“NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses]” (Heb. 11:1, AMPC).
It was during the emergency flight to Lima that Daddy gave me the promise, “Her warfare is ended.” (See my previous post for that story). If you look at that dark night from a natural perspective, it didn’t make sense for Him to say it that way. My warfare wasn’t, in fact, over yet. Here is an abbreviated overview of how this painful trial was yet to afflict my soul before truly ending:
- After that exhausting night of travel to get to Lima, I still wasn’t able to sleep. I spent the day moving through red tape, purchasing the medicines the ICU needed for Lily (yes, that’s normal in Peru), and then sitting for hours waiting to be allowed to see her in her new setting.
- The next day, when I was informed hours after the fact that they had extubated her (!!!), they let me in to see her for only a few minutes. She had not yet woken up from the sedation, and they told me not to touch her or talk to her. How painfully hard that was! Everything in me wanted to touch her, hold her, comfort her, sing to her. Instead, I gazed at her briefly, then obediently shuffled out when they asked me to leave, tears once again stinging my eyes.
- The following day, during the one hour of permitted visitation, she did finally wake up from her 17 days of coma. This was not as exhilarating as you might think. She opened her eyes slowly. They were completely vacant. She sluggishly turned them on me, and no recognition happened. After greeting her with deep emotion and sensing something terribly off, I asked her, “Do you know who I am?” Blankly, she shook her head with a groggy no. This was, again, one of the scariest things I’ve ever experienced.
- Another day passed. Another one tiny hour of visitation was allowed. This time, she recognized me. But her facial expressions and emotional responses were not her own, not even partially. It felt like I was talking to someone else, not Lily. It seemed like a stranger was looking at me through her eyes. She was acting like a toddler, or a mentally handicapped child. Where was Lily?
The doctors were reluctant to speak with me, but muttered that this was not normal. Something was very wrong. When the visit was over, I returned to the place I was staying and wept heartbroken tears. I wrestled in anguish with this question: Had we lost our baby after all? Was our Lily, as we knew her, gone forever? Had oxygen deprivation seriously damaged her brain, removing her real self irretrievably from our lives?
- It wasn’t until three tortuously long days later that, suddenly, Lily was back. From the moment that I arrived at her bedside for the daily hour-long visit, until I left, she chatted with me the entire time. I cannot even begin to quantify my enormous relief. My immense joy, though, was still tainted by sadness, as Lily was feeling deeply alone now that she was awake and alert. She was longing to be with us; yet for twenty-three out of twenty-four hours, she had to lie by herself, strapped to the bed, waiting for my next visit.
I could go on and on about everything else that was hard about the ten subsequent days we endured in the hospital before her release. But I think you get the picture.
So. Why, then, did He personally speak to me the verse, “Her warfare is ended”?
Here’s what Holy Spirit taught me during the agonizing, interminable hours of waiting outside that ICU unit to get in to see Lily. God is eternal. He’s both outside of time, and inside it with us. This means that, simultaneously, He is with me and you right now, and He’s with Abraham in his time. Right now, He is also with any grandchildren that will descend from me (I don’t have any yet). Right now, He is with my future self, too. Right now, He’s also inhabiting that forthcoming part of my life where I already have the answers to the current challenges I am facing.
“For thus says the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity…” (Isa. 57:15, NKJV).
Right now, Lily is in wonderful health. And Daddy was already here before I got here. Literally. This moment was already this real to Him. So, when He whispered to my heart in that dark airplane, “Her warfare is ended,” He was reporting to me real facts, facts that He was living and enjoying already.
Read today’s verse again at the beginning of this post, my dear friend. Especially that last phrase. “…Faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses”. You know what? When God says it, it’s real, even if you can’t see it yet. It’s a fact. He’s already in the future, and He’s reporting to you what He sees from there.
Can you relate? Has God asked you to hold onto something that you could not yet perceive with your physical senses?