Easter - 2018

Monday, October 24, 2011

How to fight the strugles of life...Habits of Praise!

This is my son Nicholas.

We adopted Nicholas when he was three days old. He had down syndrome and would need to have heart surgery. We didn't fret over that too much because Matthew also has Down Syndrome and had already had heart surgery. Nicholas was born in New York City to a couple that were Moldovan immigrants who are wonderful people. We brought him home to Indiana and after about 5 weeks, he got a virus and that put his blood flows out of rhythm. His surgery would be sooner than later.

On January 4th of this year, he went in for a complete AV canal heart repair. When he returned from surgery, his blood pressures had trouble stabilizing. For two weeks, we watched the blood pressures go up and go back down...Back to surgery was the plan. A two hour procedure turned into 7 hours. Coming out of surgery, the doctors wanted to meet with us. They told us that he probably would not survive the night. We wanted to be with him.

They took us to the High Level Pediatric Intensive Care Room and we saw our little boy. As we reached in to him, the cardiologist leaned over and told me, “His blood gases are at a rate that he will not be with us more than another couple of hours.”

We chose to hold him and we sat face to face with Nicholas in our arms. At first he was awake and would turn his eyes to us when we would speak. We told him how wonderful he was and how much of a blessing he was to our family. 90 minutes later, his heart rate and breathing repetitions were very shallow, so we asked for the tubes to be removed. And for about another twenty minutes, we had our son in our arms...

In the last nine months, we have been asked, “How are you handling all this...?” The answer, “We are not!” Very early, we chose to praise God regardless. The survival of life's struggles is successful in habits of praise. Making a solid and convicted choice to give God the glory regardless of the circumstance is survival.

For a habit of praise, consider Shaddrack, Messhack, and Abindigo. The made a choice and that choice was a habit of praise in their lives. “King Nebuchadnezzar, even if God does not save us, we will not bow down to you.” The was not a spur of the moment decision. It was a habit in their life that was chosen years earlier. Is your habit the choice to praise God and not bow down, even when it gets HOT?

For another habit, consider John 9. The only miracle where Jesus goes to a blind man. The man is not calling out or pleading. His disciples ask, “Rabbi, who sinned, the man or his parents?” Jesus responds with, “Neither...you are asking the wrong question. The question to ask is how is God going to be glorified through his situation.” Is your habit to ask, “How is God going to be glorified in this situation?”

Consider, the Lord himself. He is in the garden. He knows the cross is just a few hours away. He pleads, “Lord, take this cup from me?...yet not my will but yours be done.” Jesus looked at his struggle to come and his habit is to follow his father's will. What about you...is your habit to do God's will regardless of your struggle?

Survival tips for life's struggles are to make it a habit to praise God in all circumstances...by choosing to praise, asking how is God going to be glorified, and following God's direction and will. I have a new treasure stored in heaven. I have always said, “I am looking forward to heaven because of a new heart that does not have a sinful nature. Then I am going to find Jesus and just thank him for letting me in the door. After that, I know Jesus will turn around and put Nicholas back in our arms.

You want to survive...Make it a habit to choose to praise, ask how is God going to be glorified, and follow God's direction.

You know I love ya, Don


Faith Jackson said...

What a marvelous testimony - one that I know from personal experience that you are living every day. You and Karen are shining brightly with the light and love of God, and you are making an impact in ways you cannot possibly even dream of. Thank you for your faith, and your raw honesty in sharing. What a glorious time we will have when we see Him!

Don Crane said...

Thank you...Choosing to praise is the only way to survive until the prize.