Thursday, September 24, 2009

More and more hope

Sorry for the long post again, I was intending to make this one short. Read my ramblings if you have time.

Hello all. Seeing the difficulties that my dad, mom, Jacob and Jensen have been facing this week, I really just wanted to ask all of you to pray for them. It is hard for me (this is Robbie writing) to be down here at Biola, because I have actually been having a good week, feeling motivated, getting work and school stuff done.... and then I look back at my family and see such complete brokenness. Grueling hospital trips, unending medical attention from my mom to Jake, constant fear of what the future holds, and constant depression about what the present is like. It breaks my heart. It grieves me. So hard to see... in my opinion it appears to be more stressful than the many weeks in the hospital. One word that I have been exploring the meaning of non-stop: HOPE.

If Christians are to seriously take the promises of Christ, then we have a HOPE in RESTORATION... in things being set aright. One night this week my roommate and I went for a jog. We ran by this church, who had out on their sign: "John 3:16 - repent or perish!" We both expressed our extreme distaste for these types of Christians who find it appropriate to judge people who are not even held to their same standards. Even John 3:16 does not contain this message... it says "For God so LOVED the world..." the WORLD! All people, all of creation!

I am becoming increasingly convinced that the message of the hope of Christ is NOT a message that says "beleive the right things so that when you die you can get your butt into heaven and avoid hell." After all, even in the gospels we see that coming to Christ out of a pure fear of eternal damnation is not the right motive... John the baptist calls the Pharisees a brood of vipers for coming with this motivation! (He then goes on to employ the famous "fire and brimstone preaching" that so many today hate... it is interesting to note that this was not directed at un-believers, but at the religious leaders! At those who had an expectation that they were not living up to. They had forgotten about love. See this whole passage in context: Matthew 3) I am finding that the message of Christ is something closer to the idea that God is restoring ALL of CREATION.

Even if you are not a Christian... whatever beliefs you hold... look around you. It would seem that things are not the way they should be. At least in my opinion. Why would a 17 year old boy have to go through severe electrocution and month upon month of grueling recovery? That is not what his body was meant for. That is not what he was created for. This is a sorrowful time for my family and I. No one can tell me that I should not feel sad. This is a horrible situation. Was I meant for this? To feel this much pain? To see my younger brother like he is?
And yet there is so much greater pain all around us. SO MUCH. Why do miscarriages happen? Why are people born with deformities? Why do people lose limbs in horrific accidents, why do sons and fathers die in wars, why do buildings have planes crash into them, why are nuclear bombs drop on entire cities (sorry I'm not trying to be political)? On a calmer level, why do relationships rip apart? Why do families have to go through divorce? Why does revenge never cease? Is this how things should be? We can write it off easily... life sucks, just push through it... God doesn't care... He isn't there... I want to tell you: I do not beleive in a God who controls everything with an iron grip, who gives us this pain to get our attention or punish us, who sits in the heavens and decides who is good enough to get into heaven. This is a God who has been created by years of arrogant theology and misguided Bible reading. I beleive in the God who loves his creation so much, that he was willing to step out of his perfection and become one of us, become a human, and enter DEATH, the darkest point of human existence, for us. Neitzche saide "God is dead." In a sense, he is right. God DIED FOR US. Can you comprehend a perfect infinite being dying a human death? I can't.

Therefore, I have hope in restoration. This is not how things are supposed to be. I have no idea what a "life-after death" existence will look like... there are opinions all across the board... some Christian thinkers even conclude that there is none. So what do we beleive? We beleive in hope. We (at least I) trust that God has a plan, a plan for restoration. This has never been as important for me as it is now... that my brother will be restored, will receive a body made brand-new, that he will surf and bike and roll on the ground laughing.

