We've all experienced "storms" in our life. Times when life seemed uncertain and fear threatened to overtake us. Times much like our world is facing right now. In these times, it is often helpful to look back at the past and to remember how faithful God has been. Remembering God's faithfulness in the past gives us hope for the future.
This is Pastor Joy and I want to share with you a time when my family needed to rely on God's strength to carry us through a huge storm!
When we were pregnant with our first child, things did not go as planned. Very unexpectedly, we were catapulted into a medical word that we knew nothing about and confronted by doctors sharing very scary statistics with us. Our son was only 24 weeks gestation but was preparing to make his way into our world.
Through God's amazing grace, doctors were able to halt the labor and our son waited 10 more days before he was born at just 25 weeks old. Much too early to thrive in our world. (A full-term baby is born at 40 weeks gestation.) Doctors prepared us for the worst.
We had previously prayed over what name we should give to our son, and God led us to the biblical name, Boaz. (If you don't know the story of Boaz in the Bible, I encourage you to look it up in the book of Ruth. It is a story of redemption, love and overcoming obstacles!) The name, Boaz, means "by God's strength" and we clung to the hope that God's strength would carry us through the difficult journey ahead.
From the very beginning, it was very clear that our NICU journey was completely out of our control. We could not fight this battle for our son. We could only pray and watch and wait. In our waiting I also chose to sing. Many days I could not hold my son, but I could stand outside his incubator and sing. I would sing of God's faithfulness and sing of God's power. I would sing of God's protection and sing of God's love. Praising God would give me the hope to carry on one more day. Praising God would remind me to rely on God to fight for me and to fight for my son.
Somewhere in the middle of our NICU stay, we created the video attached here. Prior to the birth of Boaz, we had been expecting to participate in a conference, but with his early arrival, we were no longer able to attend. Instead, we created this video from inside our hospital room to be shared at that conference. We want to share that video again with you now.
Those days in the NICU were the hardest days we have ever faced! We never knew from one moment to the next if our son was going to survive. There were so many obstacles coming our way, both in and out of the hospital, that we were exhausted and overwhelmed. Perhaps you can relate? The only way we survived, was by relying on God and His strength to carry us through!
Today, Boaz is 6 years old! He is healthy and strong! He is inquisitive and full of life! He loves machines and digging in the dirt! To look at him today, you would never know the hardships he faced in his first days of life! This is how GREAT our God is!
When we trust God - when we place our hope in God - when we admit that we need God - when we rely on God's strength - God WILL see us through!
I know the days in front of us now bring a lot of uncertainty. I know that it could be easy to allow worry to overwhelm us. But I also know how BIG our God is!! I will choose to praise God in the midst of this storm and trust Him to see us through once again! God has never failed me!
Keep trusting! Keep hoping! Keep praying!