Sunday, July 22, 2012

When Lazarus Comes Home


"Now the crowd that was with him 
when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word." John 12:17 NIV1984
Two Sundays ago, I wrote of what was then an unfolding story, just three days old, that had thousands of people riveted to a "secret" group on facebook as we prayed for the life of Stephen Shaffer. What you didn't know then was that between Saturday night when I wrote that post and Sunday morning when I hit PUBLISH, Stephen had taken a turn for the worse. It was with trembling fingers that I posted what I had written the night before, trusting that God was going to continue to hold Stephen together, even when it looked like he was falling apart. Oh how we prayed, and many of you joined in and prayed too!

Hour by hour during that next week, we watched and prayed!
Last Sunday, I struggled to capture, in the craziest mix of metaphors you've ever seen, the incredible ups and downs we had witnessed as God worked while Stephen's life continued to teeter from minute to minute between earth and heaven. We had already seen God do so many miracles, but that morning there were huge question marks about the condition of Stephen's heart and what was going to happen next. We kept praying, and you prayed too!

Today, Sunday, July 22, 2012,
WE ARE REJOICING!!

Last night, one day post-surgery, at the end of a 7-ish hour drive up I-5 from Southern California with his parents, Stephen, a.k.a. Miracle Boy, a.k.a. Lazarus, was welcomed home by a crowd of sign-waving, horn-blowing, hand-clapping, laughing, crying, screaming friends, family, and fans!! My family was privileged to be in that deliriously joyous crowd!!



THIS is what answered prayer looks like:

He didn't even look TIRED!!
To see the old Stephen looking out from behind those beautiful blue eyes and to give him a hug like we have all wanted to do for the last 17 days, was a thrill of joy I can scarcely describe!! It is hard to look at that face and reconcile that smile with the fact that on July 5th, Stephen was without a heartbeat for AN HOUR AND A HALF!!!! God literally raised him from the dead!!! He used amazing people, and medicine, and technology, and the power of more than 13,000 people whose hearts He stirred with love and faith, and over it all He poured His miraculous power to give us a modern-day Lazarus story we will NEVER forget!! Not only is Stephen alive after being dead, HE HAS NO BRAIN DAMAGE!!! The doctors didn't even bother with a CT scan to check because the truth was so obvious!!! Every time they gave Stephen's parents their dim prospects and projected timeline of possibly limited recovery, Stephen would make a giant leap of progress that blew their theories out of the water--they finally gave up trying to predict what Stephen would be able to do!!! They just threw up their hands and called him a miracle!!

"Now to the one who is able
to do
far more abundantly beyond
all that we ask or imagine,
according to the power that is working within us,
to him be glory in the church
and in Christ Jesus
throughout all generations,
forever and ever!
Amen."

Amen, indeed.

Thank you my beloved readers for all your prayers!
God has graciously used all of us to be part of this incomparably great thing He has done!!
To God be the glory!!!

May we all CONTINUE TO SPREAD THE WORD!!!

Do you have any "far more abundantly beyond" stories to share?
Let's give Him some more glory!!
________________________________

Joining Ann Voskamp in counting His graces for her Multitudes on Monday
I hope you'll join in if you haven't already!
In the counting of the endless gifts I say with C. S. Lewis,
"This also is Thou!"

Counting my next 1000 Gifts, joining Ann in The Joy Dare--like a scavenger hunt for graces, gifts and glory!! Wanna come along?  I dare ya!!

The continuing JOY DARE: 
#1590-1611 (July 15th through July 21st)

15. 3 Gifts of Stone
My beautiful, deep-green, granite countertops
The diamond and sapphire evidence on my finger that Hero Husband picked me!
That the rocks didn't have to sing praise to God today because we did! Church in the park was such a blessing!
16. 3 Gifts Hanging Down
The shop lights that brighten my laundry area in the garage
Blinds that keep rooms cool when the sun is too hot and too bright
Stop lights that keep traffic from being a free-for-all . . . sort of
17. 3 Gifts Learned
Neuroplasticity--the adaptability of the human brain!!
Your brain cares what you think!!
Very thankful that my freshman year of high school, for reasons I don't even remember, I took Typing. One of the most useful skills I have ever learned!
18. 3 Gifts Musical
The heritage of music in my family
The next generation--Drummer Boy & She So Sweet
The technology that enables them to create new music like never before, and that also allows Drummer Boy to rescue old music that might otherwise have been lost
19. 3 Gifts Baked
New potatoes
English muffins
The scones at Peet's that I DIDN'T indulge in eating
20. A Gift in Light, Dark, Shadow
The light of my computer screen
People who pray when the darkness of evil touches our lives (Aurora, CO shooting)
The cool relief of shade
21. 3 Gifts of Story
The cheering crowd at the end of this chapter of the Stephen Shaffer story!!!
Gloria's stories of the tireless efforts of the paramedics and ER team that fought so hard for Stephen's life!!
The subplot of the story where some of the 13,000 met face to face at Stephen's Welcome Home party!!

   Beauty in His Grip Button

On In Around button


A heartfelt thank you to these generous bloggers
who make these communities available!

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