Rejoicing – in full voice!
The 40th psalm begins “I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.”
Hundreds of us have been crying out to the Lord the last ten days on behalf of our friend, pastor, former youth pastor, Curt Vanderstelt.
Curt, hit in the head with a softball on his way to 3rd base in a church league softball game, suffered a severe concussion and was rushed to ER (they didn’t even wait for the ambulance – just went). You can read all about it and the journey back at Curt’s CaringBridge site. It didn’t look good. Kelly was anticipating a long and lonely trip back for her husband, and wasn’t sure how full his recovery would be. We prayed, though. Hundreds of us prayed, asking God to re-file the information scrambled inside his head. Plug everything back in just like it was. Restore him full and complete. It’s what we all sought. We knocked on Heaven’s door. And we asked. (Matt 7.7)
God answered with a ‘yes’! And not just any ol’ yes, He said “YESS! Watch this!”
Saturday, as Kelly and Curt’s sister in law read the Word to him (he’d disconnected completely from spiritual things -that was scary- but agreed to let them read). They picked 1 Peter, the book he was planning to preach on next at North Bay Community Church where he’s the pastor. Curt was polite – allowing them to read, but the disconnect was apparent. He’d asked “what” God was (not who) earlier, because he heard the word a lot in their conversations. He told Kelly he was closing his eyes to pray because he’d figured out that was the thing to do. How disheartening. Then came the words “by his wounds we are healed”. (from chapter 2 verse 24). Curt repeated the phrase. Then again, “by his wounds we are healed.” And again. (you can read all about it at CaringBridge). He answered questions. He filled in blanks. He remembered where he lived and that he was the pastor at North Bay Community Church. he knew Kendalyn. He knew his favorite song (Take me out to the ball game) and his favorite hymn (Victory in Jesus). He quoted a few verses. Kelly went home Saturday night with new hope. Her husband Curt had stirred and awakened spiritually and she was there to see him come out of his spiritual coma! The horizon began to lighten for her, and that helped, even if full recovery seemed light-years away.
Sunday he spoke to her by phone and asked her to not come visit, that he was very tired and wanted to sleep. She complied, maybe a little reluctantly.
I have this picture in my head (I wasn’t there so it’s pure conjecture) of the Creator and Sustainer of the universe, Himself, personally bending over Curt, reconnecting neuron to neuron while his child slept, smiling silently to Himself at how amazed we would all be. How joyful Kelly and Kendalyn would be. It wasn’t complicated, he designed the human brain, it didn’t take him long at all.
And when Curt awoke, things were back to normal. I mean NORMAL! Hallelu!!
The team of therapists had estimated at least four weeks of daily therapy before he’d be released to go home, and that with limitations. The road to recovery looked to be a marathon at best. While we prayed for Curt some of us began to align with Kelly where we could support and encourage her during the long days and months ahead.
Well friends and neighbors, Curt is being officially discharged today! It’s a miracle! The physicians and therapists have no explanation for how this came to be. We know who brought it about! So do the Vanderstelt’s — and they’re telling the story. God is receiving the glory! Hallelu!
All of us who know Curt are thanking God today for His strong and mighty work on Curt’s behalf. It’s still true what the old prophet said: The eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. (2 Chron. 16.9) Curt is obviously one of those, and we’re thrilled at what God just did on his behalf.
Pray for the readjustment that’s ahead? Be sure to THANK God for what He did over the weekend. Then take your newly-fortified faith and apply it to the other things you’re praying about. God hears. God answers. He receives the glory and credit; we smile and enjoy the blessings.
And while we wait for His answers (in Curt’s case it was about ten days is all. Seems like forever, but it wasn’t, not really.) God walks WITH us through the valley of the shadow of death. I remember talking about that part of Psalm 23 with Curt one time. We observed and agreed that for there to be a valley, there has to be a mountain. For there to be a shadow, there has to be a sun on the other side of the mountain, shining brightly enough to cast a shadow that deep. And every valley opens out, either on to more level ground, or into a summit view that takes your breath away. It’s the valley that’s hard; it’s the steepest part of the mountain after all. But God walks through it with us (Psalm 23.4). He did with Curt, Kelly, Kendalyn and the family at North Bay Community Church this last week; He has with me, He will with you.
Rejoice with me today!
Help me thank the Lord for His mighty acts. (Psalm 105 certainly applies today)
And if you’re in the valley right now – take heart. God has not forgotten you. Not in the least. He’s thinking about you. He’s right there with you if you’re His child. Don’t lose hope. If you and God are strangers, call out to Him. He’s listening. (Click here or the “Eternity Question” tab at the top right of this page to learn more).