I will leave you with yet another song from the Glorious Unseen:

THE HOPE THAT LIES IN YOU

We can hear the sound of all creation sing - a song to heal the earth
A song to spark a dream
Where are you optimists?
We need your strength in this
There's a stirring in your soul that cannot be controlled
This is the hope that lies in you
We can hear the sound of all the earth rejoice
with angels all around - lifting up their voice
Where are you hopeful ones?
Have we come undone?
There's a stirring in your soul that cannot be controlled
This is the hope that lies in you
Through all the questioning, you've been the hope in me
Despite uncertainty, you've been the only constant thing
When I'm struggling, you keep on loving me the same
This is the hope that lies in you
Come Down - we need your hope to come down
We need your grace to pour out
We need your love to shine down
We need the face of God now.

Rob (Jake's brother)

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Robbie,

Remember weeks ago you said "When Jabob leaves this hospital it would be an international holiday"? I'm sorry you feel so burdened but shouldn't you also remember how terribly lucky your family has been? Jabob survived, he's at home' he's talking to you and loving you. I hope you can lighten your heart with your many blessings.

tvnewton@aol.com said...

Robbie,
I just want you to know that I have been following your family's blog from the beginning and I have felt all your pain, saddness, hope, and faith. Although I never know what I am going to find on the blog, I am compelled to read it each day. Jake and your family have been in my prayers everyday since this horrible tragedy. I, too, have a 17 year old son named RJ and my older son is away at college. My 17 year old is a strong believer and has taught me so much. My 19 year old isnt quite sure yet about his faith but I pray for him daily to find God. It's so hard to put into words, but the faith that you and your family have been showing throughout this ordeal has helped me so much in my faith. We don't always know why God put's these situations in our lives but I believe that by you and your family sharing all your grief and hope and obvious love of God through this it has really brought me closer to God.
Is this why this happened to Jake? I know it isnt but I do believe that God uses every situation to teach others about Him. You and your family radiate your love of God. Even in the hardest times. I have cried so many times reading all that you have gone through and have felt helpless, hopeless, and angry with it all right along side you. I have seen many miracles that God has performed for Jake and yet see that there is so much more for you all to overcome. I see the fragility of life and thank God everyday that my boys are ok today but I also see that really bad things happen to really wonderful, God fearing people. I dont know the exact verse but I do know that Jacob will get his new body one day when Christ returns and it will be perfect! Please know that you and your family are an amazing story of God's love and faithfulness and hope. Like I said, words cannot do it justice what I'm trying to say to you but I just want to thank you for teaching me about God and who he really is and how through even the worst of times that he really is there. I feel him there and have prayed him there next to Jake when he was so very sick. Yes, I too, want to see him be like the pics of his old self. I live in Las Vegas but I, too love the beach and know how hard it must be for him to not be there or not be with his senior class at Aptos High. I will continue to pray for Jake and you, and your whole family. I have wanted to write to you for awhile but what you wrote today compelled me to write. Please, dont give up hope. There are many like me out there praying right along side you for his healing. Get angry, but go to God. He can take anything you throw at him...just as long as you go to him. And that, is what you and your wonderful family have taught me. I can honestly say I love your family and hope that you continue to write and keep us all updated on how Jacob is doing. Soryy I'm rambling but I just wanted you to know.
Love in Christ,
Vicki Newton

Cindy Todd said...

Thank you Robbie for your honesty and insight. Praying for you all! Cindy

Susie Boggs said...

Robbie,
Hang in there~ I'm so sorry that this happened to your family. You are fortunate to have such a loving family with a strong faith to carry through. Each day Jacob is healing more and more; patience is so difficult sometimes. I feel in my heart that Jacob's body will heal. I pray that he can surf and cycle, and roll on the ground....as for the laughter :) I'm sure he loves to laugh with his brother~ You are wonderful, pray for peace so that your parents might be able to rest a little easier.
Remember how far you've all come. I am so pleased that Jacob is doing so well and we will continue to pray for his thumb.
Sleep well Jacob

Anonymous said...

Thanks Rob for sharing your beautiful thoughts. I love reading your blogs because you have such a tangible love for Jesus, and a passion for people. I love that about you! Thanks for being such an encouragement and a light during this time. You are amazing and your perception of the situation gives me so much hope.
As always I am praying for Jake and thinking about him constantly.
Em