April 24th, 2020
Lovingly Hugged by God
"Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." - Isaiah 41:10
The news was devastating. Still groggy from surgery, her husband David held her hand as they braced themselves. That afternoon of March 10, 1995, complications had forced Diana, only 24-weeks pregnant, to undergo an emergency cesarean to deliver the couple’s new daughter, Danae Lu. At 12 inches long and weighing only one pound and nine ounces, she was perilously premature.
David and Diana, numb with disbelief, listened as the doctor described the problems Danae would likely face if she survived. She would never walk, never talk, she would probably be blind, and would be prone to other catastrophic conditions from cerebral palsy to complete mental retardation.
No, was all Diana could say. They had dreamed of the day they would have a daughter. Now that dream was slipping away. Through the dark hours of morning Diana slipped in and out of sleep, growing more and more determined that their tiny daughter would live - and live to be a healthy, happy young girl.
As if willed by Diana's determination, Danae clung to life. Beneath the ultraviolet light in the tangle of tubes and wires, all Diane and David could do was pray that God would stay close to their precious little girl.
When Danae turned 2 months old, her parents were able to hold her in their arms for the first time. Two months later–as doctors continued to grimly warn that her chances of surviving were next to zero, Danae went home.
Today, eight years later, Danae is a petite but feisty young girl with glittering gray eyes and an unquenchable zest for life. She shows no signs, whatsoever, of any mental or physical impairment. Simply, she is everything a little girl can be and more - but that happy ending is far from the end of her story! One blistering afternoon in the summer of 2002, Danae was sitting in her mother's lap in the bleachers of a local ballpark. As always, Danae was chattering non-stop with her mother and several other adults sitting nearby when she suddenly fell silent.
Hugging her arms across her chest, Danae asked, “Do you smell that?” Smelling the air and detecting the approach of a thunderstorm, Diana replied, “Yes, it smells like rain”. Danae shook her head, and loudly announced, “No mama, it smells like Him. It smells like God, when you lay your head on His chest.” Tears blurred Diana's eyes as Danae then happily hopped down to play with the other children.
Danae words confirmed what Diana had known all along. During those long days and nights of the first two months of Danae’s life, God was gently and lovingly holding Danae on His chest.
Always remember, there's no storm that God won't carry you through. No problem in life that he will not solve. No bridge that God won't help you cross. No heartache that He won't help you overcome. No battle that God won't help you win. No person that He will not save. He is bigger than anything and everything you will face today. Trust Him and rejoice in this day because it is a day he has made. Because of His loving embrace we can.
In the darkest of trials, God’s powerful embrace protects his children.
No matter the situation, we are safe in His loving arms.
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Pastor Rudy Oakes