Everyone that has ever been to Sunday school knows the answer to the question… right? I mean, no matter what the teacher asks, the answer is, “Jesus.” Everyone knows that! We laugh but in our faith journey, especially if you grow up in and around the church, you can find yourself spouting off answers because you know that’s the answer you’re supposed to give. In the area of faith, I’m discovering this to be especially true. The bible says we are to, “walk by faith, not by sight”. Have you ever really stopped and asked yourself, “What does that even mean?” Or how about this one, “Consider it all joy.” Really? My 4-year-old grandson is in a coma and I’m supposed to consider it all joy? Even worse, when I’m consoling someone who is in this situation am I supposed to remind him or her to consider it all joy? And when does questioning God crossover into a lack of faith? And like we’ve faced so often on this journey, where does trusting doctors intersect with trusting God? If I get a sense that God is going to heal my grandson does allowing the doctors to continue practicing medicine constitute a lack of faith? After all if God tells me he’s going to be ok, then I should walk by faith and not by sight? Right? When a cancer patient wakes up and declares the Lord healed me last night, is it a lack of faith for him to go in and get an x-ray just to be sure?
When Kelli and I do marriage and parenting conferences, we often talk about living in the tension of truth and grace. And we believe that is generally true for our entire Christian walk. With Justus, the truth part is knowing all the verses above; it’s knowing the stories about Abraham’s faith and Joseph’s faith and Daniel’s faith. It’s knowing that yes, we are to walk by faith and not by sight. We are to trust in the Lord at all times, no matter what, when it makes no sense, when others laugh… we are to trust the Lord! That’s the truth! The grace is what I feel from God when I fail miserably in all of that. The nights I watch my daughter falling apart and I want to punch a hole in the wall, or when the doctors don’t give me an answer that makes any sense and I want to pretend I’m playing football again and use them as a tackling dummy! The grace is what floods over me as I cry out to the Lord. The grace is seeing another sunrise picture from #TeamJustus. The grace is today watching my daughter hold her son for the first time in over three weeks. And even bigger grace when after mom and dad and Grammy held him, they even let Papa have a turn!
Grace is also these last 24 hours we’ve had to breath. I noticed for the first time there is a TV in Justus’ room… didn’t know that! Grace was God giving us a breather before we went into another moment of truth. If you remember several nights ago, it was obvious Justus wasn’t supposed to get a femoral catheter in for a plasma exchange treatment. It was a “routine” procedure that didn’t happen. Since then there have been many conversations. Justus has come down further on the pentobarbital and some more test results have come back. After praying and considering all the information and counsel from the experts, the best decision for Justus at this time is to move forward with this procedure. Relative to other things this little ninja has undergone, this one is relatively low risk. But there is always a risk. So please pray. Because of everything I said above, it will likely be a restless night for Jason and Alyse. They fully trust the Lord. They are walking by faith. But they also believe that God is using these doctors to heal their son. All the medical experts agreed… this is the right decision. Please join me in praying for a restful night and against the enemy planting seeds of doubt.
And pray for Dr. Bob. We’ve asked him to be the one to put the catheter in. He will do that at 8:30am and then the first round of the plasma exchange will happen around 10:30am. It lasts 2 hours and the likely course will be 5 times, every other day. The hope in this is to wipe out anti bodies that are possibly attacking Justus’ brain. No one can be sure this will work, but we pray it does. As always, we know God could choose to heal Justus any way He wants. This is the clearest path forward. Living in the tension of truth and grace. Learning what it means to walk by faith and not by sight in the midst of tough decisions. For his part Justus is amazing. From everything I’ve been told, the waking up process is hard. He has been a mighty warrior through it all. It’s hard on all of us to watch him work so hard to cough, to breath, to figure out what’s going on, to watch him shed real tears. Please keep praying for the little guy – I hesitate to even ask because I think it might almost offend some of you, in the most wonderful way! I’ve received so many messages from #TeamJustus about how committed to praying for him you are, so I know I don’t even have to ask! So instead I’ll just thank-you for being a part of #TeamJustus.
And something else I’ve eluded to that the Lord keeps bringing to my mind! The miracle has happened. You all are praying. Please hear me… God isn’t mad at you because you weren’t praying or because you drifted away. God loves you and is crazy about you. He wants you to pray for Justus because He loves Justus, but mostly He wants you to pray for Justus because He wants to be with you! So keep praying; for Justus, for your neighbor, for your brother-in-law, for whomever the Lord would lay on your heart. I’d certainly appreciate a prayer for me as we are now coming up on a month. The logistics of all this start to feel complicated at best. Please pray for wisdom and a peace with the process.
So we walk by faith – which to me simply means, no matter what happens, I can trust God. And I choose to live in the tension between truth and grace. The best news of all is the God of ultimate truth is also the God of amazing grace! May you feel God’s grace tonight. Thank-you #TeamJustus. We love you!