Thursday, January 20, 2011

Trust: A Curveball.

I took an unplanned 2 day vacation. The truth is my world has kind of turned a little upside down for the past few days. Early Saturday morning I got a phone call from my mom saying that my brother and sister had taken my 9 month old nephew, Isaiah, to the emergency room. Isaiah had been having some trouble with his kidneys for the past few days and was now not able to keep any food down. At the hospital, they diagnosed him with Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome, this basically means that tiny blood clots were forming in his kidneys and there was also damage to his red blood cells and the damaged cells were also clogging his kidneys. This was resulting in a low RBC count and kidney failure. They didn't know what was causing this condition but it was bad enough that they decided to airlift him to a specialist at a larger hospital.

Over the course of the next 3 or 4 days we found out that Isaiah actually has Atypical Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome, an autoimmune disease caused by a genetic mutation. This means that there is no external trigger for his HUS, his own body was creating the problem and, since there was no problem (Isaiah's own genes are the problem) there was no solution.

This all sounds very dire and scary, so I should also mention that, at the hospital where Isaiah is, there are straight-up amazing doctors. Almost immediately they were talking about treatment options, and Isaiah has already received one round of these treatments and is responding well. Also of note are the incredible number of prayers that have lifted on his behalf, if you're a prayer, I'd be incredibly blessed if you were counted in this number. But, by far, the most important factor in this situation is not the severity or rarity of the disease, the very talented doctors, or even number of people praying, but rather the incomparable hugeness of the God who designed his little genetically-mutated body.

That said, I still have fear and I have doubt. I realized a few days into this crisis that, though I had been praying, I did not believe that God was going to heal Isaiah. I have blogged over the past couple of days on the journey God and I are on toward Trust. I'm still finding my footing and I didn't realize I was going to get such a huge a curveball quite so early in this game.

In fact, I hadn't realized how this situation was even relevant until Tuesday night as I was talking to my friend, Whitney. Earlier that day, I had finally realized that I was not praying in faith and that the cynical part of my heart didn't actually believe there was any miracle on the way for Isaiah. We had a very honest and encouraging conversation about fear and trust and later she wrote the following. I wanted to share it with you because it reminded me how much of a good, compassionate, and trustworthy God we have..

I had a thought today. It was interesting the way it happened, really. I was coming back from the Cookie Mill with some wonderful people and one of my friends just simply rubbed my back as I walked by. As she did that I realized how tense I actually am right now. Her gentle touch almost immediately relaxed me and simply reminded me to stop and breathe a little.
A couple minutes later I was talking on the phone with my very dear friend Sarah and she was mentioning how fear is able to grab a hold of us and we don't realize it until the Lord gives us a reminder of who He is in the midst of that fear. I was immediately reminded of the touch from my friend. Sometimes we allow our hearts to become so tense with fear and we don't even realize it's happening until God gently reaches down and touches us. It might be through a kind word from someone, a song, a Scripture verse, or yes, a touch from a friend. Whatever it is, God is reaching out to touch. And that touch is not condemning or even correcting. 
The touch is more like a gentle mother softly caressing her child. Or like my own mother, tenderly rubbing the leg of her precious little grandson till he fell asleep in the hospital. God, our Father is reaching out to us to bring comfort and peace when we are hurting, worried, afraid, or confused. His touch brings refreshing and renewal. It brings hope and sustains us. His touch brings life.
Whenever we face a crisis, we have a series of decisions before us and are generally bombarded by information. It is in the midst of this tornado of facts, truth, perceptions, opinions, and experiences that we have to decide how and where we're going to walk. All of the truths God has established by His Word and through our experiences are called into question by the strange circumstances and all the conflicting and confusing realities they bring.

Walking in faith then becomes a process of drawing out the truth of who we know God to be and allowing that to be the reality in which we operate. Because if He is an omnipotent, eternal, and unchangeable God, then the reality of who He is can't change with our circumstances. Walking in faith means that we place the eternal truth of God's nature above our changeable circumstances. This can be incredibly difficult when the "realness" of our circumstances is slapping us in the face every moment. That still small voice, is easily drowned out in the tornado (1 Ki 19:12).

What my very wise friend Whit is saying here is that there are times when we allow the fear and uncertainty of our circumstances to creep in until we are so tightly bound up in them that we are not allowing ourselves to experience the peace and security God offers us. In those moments God reaches in through the storm and quietly touches us, reminding us that He's still there, He hasn't changed and He does care. But we have to be willing to hear that. We have to be willing to walk as if we believed it.

She also posted this video. It's an amazing reminder not just that God cares about this particular situation and that He has power over this particular situation, but that God has established a pattern of love, compassion, and trustworthiness since day one of creation. The climax of God's love for us; His goodness, justice, and mercy; and His incredibly faithfulness, was Him coming down personally to rescue me from my sin. A God that comes from glory to shame, from perfection to humanity, and from life to death, does not suddenly change His nature.

Whatever situation you are facing, God has already established His love, compassion, and faithfulness. Be encouraged.

And pray for little Isaiah.


  1. Thanks for sharing this, Sarah. I think you're pretty amazing. :)

  2. I linked to this post, hope that's okay with you. I just love what you have to say. :)