The God We Serve

There are some times when God’s grace feels like deliverance.  There are other times when God’s grace is simply sustenance.  Still other times, God’s grace is mysterious and cannot be identified.  Still, it can be trusted.  This week alone, we have seen God’s grace show up in these ways, and doubtless, there are myriads of other ways that God’s grace comes to us in our lives. 

Deliverance.  God delivered us from needing to evacuate.  Gunner came home and got sick last week on Thursday.  He had vomited a time or two that evening and complained of belly pain, but I didn’t think too much of it.  Friday came and he seemed to be doing alright so we thought it may have been something he ate.  The evening came and the puking started again through the night.  Saturday morning he watched cartoons like normal and laid low until he started throwing up again in the afternoon.  By Sunday, he still wasn’t eating much and drinking little as he would throw it up right away and things began to become more critical.  God has given us an invaluable resource on our team in medical personnel, Lori and her partner, Rabby.  We consulted her, and we were advised he was very dehydrated and was at very high risk of other issues that could not be dealt with here given our lack of medical resources in PNG.  What did that mean….pray hard and do what we can.  Our teammate was able to place an IV.  Gunner did a super job.  I can say that now because it’s over.  We’ve been delivered.  After a good 24 hours on an IV drip he seems to be getting some energy back and thankfully keeping fluid and a little food down.  However, it’s never easy to choose to allow your children to hurt.  A little pain now, though, saved our boy from a LOT of pain later, and we are grateful.

Sustenance.  God has sustained us these past few days by providing prayer support, medical supplies, and supplying strength for each day and each challenge that has come our way.   I, Phyllis, was able to go to school with Moriah on Monday and get through the morning of teaching and sub plan prep before getting to stay home today.  God not only sustained us but supplied a substitute teacher for me when there is a shortage of staff at the school.  Brian has been able to stay with Gunner all the times I have not been able to so it has been a team process.  Sickness is a very common thing in the place we live and so often, tragically it leads to death.  I think we all have this invincible thinking that “that would never happen to me” mentality.  The reality is life is only a breath or puff of smoke in the big picture of eternity.  God gives us only one day at a time and there is no knowing when it will be our last.  That is why it is important to look back and see how God has continued to sustain our weak and fragile lives…it gives us hope to keep pushing forward.

Mysterious.  God has worked in countless ways behind the scenes to protect us and preserve us and given us strength to persevere.  From this vantage point, I can see that clearly.  However, I can’t say that the mysteries of God are always comfortable.  Sometimes they are unseen.  These past couple days haven’t been marvelous.  They have stretched me, my faith and my capacities in new ways.  No doubt, they have stretched my family too.  How God can use trying times to produce growth in our lives and hearts is beyond my comprehension.  While there are times that God feels close in a hug-sort-of way, there are other times that God feels close like a tourniquet.  It feels like He is going to squeeze the life out of me.  However, it’s that very squeezing that enables the IV to be perfectly placed, and He supplies what I need through it and in a way I can receive it.

I have wrestled in the writing of this post for many reasons.  Most of them are from fearing men’s responses or fighting the doubts that will be sparked.  However?  Upon reflection, I would be missing the opportunity to testify of God’s faithfulness and that He can be trusted.  Even in the dark, even when He calls us into deeper waters than we’ve encountered before, His grasp is steady.  His goodness unmoving.  And, His love?  Relentless.  THAT’s the God we serve!