Thursday, July 30, 2009

enduring-patient-joy

I wish that you could be here to experience some of this with us. Though it is hard - really, really hard - there is also the celebration that comes with little victories. I am not sure if we told you but a couple of days ago we had to start wearing gowns, masks, and head-coverings along with our gloves. Poor Jacob - in his confused vision to gaze at Halloween costumes must be very disorienting.

I just had a conversation with the head doctor of the burn unit...more of the same but also good news. More of the same is patiently day-by-day balancing the lowering of Jake's meds to a threshold where he is not over-thrashing. (Obviously not a direct quote from the doctor.) On the good-news side they are looking for other reasons why he is not waking up more and why his fever is persisting. Earlier today they tapped fluid from Jacob's spine to test for meningitis. While we have not heard the official report from the neurologist the preliminary report shows that the white blood cells and other stuff in there is at normal levels. ("Others stuff" again is not a quote from anyone with medical knowledge - just a dad.)

Today "long-suffering" has been spinning around in my mind. In the midst of this journey we are learning dependent patience, and really long suffering. Long-suffering being endurance it seems like it goes hand-in-hand with waiting on God. Patient-endurance. Patience is the action of bearing under difficulty, endurance (long-suffering) is the attitude or frame of mind we choose in this difficulty. Patience alone means (to me) that I stay physically in the hardship and do not flee or fight but stay standing. Endurance alone (again to me) is the attitude that display or the frame of mind I have. Together it would seem that patient-endurance is a key to surviving. So then I read this verse below...

For this reason,
since the day we heard about you,
we have not stopped praying for you
and asking God to fill you
with the knowledge of his will
through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.
And we pray this in order that you
may live a life worthy of the Lord
and may please him in every way:
bearing fruit in every good work,
growing in the knowledge of God,
being strengthened with all power
according to his glorious might
so that you may have great
endurance and patience,
and joyfully giving thanks to the Father,
who has qualified you to share
in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.
Col 1:9-12

So in light of what Paul says there is an opportunity to not only have patient-endurance but to joyfully give thanks to God. Remember how James says to "consider it joy" as we face "trials of various kinds"? Allowing God to fill me with spiritual understanding and wisdom and living a life patterned after Jesus - producing righteous fruit in my life - leads us into the presence of God the inheritance of God and even greater enduring-patient-joy...okay I am think I just confused myself and probably everyone else...

It just seems to me that there is opportunity to experience God in the midst of what we are each going through that we consider difficulty, trial, hardship. It is more than just positive thinking or being remaining calm. We can actually thrive. Honestly I am not fully there - not even sure I am half there. In the midst of the moment I often feel numb - yet God provides encouragement which often times comes for those of you who have joined this journey with us.

Okay so this has really been more about me but what about Jacob? How does he experience God in the midst of this horrendous moment. His pain and ability to stand in the midst of this is beyond my understanding.... I think it must begin by praying the above prayer for Jacob. That God would in the midst of this moment -day by difficult day - breathing physical and spiritual breath into him, holding him, and being the source of his enduring-patient-joy.

So many of you have not stopped praying for us - more people than I even know or fathom. Waking up in the middle of the night and remembering. Crying and rejoicing right along with us. May God continue to fill each of us with His Spirit and may this trial we endure move us to be Christ to those we come into contact with. Not just be nice to people but to actually be Christ to them: enduring-patient-joy.

All of this leads me to the big question: Does the pattern of my life display the conviction of my heart?

Thanks for patiently enduring my ramblings.

Peace and love

Tom (Dad)

4 comments:

Cindy Todd said...

Thank you for the ramblings...the food for thought is priceless. We continue to pray!

Anonymous said...

Praying daily for your entire family and for your sweet Jacob. God please hear our cries, heal Jacob, comfort him, give peace to his family and hold them in the palm of your hand as they endure these long days.

A loving stranger who draws strength and faith from your words and through your Journey,
Nichole

californiakelleys said...

Hey Tom,
I'm reminded of one of Spurgeon's "ramblings" as he tried to explain the bigger picture of great hardships that whack us up-side the head so violently and unexpectedly...He said, "Trials come to us as blessings, though they frown like curses."
So, I think that the trials we go through are intended to be very intimate and personal from Him--to teach us and grow us(regardless of what or who He allows to be the instrument of such pain). I can't even begin to understand what you and Debbie and the family is going through--that's for certain. I know that you would rather be in that bed (as the instrument)instead of Jacob--many would take his place of they could--but we don't get to choose that part. That wire was just there--I don't see God putting it there for Jake or anyone else. S*** happens in this fallen world that is brutal and unfair!
However, Jake's good and nobel action, nonetheless, has affected more people for a greater good than we could ever imagine in the bigger, unfinished picture. I believe it will all make sense on the other side of eternity and for now we just have to trust Him the best we can (which is torturously confusing and difficult).
Please forgive me if I sound preachy or something, but as I read your honest, thoughts about your son (and yourself) I learn and grow--as I'm sure hundreds of others do as well--and it's all because of this "trial" that seems like a "curse"--but could not possibly be!
You and your family are loved and soaked with prayer daily. God, do your thing in Jake as only you can!!!!
Chuck K.

FROG4U said...

The Father woke me up about 2 am to pray and I had this song go through my head and wanted to share it with you. it is one of my favorite songs. it is by Gregg Long. The title is...

"Everything is going to be alright"

What can I say when Faith slips away into doubt
and the fear that I feel is incredibly real and theres no way out. Everything is shaken, Hope is almost taken, but there is something making me say... I'm good... I'm fine... but I've seen better days, maybe say a prayer when you think of me, I could use some help when you're on your knees. The Lord is kind, I know He's gonna see me through, Everything is gonna be alright... I'm holding onto the mercy and truth of his plan, I'll weather this storm, safe in the warmth of my Father's hand, but through the healing stages I will stand courageous, though the hurting rages in me, there is trouble on every side, but I'm not broken, I have been struck down, but I am not destroyed, Persecuted but I'm not abandoned... My hope is in the Lord, Everything is gonna be all right... Everything is gonna be alright.

I just want to encourage you that EVERYTHING is gong to be alright. God has you in his hand. I continue to pray for the Breath of the Father to breath healing and life into and over Jacob. I pray that the Breath of the Lord will cover him from the tips of his toes to the top of his head and that it will be an anointing oil for his lungs and that his hand would touch him and regulate the temperature and that all infection would be gone and the healing would begin to happen at an increased rate and I pray covering from any more infection and mostly I pray for REST. Rest for Jacob and Rest for the rest of the family. Rest your bodies and rest your minds and rest your spirit knowing that while you are resting God never sleeps.
Our God is an Awesome God.