I heard it through the baby monitor a week ago yesterday…the awful sound of Aaron going into a seizure. It was early, early in the morning – the time that we still call night. I never do get used to that sound. My heart still jumps as I am awakened and then hurry into his room. As seizures go, it was not a long one. Hard, but not long. The scene was repeated a few hours later, which is nothing unusual. Only two seizures, though, which is a blessing, and which is rather unusual. Most often his clusters of seizures involve three or more. Yet we have learned over the years that having only one or two seizures means he might have one or two more during the day.
Gary and I both stayed home from church that Sunday due not only to Aaron’s seizures but also because of a strong snowstorm with howling winds that was blowing outside. This storm also explained the seizures, as I have definitely linked many of Aaron’s seizures to low fronts moving through our Kansas atmosphere.
Aaron was fine all day. He stayed busy, and he also napped some, but there was no more seizure activity. That night, he and I watched a television program. Afterwards, we were in the kitchen putting snacks away and getting ready to go upstairs where Aaron’s nighttime routine would continue. I had my back to Aaron as I readied the coffeepot for the morning.
“I feel like I might have a seizure,” I heard Aaron say. But he says this fairly often, and rarely does he have a seizure at that time. I was getting ready to reply when I heard a noise. I whirled around to see Aaron’s arms in the air and his face distorting in the familiar way it does when a seizure begins. It was sudden and so unexpected! Before I could take a couple steps and reach him, he fell backwards onto the tile floor…just like a stiff, falling tree.
The sound of his head hitting the floor was sickening. I screamed for Gary, who came running from downstairs. I was terrified…more terrified than I remember being since his very first awful seizure when he was seven years old. Our 34 year-old son was my baby at that moment, and I was distraught. Aaron doesn’t like crying at all, especially my crying, so he would have been very unhappy if he had seen me at that point.
Aaron will often rally rather quickly from these seizures, so we waited to see if that would happen. Sure enough, before long, his eyes opened. Soon he was responding to our comments as he became more focused, and not long after that he was talking some and able to sit up. We watched and waited, thankful to see him return to normal with no apparent damage done other than a knot on the back of his head.
I had a hard time going to sleep that night. I kept seeing him fall and then hearing the sound of his head hitting the floor. Finally, I slept…but fitfully…playing the awful scene over and over all night long. Aaron slept well and for that I was thankful.
Not only was this seizure itself of great concern, but what it might signal was also very disturbing to us. Aaron had a series of falling seizures back in the spring and early summer, sustaining some injuries. Are those falling seizures returning now? And if they are, then why? Oh, the brain is so complex! If only we could map its intricacies and understand its workings! But no doctor or researcher has ever been able to uncover all the secrets of what God has created in these most complicated brains of ours.
Gary and I had relaxed a lot since Aaron’s last falling seizure a few months ago. But now that familiar fear was filling my heart again. If left unchecked, I knew fear’s icy fingers would replace the warmth of God’s promises and plans on which He wanted me to focus.
The next morning, I sat as usual at my quiet time desk, asking God as I always do to speak to me the words He wanted me to hear on this day. I looked down at my current book in the Bible that I was reading, and still am reading. Zechariah. Yeah, I know. What does God have for me in an obscure minor prophet’s writings? I mean, Philippians or James I could understand, and would look forward to multiple encouragements. But Zechariah?
Yet one thing I have learned over the years is that God is alive all through His word. He meets me in my need in every single part of scripture…not just in the more recognizable, pertaining verses but even in the less known. In this case, the MUCH less known. But this aspect of discovery in the Bible is so uplifting to me! It’s like finding a hidden Christmas present under the tree and opening it to discover the most amazing gift ever!
So, on that morning I began reading where I had left off the day before. The people of Israel were very discouraged as they faced the monumental task of rebuilding the temple in their ravaged homeland. Obstacles were all around them and they could see no human means to finishing the job. Dangers threatened their lives. Nothing was as they hoped it would be.
God spoke. “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit…”
The people didn’t have the might. The people didn’t have the power. All that God wanted to accomplish would come by Him…by His Spirit.
And then this verse, this phrase, is what jumped out at me on that morning.
“What are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become a plain…” (Zechariah 4:7)
Have you ever felt like your worries and your fears and your problems are a mountain…a mountain that you can’t cross? The concern over Aaron’s dangerous seizures was my large mountain that morning. Scary. Foreboding. Impassable.
But God leaned down to me there at my desk and had me read exactly what He wanted me to read. It was no accident that these were the verses I was on in my Bible study book. God’s amazing grace washed over me. Not by my might…not by my power…but by His Spirit.
And that’s why I can stand squarely in the shadow of my mountain and say, “What mountain?!”
God told Jeremiah, “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?”
Does it mean that Aaron won’t have another falling seizure? No. In fact, the next night he did have another one. I was close enough to break his fall this time, but it was still very scary. But all that evening I kept thinking, “What mountain?”
God wants me to see, even in the hard times, that He will give me all the might and strength I need. He will also take care of Aaron in the way He knows is best. I have to trust Him for that.
I want this mountain to be what I allow God to use to strengthen my faith…deepen my walk with Him…and confirm my trust in His sovereign plan for me, for Gary, and for our Aaron.
Instead of seeing a mountain, I want to see God over and above it all. To know that He’s in control. To be still and know that He is God.
Oh, I’ll still be upset with the seizures if they keep coming. But instead of being out of control, I want to remember the One Who is IN control.