Monday, January 28, 2008

Springs in the Midst of the Valleys

Yes. This is how I would describe my past week.
Isaiah 41:17,18, 20 says,

“The afflicted and needy are seeking water, but there is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst; I the Lord, will answer them Myself, as the God of Israel, I will not forsake them.

I will open rivers on the bare heights, and springs in the midst of the valleys, I will make the wilderness a pool of water and the dry land fountains of water….

That they may see and recognize and consider and gain insight as well, that the hand of the Lord has done this, and the Holy One of Israel has created it!”

If it weren’t for the rivers, the springs, and the fountains of water along the way, we would be completely hopeless, hurting, and needy. Yet the Lord Himself is well acquainted with our afflictions and He has seen to it that we are not forsaken. The path we’ve been treading upon has been rocky and even though it would drop down into another deeper valley, God has refreshed us! Springs in the midst of the valleys…that is what He’s given us and the water is sweet and most satisfying.

This week was all about identifying the side effects of chemotherapy and knowing how to treat it before it gets out of hand. The Lord has been so gracious to us. It’s been a full week and the effects still have been minimal: tiredness & fatigue and a heightened sense of smells are the two dominant ones with a little bit of nausea. (I told Paul that this is the closest he’ll get to feeling pregnant! Ha!) What has been more of a concern now is Paul’s left eye. Last week, his eye pressure was at the frightening level of 38. Four days ago, Paul went back for a same day appt at Kaiser Richmond because his eye was not responding to that 5th medication that was prescribed a couple days before. We found out that his eye pressure increased even more to 40. (Paul had lost some peripheral vision on his right eye at this level.) You can call this another valley. What can we do except press hard into Him and trust that He will prove Himself faithful in our uncertainties? Normal eye pressure should be in the low teens; at this point if it stays this high, surgery is imperative. We’re just not sure how that works in with chemo treatments or if that’s even possible at all...we’ll find out at Paul’s appointment with Dr. Lee, the eye specialist. We are grateful that even though her appointment book was jam packed, they still forced us in to her schedule first thing Monday morning! We shall wait expectantly on the Lord to walk us through.

Last week I made mention of our daughter Jenna’s illness. (definitely a deeper valley!) She was diagnosed with an awful virus that we were told would last for 2 weeks to even 3 months or more. Not only that, she had the added complication of some inflammation in her kidneys that caused us to go to the hospital every morning to get blood work done until the kidney specialist was satisfied with the lab results. For Jenna, being this ill was devastating as she was preparing to participate in her school’s first ever Miss Apache Pageant which was just one week away from her present condition. Our hearts were broken as we so wanted to share this fun high school experience with her and hear her sing her heart out for the “talent” phase of the pageant. What else could we do in this valley but cry out to our God who hears and heals? Literally, within 2 days, all her symptoms of tiredness and fatigue, mild night time fever & chills, swollen lymph glands in her neck that made it difficult to swallow let alone sing, all disappeared! Absolutely incredible, isn’t it? I still can't believe that she's all better! We’ve heard of many who have suffered through this virus leaving them debilitated and stuck in bed for months! But our God has made her well and last night, to Him be all the glory, not only did we have the joy of seeing her stand up and sing her heart out, Jenna was crowned Miss Apache 2008!! (Click on the link to see Jenna sing.)


Anonymous said...

Dear Paul and Arlene,

There's a Godly jealousy in my soul to see how deeply the LORD is at work in the midst of your lives and trials. He's at work in my life to be sure, but there is something wonderful to be seen in how faithful He's been in your deepest valleys that I hope to experience when my time comes. He's letting you go through that curtain first as an example of His power in our weakenss, all in preparation for the time when the rest of us face similar trial (and of course for your own sanctification!). But I am also reminded that He has Himself gone through the deepest valley by suffering abandonment for our rebellion against an ineffably and inestimably holy LORD and GOD. If He did not spare His own Son, who is also LORD, then how will He not freely give us all things? Even the sweetest comforts in the darkest afflictions. Praise the LORD for his innumerable mercies to both of you. I am delighted for you, Paul. I love you both (all), and we continue to ask GOD's blessing for you through
this time.

LOVE in Christ, Jim

James J. Lee
Sr. U.S. Probation Officer
404-762-4620, ext. 234
Cell: 770-265-2863
Fax: 404-762-4624

Anonymous said...

Dear Paul and Arlene,
Hope this has been a calm restful day for you spiritually and physically. I was encouraged by your blog on Springs in the midst of the Valley. I thought you'd like this verse in John. "But whoever drinks of the water that I give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life." (John 4:14)

Keeping you in prayer,
Reena and family