Getting Through the Dark Night

“Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her, that her warfare is ended…” (Isa. 40:2, NKJV).

The ambulance siren wailed loudly. The shrill noise was louder than I’d ever heard it before… because it was directly over my head. Hearing the sound heard my whole life, this time from inside the vehicle, was surreal. That whole night was surreal.

That morning, Dr. Luis had told me gravely that Lily needed to be airlifted to Lima. The rest of the day was spent searching for an available plane for this purpose. After hours upon hours of phone calls, doors closing, and resistance, we finally found one. However, no medevac aircraft was to be had. A military plane was on its way, equipped temporarily with the life support machines necessary to keep Lily alive.

The problem was, our rainforest skies were raging furiously with storms. No flights were getting in or out of our jungle city of Iquitos that day. I sent out the urgent request to the thousands of brothers and sisters praying. Once again, Daddy heard and answered. At 2:00 am, a brief window opened up. The plane finally managed to slip in through the weather to pick us up.

We stood in the hospital hall in absolute silence as the emergency team readied Lily for the flight. The whole family was gathered to see our precious one off with prayer. Her body looked so small, so vulnerable, strapped to the gurney that wheeled her out of the ICU. Solemn soldiers in scrubs raised her onto the ambulance waiting to transport her to the airport. Only one of us was allowed on the plane with her. That would be me. A face hidden by a white mask instructed me to get into the front of the ambulance.

.The siren began to wail as we left the hospital, driving rapidly. Iquitos’ roads are not well-maintained; we bumped up and down as we went over potholes in our rush. My whole body tensed up when I heard the medical personnel yelling at the driver in frantic voices, “Slow down!!” I was painfully aware of the danger of the displacement of tubes providing my baby with life-giving oxygen. If they came out of place…???? I held onto my God and prayed with everything in me, my every muscle tensing with every bump in the road.

We finally arrived at the airport. The picture above is the view I had of them loading Lily onto the military plane, as I waited on board. They hung the machines on a horizontal bar and got her settled in. The engines were loud as we took off immediately afterwards. The night was dark and wet. Inside the plane, the lighting was dim, contributing to the ethereal feeling of the experience

There would be no rest for me that night. There was no way I would be able to fall asleep for the two hour journey to Lima. I stared at Lily lying in unmoving stillness, across from me. I stared at the blinking machines. I stared at the warm red blanket they had put on her – I had provided it myself. Would they have just exposed her to the cold air, if I hadn’t brought it? I wasn’t sure.

I rubbed my face in exhaustion, and then felt for my phone. I instinctively opened my Bible app, needing desperately to hear from God. Holy Spirit had been nudging me to read Isaiah 40, so that’s where I went. As soon as I got to verse 2, I stopped. I knew. Here it was, His word for me, jumping off the screen into my heart: “Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her, that her warfare is ended…” (Isa. 40:2, NKJV).

My unspeakably precious little one was suspended in the air, hurling through the heavens 35,000 feet above the ground in a dark, unsterile military plane. She had been on life support, fighting for her life, for two weeks, the two longest weeks of my life. My body was strained, my soul spent. But God was announcing to me the end of our battle.

“Your warfare is ended…” I looked up to heaven, and I received His promise. My emotions continued to storm even more fiercely than the tempest we had just flown out of. But God had spoken. In the midst of what was one of the most traumatic nights of Lily’s whole ordeal, He gave me a word to sustain me. That word gave me strength as I waited through the indescribably long night.

Dear one, He always, always will. He always will provide the sustaining promise you need to strengthen you. When you find yourself in the midst of your darkest night, look up. He’s there. He’s with you. He’s got His invisible angels surrounding you. And He has a word for you that will get you through the night.

I need to add this. Immediately after we were safely in the air after takeoff, the storming resumed over our city. No more flights got in or out of Iquitos for another day after that. Daddy had opened the skies… just for my Lily.

Daddy and His angels got us safely to Lima. And the very next day, she was able to get off life support and breathe on her own. It was true. Our warfare was coming to its end.

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Have you been through a time when God gave you a word to hold onto, in the midst of deep turmoil, and it gave you the strength to endure?