My heart hurts so much at this very moment. Words do not even describe what I am feeling. This is just so hard. My daughter is dying right in front of my eyes. Like Jesus, I feel that my soul is overwhelmed to the point of death. It is only by His grace that I can get back off the floor and stand back up.
I am reminded of one of my favorite movies, “The Last Samuari” with Tom Cruise. Anyway, there is this incredible scene in the movie that kind of gives description to what I am feeling. Nathan Augur (Cruise) had been taken captive by his enemies, the samuari warriors, and brought back to their village. Augur has this incredible determination to fight which is intriguing to the samuari warriors since they devote their lives to the way of the sword. One day, Augur gets challenged to a fight with wooden practice swords by one of the warriors who doesn’t like him. With one blow the warrior sends Augur to the ground. Augur gets back up and the warrior strikes him again and puts him to the ground bloodied and bruised. The warrior starts to walk away thinking that the fight is over…but Augur rises again determined to stand and fight. The warrior strikes him again even harder and Augur falls to the ground. This time, Augur tries to get up but is only able to get to his knees, but he is still swinging the sword determined to fight. Finally the warrior strikes him hard one last time and Augur falls to the ground and is defeated. It is a very moving scene. And through that, the warrior comes to respect Augur for his determination and eventually teaches him to fight with the sword.
Anyway, that’s what I feel like these days. I’m being struck down by what I see regarding Susana’s suffering. I fall to the floor, weeping and crying out. Then, God gives me the grace to see with the eyes of faith and to see His goodness and love. And I am able to stand to my feet again. But almost no sooner am I standing that I am struck down again by something else that happens with Susana, like perhaps she starts throwing up or something. And again I fall to the floor and just weep. But again God gives me the grace to trust Him and to know that He is in control and that He is working out His perfect plan for Susana. And again, I am able to rise up and stand to my feet. And then something else happens, like she starts moaning and groaning, and once again I am brought to the floor in tears and sorrow.
The only difference between me and the scene in the movie is that in the end, I will rise and will not be defeated. God’s grace will be enough. Christ is indeed sufficient in all things. And the same thing is true for Susana. She too will not be defeated. Death will not deal the final blow. For she will rise and live forever with the King of glory.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed (2Cor.4:7-9)
And this is what I am going through. I am being hard pressed, but I have not been crushed. I am perplexed, totally perplexed by what I see unfolding right before my eyes, but I am not in despair because I know that God is in control and this is part of His plan to bring Him glory. I feel persecuted by the sin and decay that this fallen world has brought upon my daughter, but I am not abandoned because I know that the Lord will one day soon bring complete redemption to Susana’s frail and broken body and she will no longer suffer from the effects of sin. And I know too that one day He will do the same with me…after I finish the race. And of course I feel completely struck down all throughout the day, but I have not been destroyed because God’s power and grace enables me to rise again.
Susana is not doing well at all. She has taken another turn. We just had a hospice nurse come to examine her because we weren’t sure what was going on. She basically is now in the mode of sleeping all day. She has lost so much weight. She doesn’t want to eat. It is so hard to see her go through this. The nurse said that she is in the transitional stage of dying. After this stage, her body will slip into a coma where she will not be responsive to anything, but she’ll only be breathing…only for a time. And then, in the blink of an eye, she will enter into glory and be made whole.
So, we don’t know how much longer we have with her. It could be days or it could be a few weeks. Oh how my heart hurts so much! How I wish the Lord would heal her at the last minute. How I wish that I could take her place. And yet…may the Lord’s will be done knowing full well that He is good and that He will be glorified above all. Yes friends…only with our hope rooted and fixed in Christ alone can we say such things while looking upon our frail little girl. God is enough. God is enough.
Today, my wife and I have begun the most painful discussions that couples could ever have…Where are we going to bury our little girl? How will we plan the memorial service? What will we have written on the grave stone? How about “NOT HERE”? Oh how we need His grace to plan these things! Please keep praying for us. Thank you for everyone who has shared our stories with those they know. Our hope is that the Lord is glorified and many lives are touched as a result of our trials.