Those who have been in the place where we find ourselves know all too well what we are experiencing. We spend most of our day teetering emotionally on the edge. Most of the time, we’re good. When someone says something funny, we laugh. If you want to talk about the Seahawks, I’m all ears. But every once in a while, a close friend will show up, or just the right thing will be said, or we’ll be reminded of a certain event and the tears will begin flowing. It doesn’t always make sense. Yesterday, praying out loud for our lunch, I thanked God for a “new morning” and began to cry thinking about how grateful I was that my grandson was still with us. I know my daughter and my wife can be doing fine, but if someone shows up that they haven’t seen in a while, it triggers a wave of emotion. So we spend most of the day staying functional but always on the edge emotionally. It might be the most exhausting piece of our life. But right now it is our new “normal”. And it mirrors what I’ve been talking about these past several days – living in the tension of what our heart wants and putting our full trust in our heavenly father. In both scenarios, we tend to walk on the edge throughout the day. Please pray for strength for all those (because I know there are others) that find themselves living on that emotional edge today.
This morning I experienced perhaps the greatest source of that emotional tension. As I was leaving Justus’ room walking through the PICU towards the waiting room, I passed two men who were obviously dads. The first dad looked like he’d been up for days. I could see the strain on his face and the sadness in his eyes. I have no idea what he was dealing with, but I could certainly imagine. I wanted so badly to hug him and pray with him. Maybe I’ll get an opportunity to do so. The second dad was walking into the PICU with a little hop in his step. He was pulling a wagon with a big grin on his face. Seconds later I discovered the reason for his joy…they were wheeling his child out of the PICU with the likely destination a regular hospital room upstairs. Thus, highlighting the tension. Why is one child suffering while another child gets stronger? When we first came into the PICU, we were next to a sweet kid and got to interact with his family just a little. We were so excited to hear that he is now home and doing well. Meanwhile, we are still here. How do we resolve that in our heads and in our hearts? After all, we have thousands of people praying for our boy!
Or this, why do good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people? Obviously, we don’t know the answer, but once again we are to graciously live in the tension of what our heart desperately wants and trusting in a sovereign God. At the risk of sounding like I’m trying to parent you, those two sides of this tension aren’t in competition. I believe it is possible to beg the Lord for what is on our hearts and fully trust Him. It’s Jesus praying in the garden… Father, if it’s possible, can you let this cup pass… but not my will but Your will be done! Don’t let the enemy use what you want to drive you away from what you know to be true! God is faithful. The moon is round.
And while I believe it’s possible, I know it isn’t easy. That’s why I’ve asked God, “Why?” more than a few times this morning alone. Thankfully, we had another pretty good night. A lot of the things we’ve been watching seem to be getting a little better (his pupils, his swelling on his face), but this morning his blood pressure is high and his heart rate is low. They aren’t worried about his blood pressure as much as if the elevated blood pressure is an indication of something else. The single biggest concern is ICP, or inner cranial pressure. So I guess the biggest prayer right now isn’t so much for his blood pressure as it is for the swelling in his brain. He needs to remain stable, but the swelling in his brain has to go down for real improvement to happen.
The image is a quick snapshot into Justus. Last year Jason and Alyse were in Palo Alto to visit Tavita and Caroline and attend a Stanford football game. While they were shopping, a sword caught Justus’ eye. He said to his uncle, “Man Uncle Vita, I wish we could buy this.” The problem is Tavita likes swords just as much as his nephew, so they bought them but not before telling Justus he would first need to be knighted. So that evening his father knighted him. Then he wanted to knight his uncle. As he touched the sword to Uncle Tavita’s head he declared, “I, Justus, knight you, Uncle Vita, husband of Aunty Carrot, to beat the bad guys.” Funny kid, but he loves his aunties and uncles.