Day 15 – post #1

Here are some questions that have loomed huge while we have been here. Do I trust God? How much do I trust God? These last couple of days as the news from the doctors has gotten progressively less and less hopeful, we have pressed more and more with them about other options. Many of you have sent us suggestions. In addition we have connections to some remarkable medical people. In one recent session with the neurologists, I actually resorted to using an illustration from the TV show “House”. Yes, I went there. My point was simply, is it like in House where you sit around racking your brains, “What else could it be?” Or have you thrown up your hands and declared, we’re stumped and there’s nothing we can do. We were kind and super respectful (other than maybe we just compared what they do to a TV character), but we were asking hard questions. Kelli asked if there was a group or a hospital that specialized in these cases. To their credit, the neurologist was very gracious and didn’t get defensive and we had a good conversation. 

But it brings up a tension we navigate as we live this life of faith. After all, if God is sovereign and the great physician, the argument could be made, why do you need to consult another hospital or press the doctors for other options? If God wants to heal our grandson, does he really need all of that? Great question. But consider this. When Justus first lost consciousness at their house, what would you say if you were standing there and my daughter said, “It’s ok, just leave him. God will heal him.” If you were standing there, I suspect you would have made two phone calls; the first to 911 and the second to CPS. I know that is a ridiculous scenario, but it illustrates the parameters of this tension. That’s an easy and clear decision for most reasonable people. But in life those decisions often get tougher and tougher. At what point does reasonable turn into a lack of trust in God? Is there a line we can cross where we are no longer accepting God’s will and trying to force our desires onto God? Because, let’s be clear about something with Justus, I am his grandfather and I’m selfish. I want God to heal him. I’m not weighing anything else into that equation. I simply want what I want and that’s for my grandson to live.

The tension is figuring from moment to moment how we should act and decisions we make. But I believe this tension is something God often invites us into because it grows our faith and our spiritual maturity. I know as his parents, Justus is counting on Alyse and Jason to make wise decisions. But those decisions need to be guided by truth of God’s word. Most of the time those two sides of decisions are in unison, but sometimes there is tension. And how we navigate that tension is almost as important as the decision itself. At the end of the day, God is still in charge. So, as we pressed in with the doctors, I tried to remind myself and my family, God doesn’t need us to do this… at the same time we are supposed to do something… welcome to the tension.

I know God doesn’t need doctors and hospitals, but for some reason he chooses to use them. And so we are here grateful for these doctors and nurses and the care Justus is receiving. Is there someone somewhere who knows more or could give better care? Maybe. But Justus could also be in a country or situation where none of this equipment was available. We are blessed to have what we have and we are grateful for it. For us, we weighed the tension and pressed the doctors. Do we trust God? Absolutely. Do we consider other options? Absolutely. Consider this added dynamic that Alyse deals with. She is a nurse practitioner. So she has more information than most. But she’s a mom first. We find her second guessing herself and feeling guilty because maybe she didn’t press hard enough. We have to remind her that God isn’t bound by her decisions. We must enter into this tension. But God will do what God does, in spite of us. So pray for wisdom for Jason and Alyse as they continue to navigate this difficult tension.

Which leads to where we are at right now. This morning was sure different than yesterday morning. Justus has surprised the doctors. His eyes (the only window into the health of his brain) didn’t do what I think the doctors thought they would do. He’s far from out of the woods, but this morning he’s doing really well, especially as compared to yesterday. I know so many of you prayed your hearts out yesterday.#TeamJustus Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you! I have a fun picture in my head of God throwing up His hands in response to the barrage of prayers and saying, “Ok, ok, ok… I give up. I’ll heal the boy!” As silly as that illustration is, it isn’t without some biblical truth.

Lastly, you may have noticed some wristbands in our last update. Yes, we went and made some #TeamJustus wristbands as a way of saying thank-you to people who were providing meals and support here at the hospital. Now we’ve had a ton of requests to purchase the bands. My kids (because I’m too old to figure this stuff out) scrambled this morning to set up a way for people to order. If you go you can order them. For questions about the bands, email We love you. The moon is round. Thank-you #TeamJustus!