“With the LORD”

By Tim Paauw
February 15, 2017

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” Isaiah 43:2


These are the words from my grandfather, Don Paauw’s, favorite Bible verse. I know because I was blessed when my grandmother asked me to read them aloud at his funeral in on February 15, 2013.

They have been words that are etched on my heart and serve as a great visual when life brings trials, we all have been there and some still are walking faithfully through the waters. In these moments God allows us to be beautifully puzzled. Our heads spin. It is a beautiful thing because it humbles us and rightly reminds us that we depend on Him.

Whether it is a critical car accident, a cancer diagnosis, a deep depression, or another situation that brings you to the deep end before you are ready to swim it is in this moment we must pause and remember the calming promise that God is WITH us. This promise is even found in the meaning of His name, Immanuel.

One year ago, I sent an email update asking for prayers on behalf of my mom as she sat in her hospital room battling for her life. One of the prayer requests that day was that her bones would heal as she had just come out of a major surgery reconstructing an ankle, wrist, and arm bones.

Tonight, we are SO grateful that she has been home for the past few months and that the feeling of urgency and worry over her vital organs  doesn’t currently loom so strongly. However, I am writing to ask for a similar prayer request to the one of last year regarding her bones.

One of the largest concerns in these past months involves her right ankle bone and the infection surrounding it. She has faced the strong reality that this may cause a need for her right leg to be amputated just below the knee–quite a dreaded thought.

On Friday, she will be heading in for a surgery that will have her ankle opened up, scraped clean of the infection in the bone and tissue, and thoroughly washed out. The surgeon will place a “spacer” in her ankle that will provide a direct source of an antibiotic and serve in place of the missing talus bone. This is required in an attempt to save her right leg.

If successful, she would likely be able to go in again in a few weeks to have an external brace installed from the top of her calf to her heel which would bypass the ankle and allow her to begin to bear weight again for the first time in months!

Please join us in praying for God to direct the surgeon’s hands, for our mom’s anxiety to decrease, for the infection to disappear and healing to happen, and most importantly that God’s mercy and grace may shine brightly throughout this process.
No matter what happens as the next “step” in her healing, our family can already say God is with us, He is greater than any fear or struggle that we face, and His plan is far greater than any we could imagine (Proverbs 16:9).
I believe my grandfather’s verse (Isaiah 43:2) is the ultimate testimony of God’s mercy. God doesn’t allow us to pass through the waters or walk through the fires of life alone.
The plaque found at my grandpa’s graveside serves as a regular reminder for those who mourn that true healing, hope, and perfect life is yet to come to those who believe and hope in Christ. Next to Don Paauw’s name etched in stone is “With the LORD”. As we pray for my mom and many others we love, let’s most importantly praise the Lord for His Amazing Grace that knows no limit and know that in Christ the answer is already YES and AMEN!
Fear Not. God is WITH Us (Romans 8:31)

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