Thursday, July 16, 2015

What Other Choice?

The Sanctuary.
Sunday, July 12. Ezra's surgery two days hence.

I sit on the swing on our covered porch my journal, Bible, and coffee close by.

I start to pray and scriptures flow quickly to mind:

     * present your requests to God and the peace of God ...
     * the LORD is near, have no anxiety ...
     * ask ... seek ... knock ...
     * who when asking for bread ...
     * trust in the LORD with all your heart ...

And then the word beg floats into my thinking. I check my concordance and am reminded of another child brought to Jesus by his father in Luke 9. The story is familiar; and more familiar when I read Mark's account and then Matthew's rendering.

Please, please (The Message translation of Luke 9:38) Jesus, will you heal him? He's my only child.
The disciples had tried to heal him and failed; Jesus himself was the father's last hope. If you can ...
Jesus exhorts, All things are possible for one who believes. And then those well-known, and oft-prayed words,

I believe; help my unbelief!
Mark 9:24, ESV

Yup, I've prayed them hundreds of times for hundreds of different reasons. Haven't you? (But without looking, I could not have told you the narrative they were buried in.)

Then Matthew's words bring another well-known phrase forward:

... if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed,
Matthew 17:20, ESV
Another, not so familiar phrase appears in all three accounts, O faithless generation (Luke 9:41; Mark 9:19; Matthew 17:17). 

Believe, faith, trust ... the keys, it seems. 

I identify with the child ... I too need to be brought to Jesus, helpless on my own.
I identify with the disciples ... I too do what I know to do.
I identify with the father ... 
     * Often when listening to myself, I find myself begging (not trusting).
     * Ezra is as important to me as this father's only child.
     * I do what I can.
     * I believe, help my unbelief. Convicting.
     * I also know that Jesus is my only hope.

But my mustard seed is cracked, imperfect; my faith waivers.

Believe and faith ... two words communicating the same.
Faith is the noun for of the verb trust.

What can I do? Trust. I'm learning to ask the question, What today does it look like for me to trust?

And I return to those familiar scriptures about prayer. Especially Philippians 4:5 and 6. And this scripture ...
Of Benjamin he said,
The beloved of the LORD dwells in safety.
The High God surrounds him all day long,
and dwells between his shoulders."
Deuteronomy 33:12
From Moses' blessing to the people of Israel.
Like Benjamin, Ezra is our youngest GRAND. 

An Update on Ezra, July 15, 2015
While we are digesting our disappointment that the surgery didn't turn out as planned, the entire physician pain team has been working to make Ezra more comfortable. It seems they have been successful. This evening Ezra smiled at his nurses. And tonight they are letting him sleep on his tummy ... his position of preference. We covet your continued prayers as Jeff and Aubrey and all the medical staff continue to discern what is the best plan to manage Ezra's Hyperinsulinism. They are all very thankful to be at CHOP.

Ezra Update, July 20, 2015
And the good news is ... Ezra is back on full feeds, even getting to nurse once yesterday--picture happy momma. His blood sugars are good. He hopes to be saying good-by to the NICU today and moving to the regular endocrine floor to get started on a regimen that will allow him to go home.

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22


  1. Thanks, grandma Sue. My heart is filled with tears of sorrow and joy – especially renewed with his smiles this morning. Always praying for God's best for Ezra

    1. Oh, I know. I'm right there with you! And those smiles keep coming. Children are so resilient.