Friday, October 23, 2009

Patience is far slower than it should be...

I remembered something incredibly helpful for me today. Prior to Jacob's surgery where they removed the dead skull the doctors wanted as much therapy as possible. They told us that recovery slows down after the skull is removed. The brain does not like to be uncovered so it just remains cautious. Okay if you are a medical professional you are probably really frustrated at how I said that - the point is the slowing down of recovery. Jake is doing well with his school work. His memory is intact. His brain function is amazing. He gets sad and depressed. I wonder if part of it might have to do with just being so frustrated that his body is not responding as it he thinks it should be.

Patience is far slower than you think it should be. We are moving step by step closer to getting the brain covered back up. We now have appointments with the thumb doctors and the plastic surgeon next week to check on the muscle flap on the skull (if you put your hand up to the left side of your head just above your ear that is the size). We will also probably need to go back in for some surgery on his right arm to release some of the tight - healed skin. Right now he can lift his right arm almost even to his shoulder. We do therapy exercises but the skin can only stretch so far.

Moving forward there will be more difficulties - not just with this injury but with life. Life brings tragedy as well as incredible joys. Just this week holds news of a friends divorce, a family threatened and a job lost. Though things happen that weaken our knees, displace our confidence, and takes the wind from our sails, we do not lose hope. One thing we are learning over and over again that hope is not wishful thinking that all will work out the way we think it should. Hope is that the ever-present, fully in control, all-knowing God is there with us tomorrow. Tomorrow my will hold both joy and sorrow - but either way God is still present - He is still with me walking with me through it all. So I can be patient (or work on it), I can have joy, I can forgive, I can allow peace to reign and I can step forward to whatever comes.

I shared four things with the church in Corralitos that I right now I see as major lessons being learned through this Jacob's journey. I wanted to share them as we explore them. This comes not just by things we have said but what this community is teaching us.

1. We are learning the NECESSITY OF COMMUNITY
We are reaching new levels of love and they are coming in the context of community. This is how God designed it for us as well. That is why Paul goes to such great lengths to describe the BODY of CHRIST. Our gifting, talents, and skills are unique and as we blend individuals together we grow deeper and compliment one another. Community means that we are on the same level. The death of Christ broke down barriers bringing us together. We seem to miss that so much and put up huge walls that separate. Paul says in Eph 2:11-16 that the wall of hostility that divides us is broken down.

Everything about being in Christ leads us to love. Love is not just being nice or cordial but gets very dirty and confronts with a heart that wants to restore and repair and bring healing. Love does not confront to tear apart and wound and attack. Thou shalt not murder is not just a good idea it is a sin and though I may not have physically done this - I have done it in my heart and God sees that as the same. It breaks down community and leads us away from love.

2. We are learning that God brings us through TRAINING IN RIGHTEOUSNESS.
Growing and learning through both joys and sorrows we are lead to become more like Christ as we allow brokenness to be real. We need to surrender the idea that I can do everything and we allow others and the miracles of God build and sustain. Brokenness does not come naturally. Paul says when I am weak then I am strong. We desire to seek the presence of God over the presents from God. Prayers are moving toward I want to know you and see you and hear you. They are moving away from give me this, heal that, I deserve this. The presence of God makes all else pale in comparison.

3. We pursue and earnestly desire the EVER-PRESENCE of God
This is really hard to accept but Jesus needs to leave. If you read John 14-16 you see not only Jesus heart for his disciples but for all of us. He told them and he tells us, "I must leave." Jesus said I need to go so that I can send you the Spirit of God that will be with you always: EVER-PRESENT. I hold on to my picture of Jesus and God. I demand that they fit into my box of understanding and in a real sense demand that they do things my way. We hold on to the prayer that God will give me the desire of my heart and that if I have faith I can move mountains and we miss the point that He is the deepest thing I can ever desire. God does not fit into my box - my explanation and understanding about God is always growing because is uncontainable.
Letting go of my picture of Jesus opens up to greater understanding, greater longing, greater loving.

4. We each have TRIALS OF VARIOUS KINDS. There are no comparisons. My trial does not trump your trial. We are not promised a life of ease; we are promised trials and they come is various ways and at various times. God prepares us for what we are going to go through. This takes us back to Training in Righteousness too. We grow and move through situations that come our way and grow toward God as we acknowledge him and embrace him. Obviously though situations can and do move us away from God. But we best not compare trials each are trials and they persecute our faith attacking us and causing us doubt, bitterness, rage. As we see Christ in the midst of these hardships and the intertwining of faith, hope and love strength builds and we find a peace, a joy, a patience. That is the fruit of the spirit. The fruit that comes from dependence on the spirit of God working in us.

I feel a little funny trying to sum this all up as though I have a handle on it all. That is really not what is going on. It is more a way to summarize the journey this far and what God seems to be least me. So much comes just through trying to observe and make sense of things. In a sense it can be putting things in a box - trying to contain all this and answer the question that continues to plague: why God? Why is Jake having to go through this? As we move forward though I hope to try to minimize the box and be open to even greater understanding. Greater hope, greater peace, greater joy. I feel like quite the hypocrite though because I also just want things to be easy and for all this to go away. Yet if all this had not gone on I would not have seen God the way I have seen God. So though I do not long for more trials - I do long for more God - that does not have to come through trials - it can also come through blessing. We have had that too.

"Lord send some blessing a few more miracles Jake's way that he might see your glory and know that you are present."

Here's to blessing.

Tom (JK Daddy)

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