Today, I noticed for the first time that Ian's right eye appears completely normal. Up to this point, it's been a crazy eye. The pupil would wander and wouldn't always be in sync with his left eye, and it would never completely close. I noticed today that none of that is true anymore. He looked at me with both eyes in sync, and when he closed them they were both completely closed. He also uses his left hand fairly consistently to stroke his beard and feel his face and neck. Small things like this show progress and are encouraging.
I've been wrestling with a Scripture passage from Romans 5. It says, "...we...rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us..." I've been wrestling, because, quite honestly, I don't want to rejoice in my sufferings (or difficulties). I don't like them. I don't like what's happened to Ian.
In a message by Dave Harvey that made an impact on me, he said that faith looks up (to God) and faith looks back (to His faithfulness). It occurred to me that hope looks up to God, too (the source of the gift of a bright future), but hope looks forward (to the day when we'll be with Him). It looks forward so that earth's pleasures and difficulties pale, and their hold on me decreases. These difficulties have definitely produced in me a greater focus on the day when I'll be with Christ in heaven, and I trust the same has happened for Ian if he's aware of what's happening to him.
Lord, help us (especially Ian) to rejoice in these difficulties, because they sharpen our focus on the Day that matters most. That hope does not disappoint us.