February 20, 2014

“And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, “Then who can be saved?”  Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God.  For all things are possible with God.”  Mark 10:26-27

English: Ambulance 5

Imagine  you are in your home and start to feel light-headed and nauseous.  The concern in your spouse’s eye is evident as she picks up the telephone to call for an ambulance.  As you ride in the ambulance to the hospital, you hear the muted words of a paramedic saying to the driver, “You had better step on it,” as your eyelids descend over your consciousness amidst the sensation of increasing speed and the noise of a distant siren.

When you open your eyes, you find yourself lying in a hospital bed within a body that has been transformed into something weak and foreign.  Tubes and wires tug at tender skin with the slightest movement.  Nurses scurry in and out of the room interrupted only by periods when they poke and prod away your dignity as quickly as it emerges from a groggy past.

You strain to focus on the faces of those assembled around your bed.  The recognition of those whom you love slowly seeps through an unexplainable confusion.  They are smiling joyfully with faces that bear the fleeting remnants of tears and fatigue.  You have no idea as to why they are so joyful.

Five days have passed since your last memories.  You are told that you nearly died.  You are told  you have been through something impossible.  You are told that you have experienced a miracle.  Yet, you don’t remember anything.  All you know is that you are uncomfortable and want to go home.  You have no idea how far you have come but you are aware of how far you have to go to get back to the person you last remembered yourself being.

Discouragement descends like a wave despite all those celebrating around you.

This has been my Dad’s experience over the last couple days.  I posted in “PRAYER REQUEST – My Dad” and “MY DAD – An Update / Answered Prayers” regarding my Dad’s brush with death.  My Dad has been recovering remarkable well.  He is out of the hospital and currently at a rehabilitation center to continue his recovery.  I know that he is discouraged because he is not where he wants to be.  When I first heard that he was discouraged and grumpy about being in the hospital it irritated me.  His response seemed so ungrateful given what I know he had been through.

I asked him what was the last thing  he remembered.  His last memories are of the ambulance ride to the hospital.  His negative response was not that surprising when I realized that he did not know what he had been through.  He does not remember any of it.  Therefore, we have been explaining to him everything that has happened over the last week but I know  it all feels so surreal to him.  On Sunday, I read to my Mom and Dad the blog posts and many of the prayer-filled comments that were posted.  I think that helped.  They are deeply appreciative of all the prayers that were offered on behalf of my Dad.

Discouragement is going to be a struggle for my Dad in the coming months as he continues to recover and your continued prayers for him are appreciated.  We will continue to remind him of how far he has come rather than the distance he has to go.

I am reminded of our salvation.

Why do we lack joy when Christ has saved us?
Why do we grumble when we are a new creation in Christ?

abcdz2000 / Foter / CC BY-SA

I think  we often fail to live a life of gratitude because we don’t realize how far we have come.  Like my Dad, we don’t have a memory of how bad our condition truly was without Christ.  Even those who have walked an overtly sinful life before coming to Christ probably don’t have a perfect or complete understanding of the vileness of sin.

I have never seen the glory of God.
I have never physically felt the burning holiness of the great “I AM”.
I have never physically stood in the throne room of God Almighty and seen the pure righteousness of Christ.

I can become discouraged by the persistence of my own sin and the long road of sanctification I know I have ahead of me.  I can become impatient and irritated when my life does not work out the way I want it.  I can be pessimistic about the circumstances of today.

Fotografik33 / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

I fall into these un-joyful traps when I fail to appreciate the gift of my salvation.  I was dead in my sin.  I was justly condemned to eternal punishment.  I don’t have a distinct memory of being spiritually dead, but I believe what the Bible tells me about my fallen sinful condition.  My attitude turns to gratitude when I am reminded of how far the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ has brought me.

I have been brought from death to life in Christ Jesus.
I am a new creation in Christ. 
The old has passed away and the new has come.

The new is even more miraculous when you are reminded of the old.  I cannot help but be joyful when I focus on what God has done for me.  I cannot help but be grateful when I consider what my Lord has saved me from.

May we as children of God live in the glorious revelation of the miracle of salvation.

PRAYER: Lord, thank you for saving me.  Thank you for giving me eternal life.  Thank you for opening my eyes.  Forgive me for not appreciating the miracle of my salvation.  Forgive me of my ungrateful attitude.  Lord, give me the joy of my salvation that washes over my entire life.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son,  Jesus Christ.   Amen.

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  1. Paul speaks of it as “So Great a Salvation” in Hebrews 2: 2 – 4…for if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty, how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard, God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will.

    Salvation is the greatest Gift ever given to mankind. It is so amazing that Christ’s purpose for coming to earth was to DIE! We all deserved judgment and hell but because He died for us, we have the opportunity to become totally New Creatures. Not recycled creatures with a new attitude, but totally new creatures created by the hand of God. Oh how great a salvation indeed! In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision MADE WITHOUT HANDS, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ…

    God bless!

  2. My sister had a close brush with death due to sepsis and it is a miracle that she survived. It is a miracle that your dad is recovering. I will pray for your dad, that he will lose the negative feelings and gain much joy and peace and renewed gratitude in Christ.

  3. You and your family are surrounded with prayer warriors. What are your greatest needs? I’ll keep you all in prayers for strength and peace and hearts open to the day’s joy. Blessings.

  4. Wise insight, JD, drawing spiritual lessons from your father’s physical experience. Well done! I join my prayer to yours, that I may be mindful of how far God has brought me, and that he’s not finished yet! May I also be grateful that every day is replete with his fresh grace, expressed in countless ways.

  5. this is probably one of the best things ive ever read! thank you for writing this..

  6. So grateful to hear of your dad’s progress . . . grateful to serve our God of miracles and abundant grace! Will continue to pray with thanksgiving for His faithful working out of His will for your family.

    • Kathie – thank you for your continued prayers. My whole family appreciates them.
      God Bless!

  7. Great point – we aren’t grateful because we don’t see how far we’ve come.

  8. Great post! This has been on my mind lately as well. How quickly we set aside what Jesus did for us. How quickly we forget what He went through. For us. How ungrateful we can be. Thank God for His Grace and mercy upon us.

  9. I’ve not been reading for several days, JD. Without knowing the details, (I shall have to go back and catch up), I shall pray for full physical recovery for your father. Also, for strength and peace for your mom as she continues to navigate through his recovery time.

    The rest of your post is also spot on. Much there to ponder, as usual. Grace and peace to you today–

    • Rebeca – thank you so very much for your prayers. They are very much appreciated.
      God Bless!

  10. JD. Very glad for the update on your dad. Perhaps some of the discouragement is from trauma from the sepsis. Any organ can be affected. That coupled with sensory alterations from being hospitalized can affect mood. Will keep praying for him.

    • Sue – thank you for your continued prayers. I think you are correct. The sepsis probably has been contributing to his discouragement and confusion; both have been improving as he regains his strength. My Dad has move to a rehab hospital and is slowly getting better.
      God Bless!

  11. I am so thankful that your dad is doing well even though discouraged. I am going to continue to pray for his full recovery and that God will use this time to bless his heart in some way.

    This was an amazing post that I appreciate very much. You are a blessing, Dear Friend!

    • Skye – thank you so very much for your continued prayers. My whole family appreciates them.
      God Bless!

  12. So glad to hear your father is on the road to recovery. You are right. We, the redeemed, are all on a road to recovery.

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