Saturday, July 4, 2009

Beauty in ashes

Jacob has the hiccups.

At the moment, he is on 100% oxygen support and are trying to take him off of the paralytic medication. Every time they begin to wean him from it, he thrashes about trying to wrestle free. However, they cannot keep him on it for too long without damage. He is being given two pints of blood to strengthen him in preparation for.... more surgery tomorrow! Which is very good. (You can donate blood in Jacob's honor... check out the "How you can help" on the left).

The surgery yesterday went well. It lasted for two hours. They stopped not because of any specific hardship to his lungs, but just to be safe and not push him too much.
Things are still quite serious. His body is very damaged. But before we know what steps will be taken for specific recovery (such as what Dr.'s have described as "dead bone" in two spots on his head and foot). So we are still waiting for the full effects to be manifested.

So in your prayers, combined with continued petitions for healing and recovery, please praise God. Worship him for what he has done, for this monument he is setting up for HIS glory.

We are still in the midst of fire, embers, and ashes. But we have been given an increasing number of glimpses at the feathers of the Phoenix that will rise from this destruction. The rest of this blog will be description of some of those feathers.

For one, we are increasingly being shown that God is scary; He is frightening. Every time an angel appears in Scripture the people have to be told to "not be afraid." My dad puts it this way: "We ask for the presents of God. We need to ask for the presence of God." Yet this presence can be painful; it means that God will pull out of us all that is not of him. When God's light comes, darkness cannot help but flee. Which is ironic, because it feels like we have been given nothing but darkness. But that is according to the standards of this world.

This network of God that we have been experiencing is only increasing, and we are blown away by it. Regarding finding joy in all of this, a friend of mine offered this advice:
"You asked how you are supposed to find joy in all of this. Obviously, I don't think you're expected to find joy in your brother's current state. Instead, look to find joy in what all of this has triggered."

This morning, my family and I were all sitting at breakfast at a diner across the street from the hospital. In a way we were celebrating Jensen being back from Camp Hammer. Having Jensen back has been a fresh of breath air for all of us. It will be difficult for us to see him go through all of the emotions that we already have, but it is so good, so right to have him back.

My mom and dad were talking about how so many of the little things we encounter have been so meaningful regarding the Body of Christ. At Dominican hospital the first night, a security guard bought my mom a Diet Coke. Also, there is this maintenance lady who comes into Jake's room often to keep things clean. She is very quiet and reserved, yet not unaware of what is going on. She seems to be quietly watching and caring. At some point yesterday my mom struck up a small conversation with her about what is going on. This morning my mom saw her outside the hospital, and she told my mom that she had offered up a small prayer for Jacob before she went to bed. Beautiful.

Anyway, we were sitting in the diner talking about these little things. My brother had his bible open. Our waitress came by and filled our coffee cups, and asked Jensen "look up where it says something about "I must decrease and Christ must increase." I was looking for that this morning." Broken up by waiting on other tables, she started talking about trusting God, after Jensen read John 3:30 to her. She herself has an incredible testimony, and we talked about many of the things being discussed in this blog. For about a month she has been thinking about these things, especially the things I talk about when referencing "brokenness." When we left we all gave her a hug, and promised to stop by to keep her posted.

Jensen being home; Amy the waitress; Sally the janitor: signs of God's presence, not his presents. We stand amazed at the small but not insignificant gifts of God - miraculous.

Next feather: A great story was run in the Santa Cruz Sentinel this morning, which I hope is a testimony to the entire county. While I was driving through Scotts Valley to see Jensen yesterday, I felt this awareness of the presence of the Lord descending on Santa Cruz County. Check out the story here. I am hoping it in itself is another testimony, a road sign along this highway that we are on: "Community rallying behind teen injured by power line."

This next one is a huge encouragement to me. I have no details yet, but one of Jacob's friends is in a local Santa Cruz band. On the 22nd of this month, they will be hosting a benefit concert for Jake at the Catalyst! I will get you more information as it comes, but please save the date and praise God for this opportunity for us to gather together and petition God as a Body, not to mention be a beacon of hope to the community. More details soon.

Finally, I am extremely encouraged by all of you who seem to be touched and aware of God's presence in a similar way to my experience. I had an awesome conversation with a friend last night about feeling the "thickness" of God and being compelled to fall to your knees. This is something we experience far too little. The knowledge of the holy one should compel us to extreme reactions. More than the words that you say, I am comforted by who you all are and your heart for Jake in this time. We can't ever express our gratitude.



Samaria said...

Stoked to be here for you guys. The show is coming along nicely, some great new stuff coming up, I'm taking off now but give me a call tomorrow and we will go over all the new stuff. We're praying for you guys constantly and all of u are truly behind you guys in every way.


Connor Childs

Victoria said...

Thank you so much for your UPDATES!!! and for the pictures of Jake. So many people that I am keeping included by email wonder what he looks like and these pictures are worth a 1000 words.

I pray that Jacob will again be on top with a Victory with SHOUTS OF PRAISE & VICTORY to the ONE who has seen him through.

Jacob is in my thoughts constantly as I walk and talk with God about His plans, I am praying for all of you as you are constantly caring for Jake.

Rob Namba said...

The Namba family are praying for you all in New Zealand. May God carry you on his untiring wings through this. I have fond memories of you guys and trust in God's goodness to carry you through this, even when you may not recognize it. May God have mercy and bring healing to you Jacob.

FROG4U said...

I have been in constant prayer for Jacob and the whole family. Last night I was on facebook talking with one of my friends who is from Australia. She asked how I was and I mentioned that I had been concerned for Jacob. She immediately shared with me that her daughter who is studying for priesthood was coming over and that she would share the story with her and ask that she would take the story to her church and ask the church to pray for Jacob.
I truly believe that the Lord is using Jacob's Journey to touch the lives of so many that it can not even be known the effects it is having on the lives of so many who don't even know him. God works in ways unknown to reach out to others. I believe that God is using this Journey to bring together the hearts of the ones who will be used to speak into the lives of so many. What a wonderful opportunity to draw people of faith together for God's Victory.

I continue to intercede on behalf of Jacob and the family. Thanks for all the updates as it eally helps me to stay focused on what to pray.
God is Good.. All the time... God is Good!!!

Heather said...

Joe and Hannah have been so concerned about Jensen are happy to hear he is again with you all. Please tell him that they are thinking of him and sending him love and friendship.

heathertreen said...

Welcome home Jensen. Your love and support for your brother will be amazing medicine. We are so thankful that Jacob is receiving such incredible care in the hospital. You all will be in our thoughts and prayers as another day unfolds in the journey of recovery. Keep the faith!