Day 33

Thank you for your prayers. We had a really good night last night. It started off a little shaky but by midnight Justus settled in for a good night’s sleep. I know, because you have told me, that some of you continue to wake up in the middle of the night and remember to pray for Justus! God answers prayer. So I have a confession of sorts to make. Yesterday, I had a lot of hesitation with my update. If you’ve been with us this whole time, you’ll remember I had a similar tension raised earlier in this journey. My concern had to do with your perspective around God healing Justus. It does my heart good when I hear from people about how God is using Justus to reignite their faith. I’m thrilled to know there are people praying (talking) to God more than they ever have; some for the very first time. I’m a family man, so I literally want to do back flips when parents tell me they are praying with their kids for the first time! Again, I think it’s too close to be able to honestly tell you it makes it all worth it. The truth is, if I had a way to bypass the pain we’re going through, it would be hard not to take it! But if we must go through a storm, then I’m so honored God chose my grandson to be a catalyst for others.
So here was my tension. I’ve tried to be totally honest and transparent throughout. But I know some of you were expecting Justus to wake up and jump off the bed. To be honest, I think I was expecting the same thing. And certainly God is fully capable of doing that and we’ve been praying and believing he would do exactly that. But all along I’ve said, “Your will be done!” When some of you heard he was doing better, I was afraid you thought, “GREAT, here we go!” So I actually had concern some of you would have your faith blown out of the water to hear that Justus couldn’t really focus his eyes on anything, or move his arms and legs or speak. My hesitation included the pictures I posted. A part of me worried, would it shake your faith to see Justus still in a wheelchair.
But today, the Lord gave me a very different picture. I’ve boldly included a picture of Justus with the two therapists working with him. I mentioned them yesterday because they did an amazing job of getting down on his level to show him what they wanted him to do (I compared it to discipleship). But today I realized the message God was really teaching me through these images. Now I see why I shouldn’t have hesitated to share these pictures. I hope you hear this with all the love that is intended. Part of the reason I believe we want so badly to see God “fix” Justus, is because we are hoping he’ll “fix” us.
I might lose some of you with this next confession, but I feel it is important to be transparent about my own spiritual journey. I remember a season of my life when we were really hurting. Our business was doing terrible, our marriage was less than stellar, and I found myself struggling with pornography – looking at things I knew I shouldn’t be looking at. I remember praying about it, pleading with the Lord to take away that vice from my life. I also remember being disappointed and even disillusioned with God when he didn’t immediately “fix” my problem. After all I was earnestly asking him to help me.
I know that may sound jarring to some and I realize it’s not exactly the same, but there is a similarity. In the same way we want God to simply fix Justus; I wanted God to simply fix me. And I believe part of what God wants us to learn from Justus is this – He is with Justus, His spirit is comforting and even encouraging Justus, He’ll never leave him nor forsake him, His grace is sufficient for Justus. But Justus is still going to have to work hard to get back. The big difference of course, is Justus didn’t do anything to deserve his situation as opposed to me – my life choices were the cause of my situation. I wish you could have been in that room today to watch Justus work. He was working so hard to “fix” his situation. Is there a situation in your life you need to work hard to fix? Micah 6:8 says this, “He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” It’s one of my favorite verses because it reminds me to do the right thing, to act justly and to love mercy… truth and grace! I often tell men that I mentor who are struggling, in their marriage, with pornography, or whatever else, “Your job tomorrow is to wake up and do the right thing.” And if you string enough days together of doing the right thing, it’s not that everything works out, but the fog begins to lift. You start to see a path forward… remember Psalm 119 – a lamp unto my feet and light unto my path. Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not talking about doing this in your own power. By God’s strength and grace, you choose to do the right thing.
Unfortunately, we live in an instant society. We struggle with a sin or a problem in our marriage and we pray. Then, after the third time praying we say, prayer doesn’t work and God let me down. If you ever find yourself going down that road, I hope you will remember this picture of Justus doing his PT/OT. Pray that God will strengthen you. Put on the armor of God (Ephesians 6) because our struggle isn’t against flesh and blood (it’s a spiritual battle). But also remember Micah 6:8. Be willing to work hard on yourself. Yes… your spouse might need some help, yes… you might have some very real hurts from your past, yes… there might be people in your life that really complicate things, but I’m asking you to picture Justus working hard and then, “Act justly, Love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.”
As you hopefully can see in the picture Justus is doing better today than yesterday. He’s not moving as quickly as we’d all like, but he continues to improve. They did order an MRI as you might have seen on Kelli’s post. It was mostly for the Neurosurgeon who is meeting with Alyse and Jason to discuss putting back the bone flap he removed. But to be honest, the Neurologist also wanted to see an MRI. He was a little concerned after his examination. I was there and I can tell you I believe he jumped the gun. He had just woken Justus up and he didn’t like how Justus’ eyes were fixed left and weren’t moving over to the right at all. Shortly after he left and for sure after working with the PT/OT Justus’ eyes were all over the place. I’m not a doctor so we’ll see what the MRI says. But it certainly gave Alyse just a little fright. So please keep praying for Justus’ complete healing and for peace for mom and dad. We won’t know anything about the MRI until the morning. No news is good news if you don’t hear from me until tomorrow night! Remember, God is faithful. Whether it takes a day or a decade, we can trust a sovereign God. The moon is round! (and incredibly awesome tonight!)

2 thoughts on “Day 33

  1. I apologize, David. Began sharing your daily journal the first I heard about Justus’ medical situation. As a result, many more prayer warriors were added to the #TeamJustus. BUT I now see that this journal/blog is copyrighted…as it should be!! Am I guilty of copyright infringement?
    Still praying up a storm!
    Blessings,
    Sheri

    • Sheri, oh my goodness. Thank you for sharing my posts because that means more people praying. The main reason I put this on our Axis Ministries site is to make it simple for people to find the complete story. Thanks for praying for our little guy!

      Blessings,
      David

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