It is strange to me.  I didn’t feel different after Joel’s primary oncologist came in to deliver the news.  Perhaps I never fully hoped that the battle would be over today.  Perhaps I knew that if we had discovered that Joel was healed through an MRI today it would have seemed anti-climatic in my cinematic day dreams.

.

IMAGINED SCENE #1 INT DAY.

.

baby boy is hungry because hospital radiation is running 2 hours behind on promised MRI.  Father walks back and forth endlessly in the halls so baby doesn’t freak out.

.
Baby is not symptomatic of anything cancer related.  Baby is just really really hungry.

.
CHIEF DR

Well,  i’m not sure how to say this, but the lesion that was resident in Joel’s brain has disappeared.  Looks like the chemo did more than we expected.

.

DAD

So… there’s no cancer.

.

CHIEF DR

Well we still have to wait for the LP results tomorrow.

.

DAD

So… there’s no cancer.  Isn’t that a bit “unusual”?

.

CHIEF DR

Yes, I would say it’s unusual. So let’s wait for the results tomorrow and come up with a plan from there.

.

DAD

Um… Well… Ok, I guess I’ll go give Joel a bottle.

Of course, I also imagine a more epic scenario would go as follows:

IMAGINED SCENE #2 INT CHURCH NIGHT.

.

The congregation is gathered in faith filled expectation of what God will do.  Joel’s Father has invited all the local news stations and the modern prophets of Baal to gather to witness the event.  It is standing room only.

.
Father holds Joel and welcomes the prophets of Baal to heal his son.  The prophets wail and dance and cut them selves, but no healing comes.

.
FATHER

Maybe your God can’t hear you!  Yell louder, he may be in the bathroom!

.

BAAL PROPHETS

WAAAAAIIIIILLLLLL

.

Baby is not healed.  Father proceeds to welcome all sick people to sneeze on baby.

.

FATHER

Jesus heal this baby!

.

Lightening falls from heaven and strikes baby, as the smoke clears, Father pulls tumor from Joel’s nose.

.
FATHER

I declare this baby cancer free!!!

.

All local news stations carry the event live and thousands are saved.

.

SCENE.

Oh to have faith like Elijah, the lone prophet who could make a spectacle of the power of God by calling down fire from heaven.  Oh if I only had faith like Elijah, then, well then my son would be healed and the world would believe in Jesus.

.

But, then I read on and find out that right after Elijah calls this fire from heaven, Jezebel threatens his life, and he runs in fear!

.

As I meditate on the scriptures I recall this behavior through the old and new testament time and time again.  God is faithful to perform signs and wonders;  His people forget about it;  His people turn away from him;  God has mercy, helps them, and doesn’t destroy them.  rinse, repeat.

.

I have the sense that faith and rest and standing on ground that is solid when your whole world is sinking is not something we conjure through sheer will, it is calm in the storm, because Jesus said “we’re going to the other side of the lake”

.

Faith comes through hearing and hearing by the Word of God. And, I think that it comes specifically through REMEMBERING what God said and remembering what God has already done and choosing to look at those things that God has said and done and not the current circumstance.

.

Phillipians 4:6 says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.”

.

Our first night in the hospital two weeks ago, I had finally got Joel to sit in his crib. This, after Joel had been tormented for 5 hours with dehydration, thirst, and constant vomiting.  I was at the end of my rope and so discouraged, feeling like this experience was the beginning of the end, that perhaps this wasn’t just dehydration I was facing but the symptoms of his growing cancer.  Joel had managed to calm down enough for me to place him in his crib, but he was still very upset.   I laid there in the dark desperately praying for his peace when one of the scripture lullabies I play in the hospital started to play.  “Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done.”

.

Suddenly I knew what to do, I started to thank God for his faithfulness, and recounted the things that God had done recently for our family and for Joel, and almost immediately Joel calmed down and fell asleep.  In fact he woke up a few hours later crying for a bottle, drank it, did not throw up, and then fell back asleep.  He did this again at 4am and then 8am and by morning his physical signs of dehydration had disappeared.

.

God has been and continues to work small signs and wonders for us every day.  Amy’s gall stone attacks subsiding during prayer, Joel’s tolerance of chemo, his weight gain in the middle of treatment, his lack of nausea, God’s provision financially for us this year, health insurance, our marriage is stronger, our kids are sweet to each other, the body of Christ is standing in prayer united on behalf of our son, God has gathered a cloud of witnesses to see what He will do.

.

I have decided to stop trying to come up with a screen play for how I hope it turns out.  Instead, I am going to try and not be anxious, ask God to heal my son, and thank Him for all he has done.

.

Jesus, please calm this storm.

.

-Ryan

Write a Comment

Let me know what you think?