My thoughts two days before surgery

Often times, we live through life’s difficult times getting bruised and battered. As a follower of Christ, we are grateful to have Him as our source of strength and comfort.

But through the valleys, there are always unknowns. I don’t know about you but for me, the unknowns cause me to ask questions. The BIG unknown, can lead to the BIG unknown question, “What if the worst happens?”

A few nights ago, Brianna asked Mihi a question along those lines. “Mommy, what if Abby dies? Will we go back to Romania?” The truth is, we have been fielding some really hard questions in our home lately. Simple questions about how you use the facilities during surgery, to deep theological questions about our good God who loves us and has the power to heal instantly… a lot of questions, so Brianna’s question fit into the mix.

Mihi and I haven’t spent much time discussing this question, or really any question in regards to “if the worst happens”. Not that we don’t realize that it is a possibility because it is a possibility and we know it is. We pray to the Father that we don’t want to bury our youngest, we want all three of our kids to outlive us both.

“God has called our family to serve Him in Romania, so if Abby dies, we will go back to Romania. We don’t want to do anything without her. If she dies, it will be really hard, but we will still follow what God says and go back to Romania.” Brianna took Mihi’s answer and the conversation moved on.

I could not have said it any better than Mihi did. After the death of a loved one, there is great pain. There is great suffering. But just as Mihi stated to Brianna: even if the worst happens, we will serve the Lord.

I was meditating on Habakkuk 3:17–19a and actually had a chance to share a little with a church this past Sunday before they prayed for the family and Abby. Habakkuk’s prayer states,

When the fig tree does not bud,
and there are no grapes on the vines;
when the olive trees do not produce,
and the fields yield no crops;
when the sheep disappear from the pen,
and there are no cattle in the stalls,
I will rejoice because of the Lord;
I will be happy because of the God who delivers me!
The sovereign Lord is my source of strength.

Habakkuk realized that inner peace is never contingent on outward circumstances. Even if there is absolute ruin around us, we are to trust in our sovereign God who is our source of strength! God alone can give us victory over the battering waves of the problems we face in this life.

 

Together as a couple, Mihi and I are looking to our sovereign God to be our source of strength in this valley in which we currently find ourselves. We are praying that He will allow the doctors to proceed with wisdom beyond their training & that the surgery will happen without any issues. That Abby will come through with flying colors. That she will recover quickly, and that all the possible negative outcomes and side effects will just be a list that we never had to face.

 

But regardless of the circumstances now and in the future, we will trust our sovereign God to be our source of strength. He is more than enough to sustain us when we rejoice, and he is more than enough to sustain us when we mourn.

25 Comments

  1. Larry and Karen Hertel on July 9, 2017 at 6:06 am

    Wow , no words to add. God is sovereign, we follow…

    • Gela Graef on July 10, 2017 at 5:50 pm

      Wow, Chris! You are such an encouragement and I appreciate your heart for the Lord. You all are in my prayers and on my heart. What a testing ground you’re leading your family through with grace and godliness. Please hug them all for me. I love you guys.

      • Chris Guess on July 17, 2017 at 3:45 am

        Thanks Gela. It is great to be able to have such heart to heart talks with all three kids.

    • Chris Guess on July 17, 2017 at 3:38 am

      He is sovereign, and that truth helps bring comfort in the valley.

  2. Betsy Diaz on July 9, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    The word of God is full of His promises and we just have to hold on tight to them and to Him, and you know that very well. Today Dr. Charles Stanley share the word in Matthew 6:6 and I would like to share with you from the Bible The Message: “Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet place, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role play with God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense His grace”. -He will reward you.
    We are all praying and will continue…our Mighty God is the great healer and Abby will live to testify and witness to others, all for His glory! God bless your family! Amen! I am friends with your parents, they are dear to me. (Coworkers at Kingsway)

    • Patricia Barrow on July 10, 2017 at 1:32 am

      God is good. He is in control. Great words Chris. I’ll pray for comfort and peace for you and the rest of your family. May God bless.

    • Chris Guess on July 17, 2017 at 3:39 am

      Thank you Betsy for your encouraging words & for praying with us.

