Okay, for those of you who doubt the verse: Romans 8:28 --"All things work together for good for them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Listen up! Not only has the Lord provided us a house -- but He has given us a yard with a swing set for the little girl who loves to swing ... and a church that we are excited to visit tomorrow ... and a couch so that Mom and Dad can sit together for a moment or two when the little boy and little girl are asleep in the twin beds. He has shown us children who have not one fixator but four --one on each tibia and one on each femur --because their leg length differences are so severe --so that we can realize how blessed Ethan is with his one fixator and his 2 inch difference.
The house and how God worked it out is great, but you have to think deeper. Can you believe that God put into my heart at the age of 5, the desire to be a teacher? Remember those "School Days" books where you listed your teacher for each school year and what you wanted to be when you grew up? Every year, I listed teacher. Now, can you believe that three years ago, a technology job opened up that brought Freddie to the school system? Do you realize that had God not given me a heart to teach and arranged for Freddie to get a vocational school teaching position, then we could not be here together this summer. Oh, Jesus, how I praise you for that! Oh, how you know my heart and how I could not do this alone! You are so much more that I can imagine! Can you believe that years ago, a man and women built a basement apartment, so their daughter could have her first taste of "independent" living, and when she married sooner than they anticipated, they kept that basement as an apartment, though untenanted. Can you believe that Freddie's cousin married the great-nephew of that couple? That's the God we serve. I don't know about you, but I'm "called" --I've been redeemed --and He's orchestrating the universe for me and for my family --because He loves me that much. Can you believe that He loves you that much, too?
Can you believe that He does all of this, and last night, I cried that watching Ethan struggle is too much to bear. Hearing him cry and seeing everything in his life become difficult and fearful is too much, I said. Waking him up for pain medicine in the middle of the night, teaching him to walk with a walker, making him bend the knee that hasn't healed from surgery, hearing him say, "You just don't know, Mommy, how much it hurts," ... it's too much, Lord. You overestimated me. You're asking too much of a six year old. Where are you?
Can you believe that He loves me despite my wavering faith and strength. Psalm 103:14 states, "For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust." He knows how weak I am, and instead of abandoning me because of my doubt, He shows up to strengthen my faith. How does He "show up"? He brings to remembrance what He has done and what He commands me to do.
The verse that He keeps giving me, I blogged earlier: 2 Timothy 2:3 --Thou therefore endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ."
Watching Ethan struggle is hardness. And I'm sure that something you are enduring today would qualify as "hardness", too. He calls us to endure. To persevere. To keep striving, "pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." I don't know about you, but that's what I intend to do. I feel sure that I will fail, that I will have doubts and fears along the way, but I also know that He will pick me up and get me headed in the right direction again.
One last note. One of Ethan's physical therapists is Jewish. How do I know this? Well, Ethan asked about his "hat," and the PT told him he wore it because he was Jewish and because he went to various churches telling others about God. Ethan then said that when he grew up he wanted to be Jewish, too -he liked the idea of traveling to churches telling others about God. This, obviously, lead to a discussion about what it meant to be Jewish. I tried to be as simplistic as I could in saying that some Jewish people do not believe that Jesus is the Messiah and that, in fact, they are still awaiting a Messiah to come. The next day at supper, Ethan said, "I asked my PT if he believed that Jesus was the Messiah, and he said, no ... that Jewish people don't have to believe that." This troubled Ethan, who then asked, "Mommy, will he go to heaven." I had to be honest and said, "No, Ethan, not if he doesn't believe." His final question, "Will he ever believe, Mommy." What a question. Isn't that the only question that matters?!
I asked Ethan later why he believed that Jesus is the Messiah, and he said, "Because the Bible says so and because it is the Truth." I was so glad to hear that response and not ... because you told me so. I want Ethan to recognize the Word of God ... as just that ... God's Word ... the Truth ... and for his faith to be based on that Word, the Word, not my words.
My question to Ethan lead me to ask myself, "Why do I believe that Jesus is the Messiah." Oh, the old hymn first came to mind: "Ask me how I know He lives, He lives within my heart!"