I will never forget the feeling of fear that came over me on that cold December Sunday afternoon in Charlotte, North Carolina. Madi was around three years old at the time and had been feeling a little sick all morning. She was running a slight fever, but her symptoms had not been severe. In a moment, that dramatically changed. My wife ran into the room with Madi in her arms screaming.
“Help! Madi has stopped breathing!”
I took Madi into my arms and urgently told my wife, Wendy, to call 911 while I tried to figure out what was happening. Madi was still not breathing; her face was beginning to turn blue, and her eyes rolled into the back of her head. I frantically laid her down on the ground and started to give her mouth-to-mouth resuscitation with hopes of stabilizing her until help came.
Nothing I did seemed to help. She laid limp on the ground; and as time went by, I began to deal with the thought that she might die in front of me if she didn’t start breathing. It was just Madi and me there on the ground, and I was as powerless as she was. Realizing there was nothing I could do, I prayed and asked God to help “my” daughter.
At that moment a thought came into my mind, and a feeling entered into my heart that has stuck with me since. “My” daughter is God’s daughter first, and only He could control what happened next. I realized quickly this beautiful girl is only on loan to me. She is not mine. She has been entrusted to my care by God, who loves her, and only He is in control of her life. At that moment, I let go. I submitted and prepared for whatever the Father had for us in the moments to come. My love for God and His love for me overpowered my fear.
To make a long story short, everything in this story turned out fine. Madi made it to the emergency room and recovered sufficiently from what we found out was a significant febrile seizure. As scary as that moment was, it continues to be a powerful reminder to me as a parent that God is in control and He loves me. The love I felt from Him at that moment was powerful. It was a love that overpowered my fear and helped me to realize that fear is optional!
Once you have experienced God meeting you in a moment like that one, you see things differently. When He walks with you in the valley, it gives you a clearer vision of faith. In all of the circumstances we experience in life, God’s love is intense and passionate enough to meet us before, through, and beyond our time of need.
We have just released a new Bible Study based on Jeff Bumgardner and Dr. Stephen Cutchins new book. Green Hearts: God’s Goodness in the Worst of Times. This study is a reflection of grief and is response to the tragic loss of Jeff Bumgardner’s 10-year old daughter Ella.
These lessons are available on Amazon, as well as a part of the Good Questions Have Groups Talking Subscription Service. Like Netflix for Bible Lessons, one low subscription gives you access to all our lessons–thousands of them. For a medium-sized church, lessons are as little as $10 per teacher per year.
Lesson #1 — Grief
Lesson #2 — Pain
Lesson #3 — Questions
Lesson #4 — Answers
Lesson #5 — Surprises
Lesson #6 — Grace
Lesson #7 — Faith