Stability For Our Time

And He will be the stability of your times, A wealth of salvation, wisdom and knowledge; The fear of the LORD is his treasure.

Isaiah 33:6



It's 4AM and I'm sitting in the ICU waiting room while my son lies on a bed a few yards away tethered to a ventilator, every orifice plugged with tubes or wires. His girlfriend and her mother are asleep on the other side of the room, and Isaac, my middle son is asleep next to me. And I'm sitting here, contemplating the ways of God, my inadequacies as a father, and trying to figure out how the boy who graduated from high school last week is facing an entirely different sort of final exam today.

A few weeks ago, this was literally somebody else's problem. A friend of mine, Katie Allison Granju, wrote about the struggle her son Henry was having, recovering from a brain injury suffered after an assault and a drug overdose. I call Katie a friend, but it's a strange friendship. We disagree vehemently on many things, pretty much everything to tell the truth, but when we've met in person, she's always been friendly and good-natured and we got along well. One of the things we've disagreed on is the nature of Christianity and what it means to call ourselves Christian. To simplify things, I am a Biblical Christian, relying on a fundamentally literal approach to reading the Bible while she prefers a more liberal approach. As Henry's struggle continued, Katie wrote some things that really struck me to the core and I felt compelled to respond.

You have to understand, I wasn't led to argue with her, but I felt a calling I hadn't ever felt before as a Christian, a need to witness to her specifically,about issues she raised, and so I decided to write an email. Before I wrote the first word, I prayed to God and asked that He would give me the words so that she would hear His message, and not mine.

And now Luke sits in a hospital bed not too far from where Henry was, God answered my prayer in a completely unexpected and entirely unwelcome way.

There's a lot of Christians who will read that statement and immediately reject it, saying that God would never hurt an innocent in order to fulfill His design. To them, I say "Go read your Bibles my friends." First, there are no innocents in this world, and second, God will do as He wills, not as we think. Non believers will react similarly, bu for different reasons. They'll say that any God who would do that is a malignant and capricious God,and not worth serving. Again, they are wrong because they are trying to judge God by human standards. We know that this life is a brief detour on our journey to eternity, but we often act like we've forgotten that basic truth. Our lives are short, and eternity is long, and if our lives here are painful, but earn us an eternity in Heaven, then that's an easy trade.

So why don't we live like that?

I was asked a question today. It just popped into my mind, but I knew I had to answer it honestly.

"Would you sacrifice the life of your son to save the soul of your friend?"

It was the question asked of Abraham, and of Mary and Joseph,and they answered "Yes, Lord."

I failed the test because my answer was "No."

A second question came into my mind:

"Would your answer be any different if you knew your son was saved?"

"Yes, Lord, it would."

And it's the third question that's been keeping me up all night tonight:

"Have you done everything you could to bring your children to Christ?"

I don't like my answer to this question either.

Next entry: Luke Update: Despair and Grace

Previous entry: Memorial Day

I'm sorry to hear of this struggle. My prayers to God that healing is indeed happening, that patience will be give to you in abundance, and that your faith will remain intact.
Posted by radtec  on  06/02  at  01:50 PM

I really appreciate your openness in your struggles. Just know that you are encouraging and witnessing to people just by your heartfelt words. I'm so sorry your family is going thru this. I'm praying now.
Posted by Stephanie  on  06/05  at  06:33 AM

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