October 17, 2009
How Firm a Foundation
These bookmarks are very precious ~ The pictures are "clickable" so you can see the lovely printing of the sweet little girl who wrote them out for us. The story behind them is precious too...I'm sure you guessed that! I would have to say that I didn't pay much attention to this hymn before Howie and I were given these bookmarks, that is, until our little niece (only eight years old at the time) was so thoughtful to share.
Why? Here is the reason...
When our first born was only six weeks old he was diagnosed with a very large VSD...which in layman's terms is a hole in the heart. It was so large that there was virtually no septum between the lower two chambers of his heart. He was nearly nine pounds at birth, but failed to thrive...he wasn't gaining weight like he should. A series of doctor's appointments led to an x-ray which revealed the potential problem. I was told the news over the phone.
BUT God is so good and He never leaves us...we, as His children, are constantly in His perfect and loving care.
Fast forward nearly one year.
Austin was prayed for, by people we didn't even know (and many that we did), all through that year. We believe he was sustained by the Mighty Hand of God. He "should have" required surgery by about four months old, but it wasn't necessary until the age of one. God is so wonderful and gently leads us along. We live in a sin-cursed world, one with sickness and pain and death, but God is Faithful and is Always in control!
Open heart surgery was scheduled for a week after his first birthday. It was a frightening time, but I can testify that through it all God was there. Not once did He give us more than we could bear...With Him! I could go on and on about every minute detail of those days, but suffice it to say that the Grace of God was there for us When we needed it. All was supplied by our Loving Heavenly Father.
Fears really were assuaged. God carried us through. He also mercifully carried Austin through.
In the days preceeding surgery, our niece was impressed with the fact that this was the hymn we needed for this difficult time. She took it upon herself to make bookmarks for both of us. As you can see they are still treasured and kept safely in our Bibles. Here is the hymn...so precious to my heart!
~ How Firm a Foundation ~
How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?
"In every condition ~ in sickness, in health,
In poverty's vale, or abounding in wealth;
At home or abroad, on the land, on the sea,
As days may demand, shall thy strength ever be.
Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God, I will still give thee aid;
I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by My gracious, omnipotent hand.
When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow,
For I will be with thee, thy trials to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.
When through firey trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace all sufficient shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.
The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I'll never, no never, no never forsake!"
Rippon's "Selection of Hymns", 1787