Day 8 – post #1 – What Happens if we Pray and Nothing Happens?

This morning I was struck by a thought I often consider, but suddenly feel an added burden given this amazing and wonderful community that has rallied around Justus. Almost every hour we are treated to another story of someone touched by Justus’ story. (I promise I’ll get to my morning epiphany next) I’m not naive enough to think this is all about Justus… there are lots of very sick kids in this world. But for some reason, God is using this little boy to awaken something in so many. We know there are thousands of people we have not met, that do not know Justus, and likely will never meet Justus, that are awake at 4am praying!!! What a beautiful picture. But I do feel an added burden for this community and this prayer journey they are on. I know some of this burden is healthy and mine to carry, but most of it is me needing to trust that God is doing his thing in the lives of many – not just Justus.

So here is the thought – what happens if we keep praying and nothing happens? I’ve asked that question many times. I’ve considered the answer many times. And now as I think about all the people praying and wanting to hear updates, what do I tell them if they keep praying but we have no “good” news to share? And the answer the Lord gave me was to tell you to please keep praying!!! Some look at the person who prays and God answers so they keep praying as an amazingly faithful person. And likely they are! But I would contend the truly faithful person is the one who listens to the Lord’s leading and prays, but doesn’t see any results, and yet continues to pray. It’s acknowledging God is God, even when He doesn’t make sense.

We have been praying hard for over a week now for our grandson. If anything, things have progressively gotten worse. As we added more and more people to the prayer chain, now numbering in the thousands… things just got worse. So what do I tell you to do. And the answer is, please pray that God would heal Justus.

As you know this morning at 4am Justus had his 4th MRI. Thank you to the many who prayed for him, some waking up at 4am just to pray. Each of the previous MRI’s were significantly worse than the one before. We asked you to pray that he would have a good MRI. Well God answered our prayers, sort of… ok, He answered our prayers, but sort of the way we wanted. The Neurologist gave us the report just a few minutes ago. There was very little change. In fact it was clear he was visibly relieved it wasn’t worse. Remember, all the treatment they are giving Justus primarily involves keeping him comfortable and protecting the brain (pressure, oxygen etc.) as best they can. In essence the virus is going to do what the virus is going to do.

With that said, they have made a significant decision in Justus’ care in an effort to calm the brain down. In order to do that, they are going to induce a medical coma for 24 to 48 hours. The hope is when they wake up the brain again, these flashes in the brain won’t start up again. So please pray for him and pray for his parents. There are always added risks when you do something like this. Pray it happens safely and be successful. Induced or not, you can imagine how hard it will be for his parents to see their baby in a coma.

But I want to encourage you with the two images I have posted. God answers prayers in a variety of ways. I walked into Justus’ room this morning to find Jason sleeping on the little sleeper in the back and Alyse sound asleep on the rocking chair! It was one of our prayer requests and it brought tears to this father’s heart! The other image is what I told you about yesterday. Alyse is reading your prayers and comments. I could have just as easily taken a picture of her sobbing as she sat reading them. They are so encouraging. So your praying is about more than you even realize and I thank you.

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There is a good chance the advance of the infection has slowed significantly. Please pray that not only it would stop, but it would begin to reverse. The doctors are wonderful and we are so grateful for the good work they are doing. But now it’s God’s turn. We continue to invite you to boldly pray with us for a complete healing and recovery. We know that God is the true healer and can restore Justus’ brain. Which brings me back to where I started and my epiphany. What happens if that doesn’t happen? I’m not God. My job is to be faithful. And I’m encouraging you to be the same. For some reason God has you praying for this little boy in Portland, Oregon. Let’s fully find out why!

Some of the why is obvious and for that we give you thanks! As my daughter loves to say, we love you all to the moon and back. I wish you could know what your prayers and words of encouragement have meant to our family through this journey. We humbly invite you to continue with us as‪#‎teamjustus‬ lifts up our little man in prayer.