The waiting rooms of the neurological ICU's and the halls that connect them have been a classroom for the last 2 weeks. I wish that every Christian could have been in this class. I thank God that I was.
From the very start Steve, Mary and Ben have been our instructors. From the first moments of the trauma, when Steve said, "I'm just glad to know that there is a good God is in control of all of this." we learned that this truth was rock solid to stand on when their world was turning upside down and falling on their heads. He continued this confession through the darkest hours of the trial, when it seemed that Ian was sure to die. We saw the peace and comfort of the Lord in the tempest. He continues to rest in God's goodness, love and sovereignty and he instructs the hearts of everyone he speaks with. He gave a message at our church some time ago and said that the promises of God are like ice in a Minnesota winter. It's so thick that you can jump and jump and it and you won't fall through. He proving that to us now.
Mary's first words to me were, "I feel so bad for Larissa." How does a mother care about anyone when her son is hanging between life and death. Here was living proof that His grace and strength are sufficient in the worst situation imaginable. Mary didn't just care about Larissa. She cared about everyone, her family, her friends, Ian's friends, and the other families. She was a comfort to all who came. She wasn't looking for care from anyone. It was obvious that Someone was caring for her in secret. On the first Monday night, she wanted Ian's friends to come and see him, so that they could see the brevity of life. Then we prayed, and she began thanking God that Ian had finished his short race well. She thanked Him that He had brought him such happiness in life as well as bringing Ian the love of his life. She didn't utter any of these things, because they were the "right" things to say. Her prayers were sincere and true. Her invisible Strength is obvious to the other mothers up on that floor. One mom remarked several times about her strength. Another called her remarkable. She's having a very powerful influence for the Lord.
What can I say about Ben? I really want to be like him. It was as if he couldn't thank the Lord too much or say to much about Him to anyone nearby. He worshipped; he prayed; he shared the Gospel and then did it over and over again. His confidence in the Lord was and is astounding. It was so encouraging. He was talking with an unbeliever and said, "It's my brother who's dying back there..." and then went on to tell the man about Jesus. During one wonderful time of prayer, he kept reading Scriptures about His faithfulness to answer prayer and then prayed that even if Ian died God that would make the rest of us able to continue what Ian had started and be faithful the way that Ian had been.
For those watching them from the outside, we saw and continue to see the most incredible display of sorrow and joy mingled together in the Murphys and it's beautiful. They all are doing the most beautiful things for Jesus in their dark trial and it's been an honor to watch and wait with them the little that I was able. I love Jesus more because of them.