Day #50 – Make this a significant day!

#TeamJustus. 50 is a significant number. It’s half a century. Most people remember their 50th birthday. When couples reach their 50-year anniversary… that’s an accomplishment worth celebrating! So I contemplated whether the 50th day should be special for our journey. I think it is. As I considered whether I would write a post today, I realized the good thing about Facebook, no one has to read this. But 50 gave me a chance to really consider just how grateful I am. Justus has come a long way. Speaking of the number 50, one of our dark days was when they gave him a 50-50 chance of surviving the virus that made him so sick. But the report today is the G-tube is successfully in place. He’s recovering well. It looks like Monday he’ll move to Randall, the hospital that specializes in rehabilitation. But, there is still significant pain. As Kelli and I talked about the pain, I was recalling some big strong adults I’ve known after surgery, holding their side and agonizing, hesitant to cough because of the pain, even though they knew it was good for them to cough. So is it any wonder our little ninja doesn’t want to cough. It hurts and he doesn’t understand it’s good for him.

In fact, as I consider this next stage of his journey, it’s going to be full of activities for him to do that will hurt, but will be good for him. A lot of his therapy is going to be painful and at the very least exhausting. But they will continue to push him because it’s part of what will help him get better. As a coach, one of my favorite sayings is, “A coach’s job is to get young men/women to do what they don’t want to do, in order to accomplish all they ever dreamed of accomplishing.” Our dream for Justus is a full recovery. There’s only 2 ways he gets there. Either God chooses to touch him and fully restore him. Or more likely, he will have to do a lot of things he’d rather not do in order to accomplish the end goal.

The good news is, Justus is getting glowing reports from all of the doctors. They have used words like amazed, pleased, and impressed, when describing his progress. The bad news is, it’s only the beginning. There is a lot of work ahead. Please pray for our young warrior as he embarks on this next leg of his journey. Pray for perseverance (for his parents too!), for endurance, for understanding (which will help him), and for good results. Nothing keeps people more motivated than progress. Please pray against discouragement.

And if I could offer one other thought, it would be this… that’s what our spiritual journey is like. If I’m honest, I’m selfish and I want what I want. The bible says we all carry with us inherent “sin”. I have three, 2 year old granddaughters that are six months apart. When they are all together, it is exciting, to say the least. I was watching them yesterday. One picked up a toy and as soon as she picked it up, another wanted that toy. Grammy, said, No you play with another toy.” So she picked up a toy and immediately the third one wanted that toy. Pretty soon they were all crying because they wanted the toy they had, plus the toy one of the other granddaughters had. It’s called selfishness. None of my kids have parented these girls perfectly. But I promise you this; they didn’t work hard enough at making them selfish to produce this kind of passion. These three, just like you and me, left to them selves will be selfish. Which is why God invites us into the gospel message.

I know some of you might not be interested in this part of my post, but the whole reason Jesus died on the cross, was because of the inherent sin in our lives. And He invites us into a whole new way to live. But even in this new life, there is some of the explainable and unexplainable we’ve talked about before. There is an unexplainable that happens because God reaches into our life and changes us from the inside out. But there is an explainable that ends up looking a lot like what Justus is facing in this next phase. In my journey with God, it meant doing some things I didn’t feel like doing, in order to eventually move in the direction I wanted to move. I’m still a work in progress, but when I think of how much God has changed my selfishness from the inside, I’m overwhelmed. And like me, some of you probably need to consider this, “What is God asking me to do that I don’t feel like doing?” Is it to get up early and read your bible? Is it keep praying beyond these 50 days? Is it fall on your knees and repent before a Holy God? Is it to forgive someone who wronged you? What is it that keeps you from moving in the direction you know you want to move… towards a peace that passes all understanding. Like Justus, you won’t want to do it. Like Justus, it’s probably going to hurt at times.

My prayer is this, first that you would pray for Justus (as well as all the other needs the Lord has laid on your heart these past few weeks). And second, I pray that Justus, who’s been a catalyst for prayer, would also serve as a motivator for you when you find yourself not wanting to do those things you don’t want to do (I know… the whole double negative thing!). Just picture Justus, getting worked over by one of the physical therapists and let that encourage you to open your bible or get on your knees. 50 is a significant number and Justus has been on this journey for 50 days. Make a significant decision today and let 50 be an important number for you too! Go #TeamJustus. The moon is round!