19 Kids and Counting. He puts a smile on the face of everyone who walks in the room

We hope to be home tomorrow. Thanks for all the prayers and please continue that he’ll heal up with no complications, and also that he’d stay well.

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My Plans Destroyed; My Fears Confronted

Tomorrow is Isaiah’s surgery. Friday I came down sick. Bad combination.

If you’ve had surgery before, or if a loved one has had surgery you know that one is not supposed to be sick prior. It is for this reason that we usually try to semi-quarantine Isaiah the week before surgery, keeping him away from  nose-pickers, and little humans who cough without covering their mouths and eat food off of the floor. On top of this, on a scale of 1-10 of people who are hyper-vigilant about germs, I’m at least a 13. So of course I get sick Friday. Blah.

A year ago my orthodoxy had me convinced that I shouldn’t confess the weakness of my heart when it comes to trusting the Lord in these kinds of situations. I know that we’re not supposed to doubt God, that everything God does is perfect and right, without a doubt. So therefore I pretended like the groanings of my heart weren’t really there and forced a smile. But I’m a sinner…saved, but still a sinner, and why should I seek to hide the things that God knows are there already?

Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not saying it’s right to doubt God, or that it’s right to be frustrated with what he’s ordained. I’m simply being honest. In my weakness, I doubt, fear, and question. “How can this be right?” I ask. “How is it that me getting sick now is the best thing for our family and brings the most glory to God?” It doesn’t seem right to me. Certainly, this is not the way I would have planned it, and that is evident by the copious amounts of hand sanitizer I have used these past two weeks. It is evident in the fact that I got the flu shot the first day it was available. It is evident in the amount of vitamin C I’ve taken, elderberry extract and echinacea I’ve swallowed and zinc lozenges I’ve sucked on. My plans were to stay healthy. God’s were not.

So I’m sick; hacking, coughing, wheezing, sneezing, etc. I’ve taken every precaution and I’m still sick, and now that I’m sick I’m taking every caution to not get Isaiah sick by keeping my distance, covering my face with a rag when I cough and washing my hands like a pharisee. I take  necessary precautions, because I believe the Lord gives us common sense to be careful and wise in such situations, but ultimately I should not trust in these things.

“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.” – Psalm 20:7

I all too often trust in my horses, in the strength of my earthly precautions and powers. I’m tempted to think and say “I’ve got this.” But the Lord says to me, “No, I’ve got this.” No amount of herbal extract can ward of the sovereign hand of the Lord.  His ways are right, though mysterious, and far beyond my understanding. Yes, there is a part of me that fears right now, but there is also the confidence that God is doing something here that I cannot see, even if it’s merely to yank me off of my chariot and cause me to rest in him.

Humbled and Blessed

Just a short post to say how humbled our family has been by the response to yesterday’s post. Many thanks to Tim Challies for sharing the story on his blog. Our prayer above all else is that the Lord would be glorified and that we would be instruments for his praise. Isaiah is a gift from God, and his life has opened up more doors for the gospel than we could ever imagine.

Thank you to all of you who are praying. I will be posting an update here on Monday after his surgery and during his time in the hospital.

Isaiah’s Upcoming Mission Trip

smilingNo, we’re not headed back to Russia (as fun as that would be). But next Monday, September 30th, we’ll be headed to Isaiah’s “mission field” with him where he’ll spend two days sharing the gospel in his own special way with all of those around him. The destination – Shriner’s Hospital in Portland, Oregon.

Every six months Isaiah must have the metal rods in his back lengthened in order to keep up with his growth. Although this surgery takes only about an hour, it’s still hard on the little guy. He’ll be under general anesthesia, will have incisions made in his back, be in pain, and need to spend one night in the hospital. In short, it’s no picnic. But each time we have gone in for this surgery, we have seen God open doors and impact people’s lives. Isaiah has been blessed with a very sweet, fun and gentle personality, that we’ve seen touch hearts many many times. Even some of the coldest people have warmed after an encounter with the little guy, and it’s through this we’ve seen God work.

Isaiah is probably the only seven-year-old who loves to watch sermons on his iPad. One of his favorites is the John Piper video podcast. He’ll pull them up all by himself and just sit there and watch them over and over again. One day I asked him why he liked to watch sermons so much, and he just smiled and said “happy.” It’s this love of God’s word that the Holy Spirit has mysteriously worked in his heart that has made such an impact on others. While he recovers in the hospital, he consistently asks  us to play sermons for him. He’ll just lay in his bed and listen to them, and all the while nurses, doctors, medical assistants, etc. are all coming in and out, hearing the gospel echo

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throughout the room. I’ve watched as nurses took blood samples to the words of “He who has the Son has life. He who does not have the Son does not have life!” Doctor’s have made their rounds to the words “God wants you to know that you do not have to die in your sins.” Sometimes we get strange looks, but we just smile and say “he likes to listen to sermons!” And the Lord never fails to provide us with the opportunity to speak with those around us.

On a side note, we even got a sweet phone call from Dr. Piper once, and I still have the voice message saved on my phone where he tell us he’s praying for Isaiah. This is one of Isaiah’s favorite things for me to play for him when he’s recovering. He just smiles and says “again!”

The Lord has not blessed Isaiah with a tremendous gift of speech. Isaiah cannot clearly, in his own words explain the gospel to you. But he can love the gospel in such a way that his life becomes a conduit  through which the words of God’s messengers can travel to ears that are normally shut to the things of Christ. In the weakness of this thirty-pound, little paraplegic boy with the understanding of a two-and-a-half year old the light of Christ is magnified in a powerful way and God is exalted. In Isaiah’s weakness he is strong (2 Cor 12:10)

We ask that you would pray for Isaiah’s upcoming “mission trip” to Shriners. Pray not only for his safety, but for the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ to be proclaimed to all whom we encounter.