Thursday, April 26, 2007

God is the Mover and Shaker!

Kristal and I have recieved quite a lot of new news today regarding Baby James. First of all, he is still progressing. The lactation consultant dropped by to see how well James is progressing with his sucking, swallowing, and gagging. The consensus is that his ability to swallow is getting better but definitely not where they want it; he is sucking a little bit, but has a long way to go, and they did get him to gag, but once again he has a long way to go. The Neurologist reviewed his last EEG test and said that his brain activity is getting more and more normal as time goes on. Therefore, Dr. Morris decided that it would be best to take him off the seizure medicine, which is a good thing because the seizure medicine has a sedative in it which of course makes him sleepy. Taking him off the seizure medicine may allow him to wake up a bit more so that he might be more able to work on his sucking, gagging, and swallowing. Like I have said before sucking, gagging, and swallowing are all of the things that make eating through the mouth a possibility. Right now the only thing keeping James in the Intensive Care Unit is his inability to eat orally. Please be praying that now that James is off the seizure medicine that he will be awake enough to relearn the natural instincts of sucking, gagging, and swallowing. Also please pray that he will have no seizures while off the medicine. They are confident that he will not have any, but it is still a possibility, and they want to test it now while he is still in the intensive care unit. The team of doctors that we have been working with since we have been here are at a point where they are discussing a plan for releasing James from the hospital. He is no longer in critical condition. This is a huge answer to prayer. We are really excited about the confidence that the doctors are showing in James' ability to survive without a nurse looking after him 24/7. However, there is a healthy dose of nerves for Kristal and I. There is a fear of bringing him home especially considering the fact that it was only a week ago when he could not breath on his own. Please pray that the doctors would make a wise decision about when James is able to come home. We of course want him home as soon as possible, but we would rather stay here longer if it means the health of our boy. We do believe that Baby James is getting more and more ready for coming home. Right now they are discussing plans for our bringing him home. Of course right now James cannot eat orally and so they are making plans for how we are going to be able to get around that. Right now the plan is to place a g-tube in his belly. A g-tube is a small tube that they poke through the inside of his belly. It is in a sense like a the hole through which you gas your car. The tube does not stick out of his belly--it does not stick out further than his skin, and the hole is covered by a little button. Whenever it is time to feed him you merely take the cap (or button) off and hook a little hose to it and feed him that way. The doctors say it is extremely easy to work and painless for the baby. It sounds much more scary than what it is. Kristal and I got to give James a bath last night which was really cool. He was pretty squirmy but handled it quite well.

As I said before, I am reading to James. I just finished the book of John with him. One of the nurses told me after I finished reading to him that in all of the years she has worked there, she has never heard anyone read the Bible. I said, "Well, it's a good book, of course I'm going to read it." To that she just sort of humored me and said, "Yes it is." I know that many people are hearing the word of God as I read it to James. There are a lot of nurses and a lot of parents who are in hearing distance from me when I read to him. And trust me, I am not trying to keep it down while reading to him. I am sure that there are some of you who have been reading my blogs and are thinking that I am on crack. It may appear to many of you that I have a wrong view of things. After all, Kristal and I are going through a crisis and it seems that I have said very little about the power of prayer. I have commented very little on those verses which speak about a believer's confidence in prayer. Well, even though it seems that I have not spoken directly about prayer, I actually have. The power of prayer is found in God. Every post so far has focused on the character of God because it is in the character of God that we find our confidence in our praying. We do not pray because we believe that prayer in and of itself changes things. We pray because God changes things. So many Christians today have an abstract confidence in prayer divorced from a Biblical view of the character of God. What is prayer without God? Prayer is only as good as the one to whom you are praying. Isn't this true? Aren't you dependent upon the one to whom you are praying to ANSWER your prayer. What if the one to whom you are praying is not able answer your prayer? Will that not make your prayers less effective. I believe this is the very point of the Psalmist in Psalm 115 when he says, "Why should the nations say, 'Where, now, is their God?' But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases. The idols of the nations are silver and Gold, the work of man's hands. They have mouths, but they cannot see. They have ears, but they cannot hear; they have noses, but they cannot smell, they have hands, but they cannot feel; they have feet, but they cannot walk. They cannot make a sound with thier throat. Those who make them will become like them, Everyone who trusts in them. O ISRAEL, TRUST IN THE LORD; HE IS THEIR HELP AND THEIR SHIELD."

