(Image courtesy of http://www.weirtonnaz.com.)
As many of you know, our son Asher Richard was born in February of this year.  He was diagnosed almost immediately as having a heart murmur, which led to the discovery of a "medium to large" hole in his heart - a VSD for those of you who are medically literate.

Both he and our family have endured many trips to the hospital in Madison for tests, consultations, and check-ups.  A couple months ago, a doctor confirmed a good report to us: Asher's hole was not getting larger; in fact, it was getting relatively smaller as he grew!

This was great confirmation, for we had been praying for months that the Lord would be gracious to us in this way.  Indeed, He has been gracious (and He is always!).  Still, we continued to pray.

Last week, Asher went back for another echocardiogram and ultrasound of his heart.  When the doctor met with us in the patient room after the tests, she was pleased with the results.

"Asher is doing really well.  He is setting a good precedent for the rest of his life.  He is doing a great job of healing!  His heart is responding really well and the valve flap is beginning to attach itself to the membrane of his heart wall, which, in turn, is closing the hole.  He is a strong kiddo."

Both Lauren and I were stunned and speechless, but not because of the doctor's reported good news about Asher.  Instead, we were both wondering: "How can a human attribute healing power to another human being?"  Asher cannot breathe, much more exist in the first place, by himself!  Everything is a gracious gift given to us from God above, our Creator and our Sustainer.

In Psalm 135:6, the writer says, "Whatever the Lord pleases He does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps."  Furthermore, in verse seven, the writer continues, "He it is who makes the clouds rise at the end of the earth, who makes lightnings for the rain and brings forth the wind from His storehouses."  What these inspired writings tell the reader is that God is the cause of everything that happens, even events we would consider to be "natural occurrences".

Therefore, He is the primary worker in the closing of Asher's heart.  We see the natural occurrences that the tests show us, but these are secondary causes that we saw to confirm, in this case, what the Lord has primarily caused to happen.  Wayne Grudem puts it this way: "... God directs, and works through, the distinctive properties of each created thing, so that these things themselves bring about the results that we see" (Systematic Theology 319).  (This is referred to as the "doctrine of concurrence" by academic theologians.)

All in all, our praise turned immediately to the Lord and His marvelous grace!  He is deserving of all glory, for He is the primary cause and initiator of all things that happen in His creation!  Indeed, He is good.  Had Asher's hole not been healed, He would still be good, for His purposes are always good.  Such as it is, we praise God and rejoice in our heavenly Father, who cares for all things, even the sparrow (Matthew 10:29).

The number one purpose of the Redeemed is to worship the one true God of Heaven.