Tomorrow, Sara and I learn from her neurosurgeon how effective her May 13 radiation treatment was. (In other words, how much damage did the radiation do to the two areas of cancer on her brain.)
Waiting and wondering caused me to recall this account, written in 1871. That is long ago, but because the Subject does not change, these hopeful words remain true:
A number of years ago Captain D. commanded a vessel sailing from Liverpool to New York, and on one voyage he had all his family with him on board the ship. One night, when all were quietly asleep, there arose a sudden squall of wind, which came sweeping over the waters until it struck the vessel, and instantly threw her on her side, tumbling and crashing everything that was moveable, and awakening the passengers to a consciousness that they were in imminent peril. Everyone on board was alarmed and uneasy, and some sprang from their berths and began to dress, that they might be ready for the worst. Captain D. had a little girl on board, just eight years old, who, of course, awoke with the rest.
“What’s the matter?” said the frightened child.
They told her a squall had struck the ship.
“Is father on deck?” said she.
“Yes; father’s on deck.”
The little thing dropped herself on her pillow again without a fear, and in a few moments was sleeping sweetly in spite of winds or waves.
Blessed child! How her confidence shames our doubts, fears, and restless vague surmisings. She had faith in father, and she had no room for fear.
And how is it with us? We have our storms, and troubles, and temptations. We fear and tremble. What is the matter? Is it not time for us to ask, “Is father on deck?” Father understands all about the vessel, the winds, the waves, the rocks, the storms, the squalls, the tempests;—”Is Father on deck?”
Yes, blessed be God, Father is “on deck” all the time. “He that keepeth Israel shall never slumber nor sleep.” He is “on deck,” for He says, “Lo, I am with you always.” He is “on deck,” for he has said, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.”
Tempted, troubled, distressed, and frightened soul, look up. Give to the winds thy fears. Rest in God’s faithfulness and love. Cast every care upon his arm.
Fear not the windy tempests wild,
Thy bark [boat] they shall not wreck;
Lie down and sleep, O helpless child!
Thy Father’s on the deck.
—From Horace Lorenzo Hastings’ The Family Circle: Original and Selected Anecdotes, published in 1871. p91-93.