Saturday, February 23, 2008

Big Hug From God

Today we have a Guest Blogger -- my daughter, Brenda. In January 2004, my wife and her mother, Ann, was in Cedar Sinai Hospital recovering from brain surgery. Brenda and I were in the room when something happened that is told in this story by Brenda. This is an actual happening in ICU with Ann.
Dear Mom,

This letter tells the story of our Big Hug From God.

Today, January 26, 2004, you had brain surgery to alleviate the spasms in your right side of your face. We have all been anxious about this surgery, especially in the days just prior. We had many people praying for you.

Twice during the weekend I thought of sitting down and finishing my Bible Study homework but then I would think, no, I would complete it while I was waiting with Dad while you were in surgery. Now I know why.

My study is called Beloved Disciple by Beth Moore and is all about the apostle John's walk with Jesus. We were just starting our study of the book of Revelation. I had finished two and one-half pages of the study the Friday before. I started on Monday morning, at the hospital, with Revelation 1:7 which says, "Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him."

I need to back up for a moment. Nearly two years ago, I started praying for "Hugs from God" when I especially needed to feel His presence and love in my life. I prayed that prayer before leaving for the hospital that morning.

The study further looked at other scriptures about the Lord and clouds. I read:

"While Aaron was speaking to the whole Israelite community, they looked toward the desert, and there was the glory of the Lord appearing in the cloud." Exodus 16:10

"When Moses went up on the mountain, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai. For six days the cloud covered the mountain, and on the seventh day the Lord called to Moses from within the cloud." Exodus 24:15-16

"The Lord said to Moses: "Tell your brother Aaron not to come whenever he chooses into the Most Holy Place behind the curtain in front of the atonement cover on the ark, or else he will die, because I appear in the cloud over the atonement cover." Leviticus 16:2

"When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the Lord." 1 Kings 8:10

"While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud." Luke 9:34

The study went on to say the following:

"God's glory is so inconceivably brilliant to the human eye that He often shrouds His presence in a cloud. One day the clouds will roll back like a scroll, and he will stand before us revealed. He has much to disclose to us in the meantime, and we'll be greatly helped when we accept that clouds are not signs of His absence. Indeed, within them we most often find His presence.

"In the July 29 entry of "My Utmost for His Highest" Oswald Chambers wrote figuratively of clouds, "In the Bible clouds are always connected with God. Clouds are those sorrows or sufferings or providences, within or without our personal lives, which seem to dispute the rule of God. It is by those very clouds that the Spirit of God is teaching us how to walk by faith. If there were no clouds, we should have no faith. The clouds are but the dust of our Father's feet" (see Nahum 1:3). The clouds are a sign that He is there. ....Through every cloud He brings, He wants us to unlearn something. His purpose in the cloud is to simplify our belief until our relationship to Him is exactly that of a child-God and my own soul, other people are shadows. ... Unless we can look the darkest, blackest fact full in the face without damaging God's character, we do not yet know Him."

We received the wonderful news from Dr. Shahinian that the surgery was a success. The spasms were gone. I was so happy that I hugged Dr. Shahinian.

We were able to go in and see you in ICU after lunch. You were having problems maintaining your blood pressure and temperature. You also had a headache and nausea. You would mumble something and we would place our ear near your mouth to try to understand what you needed.

About mid-afternoon, I was standing at the foot of your bed when you opened both eyes and looked over my left shoulder. Very clearly you asked, "Why is there a cloud in my room?" I said, "Mom, He's here. God is here. He is in the cloud. I read about it today in my Bible Study." You looked at me as if I was on Morphine and said, "I just want to know why a cloud is in my room." You closed your eyes and had a restful sleep.

I got a BIG hug from God. He let me know, through you, that He was with us and cared about us. The Alpha and Omega, the great I AM, the creator, knew what was going on with our lives and made His presence known in the seventh floor ICU at Cedar Sinai Hospital.

Two days later when I asked if you remembered the cloud, you said you did. You described it as fog up over the doorway. I shared with you the scriptures from my study.

It is no accident that I did not complete my study prior to Monday morning. The scriptures and comments in my study were freshly underlined and in my brain even with all the stress of that morning. It is no accident that you used the word "cloud" and not fog to describe what you saw which instantly triggered my memory of the scriptures. It is no accident that God revealed Himself to us in a cloud. He has been doing the same thing for thousands of years. It is no accident that God loves you, and I do too.

Ann had a rough time getting over the surgery as she received an infection while in the hospital. It took about 4 months to get over that including a couple of months in a nursing home before she came home on April 24th (Brenda's birthday). It was a struggle to get her strength back and in the process the infection went to her replaced knee causing two more surgeries to replace that knee with a temporary one and then with another permanent knee. So she needed a lot of "Hugs From God" to get her through. The only permanent problem she had was the hearing in her right ear is gone. Brain swelling caused that. But we are very grateful for bringing her out of the problems encountered and she is doing fine now.


Ann said...

Thanks for putting on the story about my Hug From God.

Anonymous said...

Dick, we remember this story and how special it was to your family at the time. Brenda was so loving and caring for her mom during all her medical events.

God Bless her for writing the letter so you could put it on the blog.
Dave and Marlene Cole

Anonymous said...

We remember this time Brenda shares, and we so happy to hear of Ann's recovery. Tell Brenda, I have been in several Beth Moore studies in the last couple of years, and am now just starting her "Why Godly People Do Ungodly Things" This study, is so appropriate for today, and our messed up society. Know I'll enjoy. Fay Mar. 6, 2008