2nd April 2014

Trusting God Even on the Brink of Death

Sixth of a Series 

“Some time later God tested Abraham.  He said to him, ‘Abraham!’  ‘Here I am,’ he replied.  Then God said, ‘Take your son, your only son, whom you loveIsaacand go to the region of Moriah.  Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will show you.’”
Genesis 22:1-2 (NIV)

As November 2008 came to an end we were preparing at last to bring our daughter Lydia home from hospital.  But then she started coughing and sneezing, and as each day passed her condition deteriorated.  The hospital staff moved Lydia back into intensive care to isolate her from other babies, and reconnected her to oxygen as her breathing became more difficult.  Tests revealed she had contracted Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), which in adults would normally just manifest itself as a bad cold, but in small babies is much more dangerous.  It caused a condition known as bronchiolitis – inflammation of small airways in the lungs called bronchioles – severely affecting Lydia’s ability to breathe. 

On 4th December things took a serious turn for the worse.  Lydia was put back on a ventilator, and the consultant decided to move her to another hospital with better facilities.  But this required special transport to provide miniature versions of all the equipment needed.  This was provided by the Children’s Acute Transport Service based in London, but unfortunately they weren’t available immediately and so all we could do was wait. 

We were praying that God would intervene and heal Lydia.  But in the early evening the situation became very serious.  The oxygen level on the ventilator had to be increased to 90% – normal air is only about 20% oxygen.  Lydia was sedated to reduce the energy she was using.  But between 7 and 8pm her blood oxygen level fell significantly for a sustained period.  The paediatricians on duty had to use a manual hand pump to provide oxygen to try and resuscitate Lydia, and alternate this with suction to clear her lungs and airway.  But the blood oxygen level kept falling, down below 50%.  They kept trying to stabilise Lydia for some time – I don’t know exactly how long, but it felt like ages.  The consultant said, “we’ll keep doing everything we can,” but it was obvious they were at the limit of their expertise and equipment.  As they fought to save her life, I found myself calling out, “Come on Lydia” and pleading with God – please after everything we’ve been through don’t take her from us – please bring her through this. 

Looking back I got a sense of how Abraham must have felt when he was about to sacrifice his son Isaac, as described in the scripture above.  Abraham had waited so many years for a child, and now suddenly he was going to lose him.  Although Abraham trusted God, he must have gone through intense emotions as he looked at the son he loved so much and who was apparently about to die.  But even in the most difficult situations God is always there.  And as we shall see next time, this wasn’t the end of the story for Abraham – or for Lydia. 

Heavenly Father, please help us like Abraham to trust you even in seemingly hopeless situations, knowing that even at the brink of death it is not the end.  In Jesus’ name.

Study by Simon Williams


*You can read previous episodes of this study by going to the archive button on the website www.daybyday.org.uk and finding the dates 6, 13, 20 & 27 November 2013.  This series resumed on 26 March 2014.  The studies will appear on 9, 16 and 23 April, with the concluding study on 30 April 2014.


Lydia Williams 2 for 2014-04

About the Author:
Simon Williams is active in the Cambridge Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God Cambridge
Comberton Village Hall
Green End
CB23 7DY

Meeting time:
Saturday 2:00 pm

Local Congregational Contact:
Bill Lee
Email:  cambridge@wcg.org.uk

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