Thursday, September 17, 2009

Peace of God...

... And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

I have heard this verse all my life, especially the part that goes; "the peace... which surpasses all understanding". I have heard it in lessons, sermons, advice, and lots of prayers. I don't guess it ever occurred to me that I didn't really get the meaning of it. I just figured I knew what it meant, but I didn't.

Jackman is 5 weeks and a day old today; that's 36 days. Since the day he was born, he's been in Children's Hospital. Every night, for 36 days, we have left our baby boy at the hospital at 10:00pm and drove home without him. I know some mothers who have 5 year old kids, and have yet to spent a night apart from each other. We've never even spent a single night with our baby.

Of all the things we've dealt with so far since Jackman has been born, not having him with us is by far the hardest. You might think it gets easier as you get used to the situation, but I have found over the past week or so it gets even harder. It's like that old saying goes; "Absence makes the heart grow fonder".

The first few days, it was really hard to leave him at the hospital and come home. I went to see him twice a day while Lisa was recovering. Naturally, Lisa would cry at night when we came home, and I would cry during the day on my way home when I was by myself. The whole situation made for emotional overload in those first few days.

But I noticed that didn't last long. Soon, we were in good spirits when we would leave the hospital. We didn't loose sleep at night with him 30 miles away. We didn't feel like we had to spend every waking moment at his bedside looking at him. I continued to go to church ever since he was born, and the only reason Lisa missed was while she was recovering.

We talked about it a couple of times; basically how we felt a little guilty that we weren't crying every time we left, and beating down the doors every morning to come see him. We didn't understand why we were at peace. We felt we should have been more concerned, more worried. We wondered why we didn't ask the nurses more questions and hassle them every chance we got. We wondered why we didn't tell them how to do their jobs. It was beyond all our understanding. That's when that verse came to mind, and I finally got it.

That's "the peace of God which surpasses all understanding". You can't manufacture it. You can't decide to just "have it". It's not something I can take credit for. It's the peace of God, and it's His to give.

There is one part that depends on us, and that's the taking. It's up to us to take the peace instead of the misery. The funny thing is the misery is more comfortable for us. It's the quick fix, and it's what the natural part of us wants so badly. We feel like we deserve it; to wallow in that misery like pigs in the mud, and hopefully we'll get some pity to go with it. The peace doesn't satisfy our natural cravings at all.

When God offers that peace, it's a sure sign He's about to take you to school spiritually, and teach you a thing or two. It's kind of like graduation gifts before you go off to college. Misery would be cash; it's satisfying but short-lived, and in the long run just not very fulfilling. Really, who remembers what their graduation money went toward unless it got you in trouble. On the other hand, peace is like the big old dictionary somebody got for you. When you got it you're like "hmmm, thanks, just what I didn't want". But you have to admit, it came in handy, over and over. I still have mine, and I still use it.

Me and Lisa have that peace. Lots of people don't understand it. That's okay, cause we don't either. That's why it's the "peace of God, which surpasses all understanding". There's nothing special about us. The peace we have can be had by anyone who trusts in God. It's God's peace, and He offers you just what you need; all you have to do is accept it.

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  1. Very well said Greg. You continue to be an inspiration.And your family continues to be in our prayers.

  2. WOW!!! Thanks for the explaination...that truly makes that verse come to life. You have such a faith...I am in awe of how God is working through Jackman for His Glory! happy belated birthday Lisa...
    Let us know if we can do anything!

  3. Greg, we read the 91st Psalm everyday (nearly)to Pearl when she was in the NICU - all 71 days of it and I think it was more for us than for her. I know it is tough, but God is good (as you know) and he will see you through. May God bless you, Lisa and Jackman for your faithfulness and trust in him. Arlyn Marheine(Angela Hamilton's husband) If you want to discuss some of the ups and downs with someone who's been there and done that - give us a call - 669-1496