  3. Diana E Stanley on July 9, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    We are so BLESSED to have a FATHER watching over us – Well said My FRIEND- Love and Prayers – Diana

  4. Kathleen Walter...aka Momma #2 on July 9, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    Praying for strength through this “valley” trusting God will be glorified through it all ( He has been already through your faith and submission). He knows your hearts and hears our prayers and we know He is so much bigger than any of this. Praying you will be atop the “mountain” soon after surgery and God will grant a quick healing and place you back on the mission field soon. If God sees fit to do other than this, we are here for you!
    Though my human self is sobbing through the reading of this, He is in all His sovereignty is more than able and I will be praying like crazy to that end! Love you all ❤️

    • Chris Guess on July 17, 2017 at 3:40 am

      So thankful that God has been walking with us through this valley. He never leaves His children alone.

  5. Bruce Peters on July 9, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    Glorious testimony…and true! You have strengthened me, even as I pray for you (all). Psalm 16:1, “Preserve me, O God, for in Thee do I put my trust.”

    • Chris Guess on July 17, 2017 at 3:41 am

      What a great encouragement Bruce…He is the one that we place our trust in!

  6. Addison Hitchcock on July 9, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    We know that God is Sovereign and that He is Good. In life it is sometimes hard to reconcile thes truths but they are always true. Thank you for your testimony

  7. Faith on July 9, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    Amazing post, amazing servants of Christ, amazing God….as I read Kathleen’s post, it reminded me of a time I studied Psalms 23, and the section of “yea though I walk through the valley of the SHADOW of death, I will fear no evil…” learning that valleys and ravines often are places trees grow due to water (living water 😉) that runs through them, and we know there is shade in the valley in order to have SHADOWs. Shade where in the scorching heat of life’s greatest trials, we can find rest, refresh and continue our journey. He is there with us. I also learned that it is just a SHADOW of death…shadows don’t hurt us and we walk in them all the time…in the shadows the shade can be found.
    I often think that as parents the joy and relief we feel when our children are away from us and return to our arms is why Jesus must long to bring us home too, and it’s really His unselfish grace that we get to be here with loved ones…He loves us too, and longs for that embrace…so everyday is gift from Him. I will be praying thru the days ahead, for you all to feel the rest and refreshing moments in His shadowy shade, and that Abby will walk (and stomp) on that shadow of death, and recover quickly. She’s His testimony, and yes our sovereign God already sees “three days” from now that we don’t know yet…and just like today, He will be there for you all, no matter what the outcome is, working it all together for good! Praise Him, He will be standing over that operating table, never leaving your sweet daughter. Precious days, spent in deep conversation with your family, growing their faith in their risen Christ! He will bring exceedingly abundant peace tomorrow, because you are faithfully and obediently looking to Him, the Author and Finisher of your faith. 🙏🏻❤️

  8. Sue Garrett on July 9, 2017 at 11:27 pm

    Praying for you Abby!

  9. Marcia Leake on July 10, 2017 at 1:44 am

    Your family is surrounded with prayer and will continue to be held up to the Throne of Grace tomorrow. Abby is in the Lord’s hand and He will be there in the OR with her and the surgeons. Isaiah 41:10 is a verse of great comfort to me. He will carry you and your dear family through the day tomorrow and the coming days. I am claiming Jeremiah 29:11 for Abby and He brought this verse to me during my cancer journey. May the Holy Spirit be your total Comforter as we move toward tomorrow with total trust in our God who can move mountains.

  10. Lynette Baldwin on July 10, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    Praying that God will give you peace today and for whatever plan unfolds for your family. Sending love and prayers up from Indiana!

    • Chris Guess on July 17, 2017 at 3:42 am

      Thank you for praying with us Lynette. God allowed Abby to proceed through the surgery, and it was a success! Now she is at home recovering.

  11. Debbie Fortune on July 10, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    Praying for your sweet Abby and all of the family. May God give you peace and assurance through all of this situation. He is in control. We serve a great God! Love and prayers from a teacher at Kingsway Christian School!

    • Chris Guess on July 17, 2017 at 3:43 am

      Thank you for praying with us Debbie. Abby is now at home happily recovering.

  12. Jackie Moore on July 11, 2017 at 1:04 am

    Prayers for Abby’s recovery

    • Chris Guess on July 17, 2017 at 3:46 am

      Thank you for praying with us Jackie!

  13. Mickey Park. (known your mom and dad years) on July 11, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    Personal honesty, powerful reality….Heart matters for sure. So appreciate your honesty. God be with you.

    • Chris Guess on July 17, 2017 at 3:46 am

      Thank you for the encouraging words Mickey.

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