Easter - 2018

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

God's Concern

The Merriam-Webster dictionary define concern as, “have an emotional feeling so as to relate to.”

The morning of September 17, 2003. Hurricane Isabel was headed for Richmond,VA. Karen was nine months pregnant and was due any day. She had experienced a great pregnancy. All the test came back and the baby looked fine. The hurricane was coming so the doctor decided it would be good to induce labor so that we would be safe in the hospital as the hurricane hit the city. The medicine was started at 7:00 AM and at 9:00 AM Karen had her first pain. Everything changed from that moment on. We started to loose the babies heart beat. At 2:00 PM we hit critical mass and an emergency C-section would have to be performed. At 2:43 PM, we were in the operating room and the doctor announced, “She has beautiful blond hair, but it's a boy!”Our oldest son, Matthew Hinz had entered our lives.

Less than an hour later we were told, “He has Down syndrome and a heart defect and we are not sure what else to say at this point.” These words were not even in the discussion just 12 hours earlier. Hurricane Isabel arrived and there was bad news on all fronts.

Around 11:00 PM, I was called to the nursery to meet with the cardiologist. The neonatologist, the cardiologist, and nurse Marie were standing over Matthew as I stood on the opposite side. Matthew had an A.S.D. and a V.S.D. - holes in his heart. They proceeded to tell me how bad he was and how things were very grim. At some point, I recall saying, “OK. I am the biggest guy here and no one leaves until I hear something positive about my son.” The Neonatologist looked right at me and said, “I can't do that for you.” I respond with, “You're fired” and looked over to the cardiologist and said “you're next.” She looked at me and said, “I see this everyday. You have a journey ahead, but we will get him through.” I said, “OK.” 

As we we began to leave … Nurse Marie leaned over and said, “I am going to give him his first bath around 3 AM, why don't you come back and we can do it together.” Nurse Marie was listening...All I wanted to do was be a dad.God's was demonstrating his concern.

Just after midnight...only 18 hours earlier everything was so different. The Hurricane passed and power was out and there was a great deal of scary moments of watching flying trees and lightning glowing in sky. I remember sobbing and praying, “God, where did you go?”

On my way out of the nursery from giving Matthew His first bath at 4 AM, I went to the chapel and got on my knees and prayed “Lord, just let us take him home, even for a little while.” I did not hear an audible voice but in my spirit it became clear... "no, you cannot take him home." Needless to say, I was not happy with God's response. I went everyday for four days to the hospital chapel and I prayed and each time God made clear His response, “no.”

God was quiet. He was making us a part of His story and reminding me, “everything He has is mine.” God was teaching me His concern. He was making me a member of the redeemed.

At ten days old, Matthew went into congestive heart failure. He would need heart surgery soon. We were transferred to the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA. It was 70 miles away from our home and church. When we arrived the billing department called me in told me that they were not a participant in our health insurance. One of the reasons we had chosen the original hospital was that it was a high quality hospital that was a participant in our insurance. Now, we were at the best university hospitals in the United States and they were not a participant in our insurance. I asked the woman, does this mean you will not do the surgery? She informed me that they would do the surgery and that it would be very expensive and that we would have to pay it.

The elders came and prayed with us. They also told me to stay with my family. They told me there would be a job for me when I returned, but I needed to stay with my family and they would take care of things at home. Including a regular pay check. God was showing us his concern.

Matthew had his heart surgery and endured a staph infection. Matthew's little month old body would suffer bouts of lung issues and collapse. This little month old would come close to death several times. Yet, God's people would shower us with cards, emails, and regular prayers. A fellow Minister at the Cherry Avenue Christian Church would visit us everyday we were at the hospital. That sister church had a pitch-in dinner and they brought us meals from their gathering. We were receiving mail at the hospital and the nurse would walk in with a pile of cards, notes, and gifts and proclaim...”Mail Call.” There were believers in 38 states and 6 countries praying for us. We were being humbled as only God can do....He was teaching us His concern.  

God's concern is part of the story of the redeemed.

Does God's concern materialize in your daily living?
 The story of the redeemed always gives light to God's concern.

You know I love ya because of God's concern, Don

1 comment:

Faith Jackson said...

Even though I knew the story, had read the story before, and know how God has led you since Matthew's birth - I still say wow! The more we see how God has led us, the more we can trust Him for the future. He truly does have the best in store for us, which leads me to drop in awe before Him. We cannot even imagine the good things ahead, whether tomorrow or next year - or eternity!

Love you in Christ, Don. Thank you so much for your faithfulness in sharing the goodness of our Lord.