Usually, I’m pretty strong and feel pretty confident about Joel. Usually, I have peace that passes all of my understanding, but every few months I have a crying day. I had been feeling a little sad and a little tired for the past few days, and so sure enough as soon as the first worship song began at church today I began to cry.
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Actually, my tears have begun a little before that when I was marveling at all of the new hair on Joel’s head. (Yes, he has a small layer of peach fuzz all over his head right now.. I will try to take a picture of it sometime soon in good lighting so you can see it.) All week I have been looking at Joel’s new hair, but today it was just too much for me to know that Joel was growing new hair, something I’ve wanted to see for so long, and also to know that Joel’s tumor is still growing. I want Joel’s hair to be an indication that he is living, and I guess in some ways it is, but underneath that beautiful hair is a tumor that is still actively killing him. These two truths in conjunction were too much for me, and my tears began and did not stop for almost two hours.
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I cried through all of worship, and most of the sermon. I began crying because I was tired, I was sad, and I was not sure if the things I believed could possibly keep carrying me any longer.
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On Monday, we were hoping to see that the work God had done in taking away all of the cancer cells in Joel’s spine was representative of the greater work of removing all cancer cells everywhere in Joel’s body. When we discovered that God’s work of healing Joel has not been completed yet it was tough, but God was faithful. When we learned we would have a CT scan Friday, I marveled at how much better the timing would be to discover God healed on Friday, just four days after the last scan and with a whole new team of doctors involved. It was either Wednesday or Thursday that I thought, we didn’t see God’s healing completed on Monday, but already the timing would be even more amazing for it to be Friday, and if it is not Friday I can only assume that whenever we see God move it will be the best possible timing and even more glorious than Friday.
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Even though Friday did not show anything miraculous it was a good day and we were encouraged.
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Somewhere between Friday and today I began to think, “How long will I keep assuming that this is just an issue of God’s timing?” “Is this just what I keep telling myself to get over disappointment?” “Afterall, how could anything be more amazing than having a clear CT scan on Friday?” None of these thoughts were quite this well developed, they just bounced around in my brain, unformed and certainly unspoken, but slowly stealing my joy and my peace nonetheless.
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Today the sermon at my church was about God’s perfect timing. It began with the verse “When the fullness of time was come, God sent forth His son.” Galatians 4:4 The sermon talked a lot about how God has a perfect time, He is not early and He is not late. The sermon also referenced Acts 3:1-10 the story of the lame man who was healed by Peter and John at the gate called beautiful. Our pastor talked about how the lame man begged at that gate every single day, and perhaps the apostles had passed by him before that day. He explained that the Greek word hôraios translated there as beautiful actually means “belonging to the right hour or season.” That story is a story not just about healing, but about timing.
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By the end of the sermon I was no longer crying because I was so tired and sad, I was crying because God is so faithful and His timing, even in giving my pastor this sermon, was so perfect. I needed to know that what I had been speaking this week about timing was not just some crutch I used to prop myself up, but was God’s truth, spoken by me from my spirit to give me comfort and help me understand our situation.
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Is it hard for me to imagine a more perfect timing than this past Friday for the full revelation of God’s healing? Yes, it really is, but God has been so faithful and I know that He does not tarry to cause us grief, but He tarries to bring glory to this situation, and I would rather God receive the full glory for what He is doing, than to be spared weeks or months more of this challenge. It is easy to say this because God has carried us through this, He has taken on the burden of every moment. No matter how long this waiting continues, God will continue to carry the burden.
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I hope that I will continue to expect each new day to be the day where Joel receives the fullness of healing that we are waiting for, and I hope that our faith grows stronger each time it feels temporarily disappointed, and that eventually all of us will see why God’s timing was so important.

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