I”ve posted recently on our friends the Davis Family and their son Sterling. Roger and I go way back. We met back in Crosspoint world back in the day and for a few years I was his event Coordinator for Student Life Camps. Through the years our families lives always intersect at moments.
It’s been hard watching them have to deal with the life that keeps hitting them… BUT they are amazing people who show this amazing faith and well I’ll let him tell you in his own words… (I’ve posted his article here in it’s entirety but you can also see it here.
As I write this I am sitting in a hospital room next to my 5 1/2 year old son Sterling. He’s just finished his third brain surgery in the last ten months. Ten months of questions, tears and of anything but calmness in our family’s life.
During the summer of 2009, Sterling began having random vomiting. After a few trips to the doctor and various medications, we decided we needed further testing, the first being a CT Scan on October 2, 2009. I could tell that something was wrong as we had one Radiologist reviewing the scan, then another and finally a third. They came in and told me that Sterling had a mass in his head and we would be referred that day to a neurosurgeon at the local Children’s Hospital. Not the news we were expecting and it seemed as if the dark clouds began to roll in. The next days were difficult as we met with various medical personnel, had more MRI’s and some additional exploratory procedures. Quickly we realized we had no control in this situation. Sterling had his first brain surgery for nine hours on October 13th. He came through the surgery well, but they were only able to get 75-80% of the tumor and we had to wait for a pathology report. Two long weeks passed and we finally got the call that the tumor was benign. Tears flowed as we realized that cancer was not spreading in our son.
The hurdles continued as Sterling still had seizures daily and we watched the remaining tumor until it began to grow again this past summer. We were forced into another high-risk surgery and in late August had seven more hours of surgery, only to turn around 24 hours later and have another 7 hours the next day. Our neurosurgeon prepared us for some potential motor skill issues and some field of vision loss. Those days were extremely hard as we looked into Sterling’s eyes and tried to explain to him what was going on and speak truth into his life about God’s character.
Someone asked me how we can believe and trust in God when our son is going through something like this. Simple answer, how can we not? For my wife and I, it is all we have and even in the middle of the storm we have perfect peace that only comes from God. Calm and peace, I fully believe are far from the same. When circumstances change, God’s character does not. He is good and loving and regardless of what happens around me, I remain confident that God is for me, and for my son and for each of us that are followers of Him. Obviously this does not mean my son or anyone will be healed in this body, but that does not change the DNA of God.
This summer we had Matt Redman with us a few times at Student Life and at one of those events I stood backstage and sang the words he penned, “when I’m found in the desert place, Though I walk through the wilderness, Blessed be your name, Every blessing You pour out I’ll turn back to praise, And when the darkness closes in Lord, Still I will say, Blessed be the name of the Lord, Blessed be Your name…”
We don’t like walking the road marked with suffering, we would rather pray for the cup to pass from us, and that can be good and often the plan of God. But in this life suffering will come and we have to hold to God and say “let your will be done, not mine,” for what we only see part, He sees full.
Can you sing when you get the phone call that you did not want to hear, when the bank account hits zero, when you have to say good-bye to a loved one, when life simply seems to not be going your way, when you feel all alone or when your own body fails you? The words may not always be clear and the eyes often not dry, but the Truth remains. Allow the Spirit to use the storm to exhort your faith in Jesus the Son and God the Father, encourage fellow believers and even draw lost to Christ.
The road for us continues to not be easy as we still have seizures and still have tumor left but it has been filled with amazing community, tight connection with our family and intimate moments with my Lord and for that I am grateful. If He is for us, who or what can be against us.
J. Roger Davis
Roger Davis is the Senior Vice-President of Student Life. If you’ve been to a Student Life event, chances are, you’ve seen Roger. A huge Tennessee fan,Roger and the family live and love in Birmingham, attending the Church at Brook Hills. And speaking of family, there’s a lot of them: Roger and his totally awesome wife, Becca, have four kids: Sterling, Landry, Kinsley, and Murray. Roger is an advocate for Compassion International with a not-so-secret affection for Kenny G. That’s right. Kenny G. No kidding. Really. He really likes Kenny G. Now he’s married to a wonderful lady Becca and have four precious children.