Throughout our journey together, which is unbelievably at 45 days, we have talked about things that are explainable and we’ve talked about things that are unexplainable. It’s not hard for me to remember the night we met Dr. Bob. We weren’t very impressed with his bedside manner. He was abrupt and spoke so matter-of-factly. But the fact-of-the-matter is, he most likely saved Justus’ life that night because of his decisiveness in sending Justus to surgery to relieve the building pressure in his head. On the other hand, it still takes my breath away to remember the day the neurosurgeon left Justus’ room saying how sorry he was, there was nothing else he could do. After conversations with the attending pediatrician, it was clear we didn’t have much time before the swelling in Justus’ head would herniate the brain. Instead, for no apparent reason, it stopped swelling and didn’t herniate.
But we’ve discussed the explainable/unexplainable in things other than Justus. Like for instance the purpose for prayer. On the one hand God commands it, so out of obedience we pray, and supernaturally God does what God does. On the other hand, it’s explainable to me to feel kindred with so many of you I haven’t met, because we have joined our hearts into a community, praying for this little boy (and now others!!!).
I’ve encouraged you over these many weeks to consider what God is doing in your life. I hope you’re doing that in earnest… remember He continues to chase you! I want to challenge some of you again. Monday, the 14th, is a day we’ve set aside to fast and pray! Last time we did this, I really down played it, in the sense of saying if it isn’t something your comfortable with then don’t worry about it. This time, I’m asking you to consider joining the rest of us in this fast (fast = going without, in this case we’re going without food). But first let me explain a few things (by the way, I’m not an expert on the topic of fasting!).
Not always, but often fasting seems to be connected to praying… in other words, the purpose of fasting is closely connected to prayer. There is an unexplainable element of fasting… God has instructed us to fast and there is something holy that happens when we obediently follow God’s instruction. Again, there is an even greater acknowledgment of God’s sovereignty when we are willing to give up something as basic and necessary as eating. But there are a bunch of explainable reasons why fasting is good at a time like this. The most obvious is, every time you get hungry, it’s a reminder to pray. But there are others… like the discipline to not eat will translate into discipline with other things like prayer. Or this… I know if I’m honest, I have to fight my selfishness and my desire to want what I want when I want it. Fasting teaches me to consider God and others ahead of my own fleshly desires; which is always a good thing!
But there is an important disclaimer I need to make – God isn’t impressed because we fast. Fasting isn’t about impressing anyone, least of all God. There aren’t rules to doing it right… other than remembering there aren’t any rules. It’s a heart issue. A heart issue that says, I’m going to forgo something I love doing (in this case eating, but you can give up anything), in order to make communicating with God a priority. God isn’t going to grant your petition because you fasted… but if your heart is right, He’ll know the sincerity in which you bring your request. If you don’t want to join us in this, it’s certainly ok. It doesn’t put you on the JV prayer team. Remember all of this is between you and the Lord.
My heart in this is to help each of us sincerely set aside Monday to fast. We are going to skip our meals all day and instead pray. There are a lot of ways to end a fast. We are choosing to break (or end) our fast at sundown on Monday (7:23pm around here). You can end any time you want, you won’t get in trouble with God if you eat a meal or accidentally start munching on some potato chips (not that I’ve ever done that!). Instead of eating we are going to once again storm the throne room of heaven and ask for healing… not just for Justus, though of course I would include him. But tomorrow we are going to bring as many of these kids in need of healing before God as we can. Will God answer our prayers? Absolutely! Will he heal all of them? Only God knows the answer to that. But God is able and God is good. And no matter what happens, we know the moon is still round! But tomorrow, will be a day spent putting right perspective between God and us – there is a God, and it’s not me.
I’m going to try to post a separate post. I’ll see if one of my kids can help me pin it or highlight it or something so everyone can find it all day long. It will be a post just for you to comment prayer requests. So in addition to this post you’re reading now, you will find another post in the morning and I’ll make the first comment with the Wall family and with Justus. Then please just add prayer requests as comments throughout the day. And#TeamJustus let’s pray like crazy for all of those requests – not because it impresses God, but because it connects us to the one who true physician!
Thank-you again! I came back down to Portland to visit with Justus. He had a good day today after a restful night last night, so it was an encouraging day. God answers prayer! After asking for prayer for Alyse and Jason and discouragement, I thought this picture was appropriate. The attending pediatrician has recommended for Justus to spend a little time each day on his tummy. He looks a little like a turtle… A NINJA TURTLE!!! We love you!