What a powerful set of verses from Psalm 115! The whole point of the Psalmist is really to say, "Trusting is not enough. Who cares if you have faith. The only kind of faith that will endure is a faith placed specifically and only in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob." I don't care if you pray. Prayer in and of itself is useless and weak. What I care about is if you are praying to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Praying to saints is profitless because saints can't do anything for you or me. Why? Because they have the character of mere mortals. What good it is to pray to a God who is not in control of all things? If God is not in control of all things then His ability to answer prayer is limited. I focus on the character of God because the character of God is that which convinces me that his promises are true. The Israelites, in Psalm 115 were trusting in and praying to Idols which could not speak or feel. The Psalmist was telling them that these prayers were worthless. He exhorted them to "Trust the Lord." The question we need to ask is this, "Why trust the Lord?" Because the character of the Lord is much greater and more powerful than the character of Idols. This surely is a time to exhort people to prayer. However, we must remember who God is so that we might be able to believe Him when He makse such wonderful promises in His word. Our God is a God who cannot be defeated. Our God is the God is who merely SPOKE light into existence. Our God is the God who provided the Israelites manna in the desert to eat. Our God is the God who took away Job's family. Our God is the God who blessed Job with a bigger family in the end. Our God is the God who has rose from the grave. Our God is the God who "Does whatever he pleases." Our God is the God who exhorted us to "cast all our cares upon Him who cares for us." Our God is the God who is never taken by surprise. Our God is the God who has never lost one single battle "to the prince of the power of the air." Our God is the God who promised us that He "will work all things together for the good." Our God is the God who is "for us." Our God is the God who offers living water. Our God is the God is ABLE to do abundantly more than we could ever ask or imagine. I focus on the character of God so that when I visit those verses about prayer, I might be able to know who said it. Don't find your hope in prayer itself. Don't find your hope in the amount of praying that you do. Don't find your hope in your great faith. Find your hope in God. For He is the mover and shaker of prayer. Focus on Him--And then go and visit those passages about the power of prayer. (which I will be doing shortly).

7 comments:

Laura said...

Jimmy,

I am so encouraged when I see your trust in God! Your witness on this blog has been so excellent and consistent.

I am so glad that James is doing better. I will continue to pray that he will be completely well and able to eat normally.

I am really thankful for what you said about prayer. It is so true, you must know God's charater before you will have any confidence in prayer. You must know that God is in control, that He will answer Your prayer in the best way possible, and in the way that will bring Him the most glory. We serve an awesome God.

I am praying for all of you, and trusting the Lord to do His perfect will in Your lives.

Laura Wingerd

Lynn said...

Jimmy,

I have been waiting two days for this post as I love to read what God is teaching you and how you are learning to lean on and trust in Him even in the midst of this circumstance, and boy was it worth the wait. Your faith and your perserverance are a testimony to many and ultimately your son!

Katie said...

Thanks, Jimmy. Knowing that God is powerful to save, my heart is filled with anticipation at what He's doing through the hearing of His word. May God open the hearts of the doctors and nurses who may be hearing the Gospel for the very first time as you read through John.

This morning I read Psalm 124:8 and wanted to encourage you and Kristal with it. "Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth."

The very God who made the heaven and the earth is the God who is caring for your son and for you. What better or more powerful help can there possibly be? Nothing is to hard for this God.

Grateful for you guys and continuing to pray with joy to the God who hears because Jesus has brought us near to the Father.

Katie Fenska

Kelly said...

Jimmy,

Thank you for writing these truths about God's charater. I needed to repeat them to myself.

I was reminded today that our James is here not by chance, but by God using His power. From the start His hand formed him and made him the precious life he is. God compares him to no other- there is not one single baby like him. James will lack nothing that God's grace Can't give him.
God has chosen to allowed James to be here at this time in history to fulfill His special purpose for this generation.

"Everyone shall stand in awe and confess the greatness of the miracles of God...they will realize what amazing things He does." Psalm 64:9

My heart is continually with you and Kristal and the most amazingly perfect grandson that was ever born. (I can say that)

JESSY D. said...

I am rejoicing in your salvation, Jimmy Snowden, and that it was not of yourself, but of God and His grace alone! He has done a mighty work in you in the last 10 years, granting you the grace you need to be able to glorify His name above all others in the midst of trial and heartache.
And, I am rejoicing in His sovereignty in leading you to Krystal (or her to you ;-)) and now giving you the task of saturating your son in His Word. What a blessing he will have from the grace-initiated obedience of his mom and dad.
I just had to laugh when you said you were not being quiet while reading. I can just see it now..."Man. That guy in there must be hard of hearing! The baby is right there, doesn't he know?"
Ha! If they only knew! What an awesome testimony for as nurse to end up with..."By what means were you saved?" nurse: "Some weirdo was reading the Gospel super loud in the NICU!" HA!
May it be so!
We love you guys!

Kathy said...

Thanks for continuous encouragment and hope, reminding us that EVERY life has a purpose when given to the Lord, as you two have offered James as a vessel for the Lord to use. Reminds me of Timothy saying not to look down at his youthfulness--AND he was OLD compared to little James. You may never know the impact of Kangaroo care and scripture on those who witness the love you have for our Lord AND your son! Praying for you, Kathy Bacon and family

Karin said...

AMEN BROTHER!!!!