Monday, January 27, 2014
How to know God is faithful
They took him off of life support last night.
After 5 days of tests and scans and praying and waiting and hoping and praying and more tests and more scans, they unhooked him, unplugged him, and we're all just waiting.
My uncle had a massive stroke Wednesday morning. Strokes are scary creatures because the results are so unpredictable and you can't patch a person's brain, a person's being, back together. There's something inherent in the fabric of our mind that mirrors the fabric of our soul. I haven't quite figured out how to articulate that, but without your brain, your body can't function. And without your soul being grounded, attached, connected to your body through the fabric of your brain sort of like Peter Pan and his missing shadow, it's just a body. An empty vessel.
You can patch a heart or a bone or a limb, but not a brain. It's unfair, really, when you consider all that can be fixed and patched and stitched and yet, the brain is different. What are we, who are we, if our synapses aren't firing, if the electrical impulses in our brains don't register, if our dendrites are malfunctioning?
And in the first days, I found myself wondering what do I pray for? Healing? Consciousness? Mercy? A Miracle?
And on Friday, when my mom sent the email that read "Full blown non responsive coma," I stopped hard. Five words that can blow your world to bits, that can tear your tiny filament of faith, that can break your heart wide open. And really, what do you pray for then?
It's a wonder that hearts can survive far more trauma than brains. It's a wonder the amount of pain your heart can hold and have and feel for your family hurting.
And when there's just too much and the words fail because there just aren't the right words to stutter that can measure the depth and the breadth of all that's been broken wide and laid bare, what do you say, what do you pray? What are the words that will ease the pain one heart holds on behalf of a family?
And I remembered then, that verse: "We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express." Romans 8:26
So I came off my ledge of panic and helplessness because when I can't and when I don't know how and my heart is just. so. heavy. Jesus can.
And I can rest in the shadow of His wing while the world goes mad, and the machines push air in and out, and tubes continue to drain, and tears fall, and hearts break a little more.
And I can climb into the arms of the Abba Father and give him all the broken bits and pieces and all the sadness my heart carries for a family broken and grieving, and know that "in all things God works for the good of those who love him." Romans 8:28
I sat in church yesterday and listened to my pastor speak about financial transformation. And yet it wasn't about money. It was about God and His faithfulness.
God is faithful.
I didn't hear what he said after that, and I can't really remember what he was saying before that. Because I stopped on God. Is. Faithful.
There is little that makes sense when we wait for a heart to stop its beating and the lungs to stop their drawing in and letting go. There is little that makes us feel better or makes us okay. It's the nature of grief.
But in the middle of that space, I found myself uttering softy, slowly, reverently, almost like a prayer I finally found the words to, "God is faithful. God is faithful. God. is. faithful." Like if I said it enough times, my heart would believe it to be true.
There's something that shifts when we just lift our chin a little. Our perspective is altered because our eyes tip just slightly upward. And that slight shift from downcast to uplifted redirects the heart. And that changes everything.
God is faithful. He is faithful when I am not. He is faithful when others hurt me or when I hurt others. He is faithful in my mistakes. He is faithful to be unshakeable when all my world is in upheaval. He is faithful.
He does not let me down. He does not make promises and not keep them. He does not disappoint. He does not keep records of my wrongs. He does not lead me down roads and then abandon me. He does not allow hard things without giving me what I need to move forward. He does not leave us to wander aimlessly in our hurt or in our grief. He is faithful.
And in all that faithfulness, lay ribbons of hope we can cling to and rivers of grace we can drink from and oceans of mercy we can swim in.
Today, He is faithful to give me what I need to traverse the hard and rocky road I seem to be on today and more than that, He is faithful to do the same for my family. For today.
Today, God asks that I trust him one step, one moment, one day at a time. And trust that tomorrow will take care of tomorrow.
Because God is faithful. Always.
There's nothing about death and dying and grieving that is easy.
But God is faithful, always.
Grace always Rises,