Today has given us just a tiny occasion to catch our breath. Clara had a very stable night and so far today she has been ok. A few of her stats have improved, just ever so slightly. We are encouraged by this, but are still aware that she is an extremely sick little girl. Dr. Turner worded it like this: yesterday she was standing on the cliff with her toes hanging over the edge; today, she's taken about a quarter step back.
Last night, Chrissy and I prayed for God to work a miracle. It was almost the exact same prayer that we prayed the night before we got Clara's amniocentesis results, when we were almost certain that those results were going to tell us that she had a fatal chromosomal disorder. We were in the exact same place, without any rational hope, with no logical reason to expect Clara to survive. But we prayed for a miracle then, and we prayed for a miracle last night.
We do not presume to know God's mind or the intricacies of His plans. But we continue to have faith that He can heal our daughter, and we continue to pray with all our hearts that He will.
Being in this place, without any statistical or logical reason to expect that she will pull through, I have repeatedly gone back to two biblical stories. The first, for obvious reasons, is the story of Jesus healing the sick (or dead, depending on how you read it) girl:
Mark 5:21-23, 35-42 NIV
'When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake. Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. He pleaded earnestly with him, "My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live." While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. "Your daughter is dead," they said. "Why bother the teacher anymore?" Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, "Don't be afraid; just believe." He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. He went in and said to them, "Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep." But they laughed at him.
After he put them all out, he took the child's father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. He took her by the hand and said to her, "Talitha koum!" (which means "Little girl, I say to you, get up!"). Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished.'
The second passage that I keep returning to is the story of Gideon defeating the Midianites. Gideon has assembled an enormous army of thirty thousand Israelite soldiers to fight the Midianites, but God has other plans:
Judges 7:2 NIV
The Lord said to Gideon, "You have too many men. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands, or Israel would boast against me, 'My own strength has saved me.'
Then God proceeds to dwindle Gideon's army down to 300 men, who then defeat the Midianite army of thousands and thousands.
These two stories are so close to my heart right now because they show God working against all logical odds to produce a miraculous victory that glorifies Him, and can only be attributed to His power. It is our prayer that he will do the same with Clara now. She has been brought to the brink, and we know that it is only through God's intervention that we will be able to bring her home.
Pray for Clara. She is still very, very sick. She is still standing on the cliff. She has a mountain of obstacles to overcome before she is out of danger. But we pray to the One who is able to carry her to safety. Pray that He will carry her there. And know that if He does, the glory belongs to Him alone.