Sometimes these days, when I tell people how I'm ok because I'm believing Samuel is ok (or things like how we buy him clothes/decorate his nursery/plan his shower) I get this "look". It's the slightly-tilted-head, sad-eye, sympathy-smile-nodding that seams to be saying "this poor woman can't face reality". It's usually accompanied by some type of "that's nice", "I'm so glad you've found some peace", "that's all you can do" or "that would be wonderful". My guess it that the thought of the person is something like "it's going to be so much harder on her when he dies". I don't like that look. I understand that look, but I don't like it.
Many Christians today don't seem to really believe God can and will do the things He says He will. (I was one of those Christians up until a month or so ago). They believe things like "God can do it, but He probably won't and that's just going to have to be ok with us since we can't do anything about it anyway". In the past, I would hear people talk about "this miracle" or "that miracle" that happened to their friend's mother's sister's roommate and I'd do the "look" and say "that's great" but really be thinking "yeah, right" or "Ohh...kay...sure". It is so easy to not believe miracles. It's also easy to rationalize them. "It probably wasn't really as bad as they thought and that's why the person is ok now". Or, "the diagnosis must not have been accurate". Anything to keep us from acknowledging the miracles that are outside our understanding. How many Christians can truly say they have read for themselves and fully believe the message of the Bible? My guess is that many people just listen to teaching on the Bible without ever really studying it themselves and just base their worldviews on those opinions of others. That, in my opinion, is why there are SO MANY dead-wrong Christians. Any Christian who does things that hurt others (Anti-gay movements, abortion clinic bombings, funeral protests) is so wrong! Jesus himself would never, ever have said or done things people do in His name all the time . Jesus is love, never hate. So we may wonder why we don't see miracles today. My guess is that our dishonoring actions and massive unbelief is causing God to stay distant.
All you have to do is read any one of the gospels for 10 minutes and you will find the truth about who God is. It's almost all Jesus talked about. God is love, God is help, God is healing, God is mercy, God is all powerful, God is unlimited, etc, etc. If you have a bad opinion of God, you probably don't know who He truly is. You probably only know the God "Christians" present. (Sadly, it's the god of their own design, not the true God). In the past, in discussions about God, the question "how can we believe in a God who causes to many horrible things?" comes up. " Very recently, I've faced that same question. "God, why are you doing this to us??" The more I read about who the real God is, the more I realize I've/we've got it all wrong. It's not God doing these things to us. It's the evil of sin causing all types of horrible things and our ONLY hope to survive them/counter them is turning to God. In the Bible, Jesus was healing people who were afflicted by demon attacks. When he release them, the religious leaders said "he must be the devil since he has control over demons". Jesus replied "A house cannot be divided against itself or it will not stand". He was saying he could not possibly be the devil because the devil wouldn't free people from his own attacks. What this means to me is this: when trouble comes, we are very quick to get angry at God (hey, I did it.) But we forget that evil comes from the devil not God. So, instead, I believe we need to turn our anger against the devil. Then, we need to immediately turn to God and ask in faith for His help. It's our only hope.
All this is to say that I've recently come along way in my belief of who God is. For so long, I've been wrong. I was one of the people who said "God can, but probably won't" because I didn't understand. If I'm going to believe in God then I need to really believe. If God makes a direct promise in the Bible, I'm going to stand on that promise. Sometimes Christians get anxious being bold in declaring God's promises. "What if He doesn't do it??" "I'll look stupid and the people who don't believe in God will just have confirmation that their beliefs are right!" I've been there. I have two people in my life who don't believe in God (I won't name names). One of my concerns in making claims about God is what I just mentioned. They don't need any more reasons not to believe in Him. So for a while, I let that fear keep me from being bold in my belief. How dumb is that?! If God is who He says He is, He doesn't need me to "cover" for Him. He either is who He claims or He is not...end of story. (He said it best himself, "I AM who I AM" (Exodus 3:14). So I will take verses like Mark 11:24 that says "therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours" and I claim it back to God. You said in your Word, God, that if I ask for Samuel's complete healing and believe it's done, then it will be mine. Done. If God doesn't honor what He says in His Word, then He is going to have to explain it, not me. All I can do it go by what He says. So I am. This is where the "walk by faith, not sight part" comes in. No matter what the doctors tell me, I'm going to believe Samuel is healed. That's all there is to it. It's not denial; I know what the ultrasound looks like. I can see the issues. But God is not limited. He can do anything. So it doesn't matter what looks wrong/is wrong. All that matters is that God is powerful and made me a promise. All I have to do is pray and believe. So I will.
Another recent realization I've had is that, instead of complaining and whining to God about how unfair it is that this happened to us, I'm going to praise Him. He gave Samuel to us! He knew this would happen, but also knew we could stand up under it. I use to think "we are good people, why would God allow us to suffer like this?!" Now, I remember that "ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). We have nothing without Him. So instead of "why me" I'm choosing "thank you God for blessing us with this special baby". Sometimes I think about what one of the doctors told me a right when this all happened. I asked him, "what are the chances he'll come out of this ok?" He said, "it's hard to know exactly, because most couples who learn of this diagnosis choose to terminate the pregnancy." How sad! Believe me when I say, I understand how you might make that choice. It's SO HARD to make it day to day when you believe your baby is just suffering and going to die. But I thank God often that He gave us the courage to say no to that option. Every day I have with my baby boy is precious to me. Every kick is a reminder that he is alive and with me. I couldn't imagine my days without him.
On a final, but very important note, I know many people are praying for us. All I can do is say thank you so much! God said, in Genesis 12:13, "I will bless those who bless you..." So I know God will bless your efforts and faith as you pray. We can feel that God is with us and I know it's because so many people pray for that very thing. In Matthew 18:19 Jesus says "Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven." There are important promises in this verse that I'm going to take very seriously and literally. First, we need people to pray with us/for us. Thank you! Second, we need to AGREE on what we are asking for. So, please, if you are praying for us, agree with us on what we ask. This is our prayer:
God, we ask that you be with Samuel. Give him joy in his heart and let him see you and feel your love. God, we also ask that when we talk with him, he will hear us and know how much we love him. We ask that you touch his body and heal him completely; remove the blockage and restore his kidneys.We are asking in faith that you will restore his body completely, God. We ask that he be born in his due time, in perfect health, with not even a single indication that there ever was a problem. We ask that you use Samuel's healing to show your power to those who hear of his story; let it be a testimony of your unfailing power. We know you are the God of miracles.You told us if we ask for this in prayer, with faith, it will be done. So thank you, Lord! You also told us in Luke 18 that we should be persistent in our asking, so for that reason, although we believe you will heal him already, we will continue to ask for it until we hold his perfect body in our arms. Thank you Jesus!!
This past weekend, since we were up in the cities, we went to my brother's church Northstar Community Church (www.thechurchthatsmellslikepopcorn.blogspot.com). The pastor and his wife had us come to a prayer time before the service and we told Samuel's story and then were prayed for by a huge group. It was awesome!! We know God had heard us and I can't wait to bring Samuel there in a few months to show them the power of God!
During the services, they played a song I've heard before, but it now has so much more meaning for us. Please listen and read the words.