Sunday, February 27, 2011

You Could Be On Your Third Set of Jars

Why does God let things get worse before they get better? Will they ever really get better? When things get worse is God mad at me? Have I failed? Is there hope? When I face obstacles does it mean God loves me less than those who "seem" to have unlimited favor? Maybe an answer to a bigger question resolves all of the “why” questions.    .....are increasing obstacles a really a sign of decreasing potential or could they just be a countdown to a move of God?

1 Kings 18: 33 – 35 NIV

“….Then he said to them, “Fill four large jars with water and pour it on the offering and on the wood.” “Do it again,” he said and they did it again. “Do it a third time,” he ordered and they did it the third time. The water ran down and around the altar and even filled the trench.”

God lets things get worse so that there is no doubt that He is God. It is the modern day Mount Carmel challenge. “If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal is god, follow him.” All of those jars of water left no doubt that with man, Baal, and any other false god, a fire was impossible. Baal wasn’t even able to ignite the drought dried wood on his altar. Only with The One True God was this possible.

One of the differences in our modern day Mt Carmel moments might be that we aren’t as in touch with what God is doing. So, we become distracted by our need for “fairness”, especially when the odds seem to be stacked against us. Elijah was so in touch with God that he actively took part in tipping the scales of fairness in Baal’s favor. He himself ordered the jars of water added onto his altar.

His confidence in God has me now thinking of negative comments, like that of Dr. Fancy Pants, as a good thing. Yes, finally the third set of jars that completely eliminates the world’s ability to take credit for God’s work in Ryan’s progress. Now the empty checking account, broken head gasket, $50,000 price tag for a van with a lift are all good indicators that we are entering our third set of jars season. I fully recognize and admit that our needs are well beyond our own ability to meet, medically and financially.

Though we are still seeing the third set of jars poured out in our lives, like Elijah, I can hear the sound of rain and even see the small cloud, “the size of a man’s hand” in the distance. It brings a sense of relief because I know that the battle is not mine but the Lord’s. Whew!! I was tired of fighting and it is exciting to know that the best is yet to come. ;)

1 Kings 18: 38 – 39

Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. When all of the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried,

“The Lord – He is God! The Lord – He is God!”

Thursday, February 3, 2011

We Are, Thankfully, Outliers!!!

Thanking my God, my Savior, my Teacher, my Great Physician, my Healer, and my Counselor today that I AM AN OUTLIER. My husband is an outlier. My daughter is an outlier. And my son is an outlier. The world, without God’s wisdom, has no other source of understanding short of things like statistics. And wouldn’t you just know that God would show up and show off by creating outliers. People whose potential, for some inexplicable reason, exceed the world’s estimated potential.

Proverbs 3:5

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.
If I were to lean to the world’s understanding, statistically speaking, I should be married to an abusive alcoholic. I’ve been married to my husband, a man who loves and supports me in my hopes and dreams, for 22 years – I am an outlier. My husband should be a verbally abusive alcoholic. Even as a former Army Sergeant, our daughter always preferred his discipline to mine – he is an outlier.

Our daughter, who struggled with migraines for over a year, should have struggled with headaches the rest of her life. God lead us to a deficiency, the needle in a haystack, and now she has been headache free for more than two years – she is an outlier. Most children with Cerebral Palsy as involved as Ryan’s require a feeding tube. Yet, Ryan has never needed a feeding tube, never aspirated, and never had pneumonia – he is an outlier. A doctor told us, “The glasses prescribed by the optometrist won’t help.” Two years later his vision continually improves and, though he is visually impaired, he is no longer considered legally blind – outlier.

Statistics are only good for one thing and that is to assist His kids in understanding, “But by the grace of God, there go I.” Monday, before I came to this understanding, I was briefly distracted by a doctor’s comment, “A child’s chance of walking drops by 99% after the age of 7.” His comment was very random and out of the blue so I had no response other than a blank stare.

I suppose the awkward silence lead him to add, “Though there are outliers.” I wonder if, in the silence, he suddenly recognized a King’s Kid, an outlier, a child who might walk in one day and serve the good doctor a healthy dose of humble pie.

Matthew 19:26

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Ryan’s neurologist is a Christian man who recognizes that his own limitations in treatments do not define a child’s potential. He has always said, “I will never tell you what Ryan can’t do but what we need to do to help him. Kids always prove us wrong. There is a little girl in the lobby whose mom was told she would never walk or talk. She is running around the waiting room chattering away right now. I just hope that I can get her to sit still and talk to me.” -outlier.

If you are a King’s kid, you too ARE an outlier!!! Any other outlier stories to share? Please send a comment and I will post them as well.