Sunday, April 27, 2014

It would have been enough...

Seder is big in my family.  No, we're not Jewish.  Evangelical Christians, in fact.  But about twenty years ago, my dad was doing research on the feasts of the Old Testament and ended up creating a Seder service that combined Old Testament and New Testament readings.  At first, it was supposed to be just a small Sunday School gathering, but it quickly evolved into an all-church feast.  And even though a job transfer moved my family away from that church, we continued the tradition in our own family until my parent's new church heard about it.  So Thursday my parents helped to serve the Passover feast to a group from their church in addition to sharing the feast with my Bible study group here on Tuesday.

It's a beautiful time of remembering the grace and power of God to His people and now to us as believers through the Lamb of God, His Son Jesus Christ.  One of the most beautiful parts of the ceremony is a litany in which the leader reads a list of miracles that God did to free the Israelites and provide for them in the desert for forty years.  After each miracle, those sitting around the table repeat the phrase, "It would have been enough for us."  What a powerful reminder of the magnitude of miracles God did for the Israelites!  How amazing to think that they needed each and every one of these miracles to survive their journey through the desert!  And what a practical, humbling experience it is to think that any one of those miracles would have been... should have been... could have been enough for them.  Because God was enough.

Which brings me to Saturday.  It wasn't a very significant day... other than the fact that God woke me up at 7 a.m. and told me that I would really like to go to the grocery store. right. then.  If you know me very well, you know that's pretty supernatural, especially on a Saturday morning.  And He would NOT let me go back to sleep... so to the store I went with an inexplicable joy to be awake and buying food for my family.  I restocked all of our cupboards, and then we all went outside as a family to work in the garden and play in the sunshine.  It was pretty perfect.  Then we got the call at noon that my mom and dad were planning to come and help us out in the garden after lunch. Yay!

My parents are master gardeners, and you'd be hard pressed to find a garden in our city that doesn't have at least one of their perennials in it.  They love to give away their plants and help others enjoy gardening.  Plus, when they come to my house, they get to pass that love on to their three grandchildren.  What could be better?

We trimmed and hauled sticks and branches from trees, bushes, and plants all afternoon together.  It was a beautiful day of good conversation, sunshine, and really happy children. But when I went to take a basket of twigs out to the brush pile, I found my dad lying on the ground.  Thinking he was just examining my lawn for moles because he's the "lawn guy" in the family, I didn't think to much of it until I talked to him and he wouldn't respond to me.  Quickly my mom ran over and my husband came, not knowing why we were all gathered around the ground.

Within seconds, I was dialing 911, my husband was clearing my dad's airway, and my mother was talking to Dad trying to get him to wake up and respond.  But he wouldn't.  And he stopped breathing.  And as I talked to the emergency responder on the phone, I truly thought I was watching my mother say goodbye to my father for the last time.  Teacher Man checked for a pulse.  Praise God it was there!  Then he gave Dad a breath, and by some miracle Daddy started gasping for air.  Snoring actually.  Not regularly.  But every so often, he would snore or gasp for air.  There was life in his body, and his color started to come back.

The EMTs were amazing.  They got here in minutes, and by the time they had wheeled their gurney back to Dad, he uttered his first words after they asked him what happened: "I have no idea."  I can't tell you how good it was to hear those words.  The next few hours were a blur of spending time at our local ER where Dad was gasping for breath and confused, watching Daddy be airlifted to a larger hospital, driving to my parents' home to get things for my mother, and heading to the larger ER to find my dad awake and talking.

It's been a whirlwind.  Test after test has come back negative.  No problems. Dad's heart is fine.  His brain is fine.  Everything is fine.  We're frustrated to not know what happened, but so incredibly blessed to know all of the things it was not.  And through all these tests, we as a family have reflected on the immeasurable grace of God in every detail of this awful event.

This Easter we celebrated the resurrection in a whole new light.  We watched my dad breathe new life with no human explanation.  We watched him recover total ability after only a few hours.  We know this didn't have to be the way that God wrote our story.  But it is.  And as we reflect on this last week and prepare for the future, we can do nothing but give glory to God.  For His grace.  For His goodness.  For His presence in even the tiniest detail.  Because even if everything had not turned out this way, God would still be God.  He would have been enough for us. It would have been enough for us.  It would have.

If the test results had not come back so well... It would have been enough for us.

If Dad had not had one of the best medical teams in the state... It would have been enough for us.

If the Body of Christ hadn't surrounded us in a cloud of prayer... It would have been enough for us.

If he had not been airlifted to a wonderful hospital... It would have been enough for us.

If the paramedics hadn't come so very quickly to give him oxygen... It would have been enough for us.

If Teacher Man hadn't been trained in CPR and able to help Dad start breathing... It would have been enough for us.

If Dad had passed out at home and not here where Teacher Man and I could help Mom... It would have been enough for us.

And if Saturday had been our last day with Daddy...our last day of gardening in the sunshine and laughing together while the children played...his first day of standing in the presence of His Savior... It would have been enough for us. But, oh, how grateful I am though that Dad has been given the gift of another day.

God was and is and will always be enough for us.  Amen.  And amen.