Extreme Thanks

My Year, So Far

As you may have seen, the heart hospital provided me with a teddy bear to hold against my chest when I cough, to help relieve the pressure on my surgery site. I told Trish this morning, “It’s been a kind of humiliating, humbling year in some ways. From going through a time in the hospital and rehab where I had to rely on others to feed me, clothe me and clean me, to now, I’m carrying around a teddy bear.” We laughed about it—whether it’s a second childhood, or a second chance at life.

Dennis Jernigan wrote a song several years ago that has become very special to me lately. It’s from his album, “First Love.” The title is “I Need to Know You.” It reminds me of Ephesians 3, where Paul speaks of knowing the “full dimensions” of His love—the breadth and length and height and depth. The lyrics say:

I need to know You like a baby needs to know a mother’s touch,
I need to know You that much.
I need to know You like a prisoner longs for one to come and save,
I need to know You that way.
I need to know You like a dying man who longs for air to breathe,
I need to know You that deep.
I need to know You like a bird that dares to spread his wings and fly,
I need to know You that high.

This year, I have been helpless as a baby, longing for and depending on others to care for me (although the care I received fell somewhat short of a mother’s love for the most part). I have been in the prison of a debilitating disease, plus the CDC restrictions that kept anyone from coming to visit. I have been a dying man longing for air to breathe. And I sat at my window in rehab, watching the birds outside, taking delight in their antics, wishing I were free and remembering how God cares for each of them—and praying for faith to know He cares even more for me.

In all this, God came. He made me know His presence and His love when there was no one else. What grace!

As much as I really want to get this year behind me, I pray I’ll never forget it. Abba, may I never forget the lessons of Your love, Your presence, Your mercy, and Your grace! And may I love You back with the same passion that You show toward me. Thank You, Abba. I love You.