I found this picture, below, of me feeding Adam thru his NG (nasogastric) tube…that we placed orally, as he did not really have a nose at this point.
I realized 2 things:
1. There is no way I could put an NG tube down the present day Adam…the boy is too strong and too adamant about ANYTHING touching his face. I dare you to try it…without sedation…and see what happens;)
2. How on EARTH did we survive that season? I am still unsure of it.
I told Raja last night…”I don’t think we were thinking in that season of life…I think we were just walking…walking blindly…and that is how I want to keep walking…blind in my own sense, eyes wide open to see things the way our God above sees them. I want to keep walking by faith, not by sight…every day of this fading life.”
Because, the thing is, friend, my eyes see things skewed.
My eyes see statistics, reason, definitions, expectations, and man’s opinions.
And those things…they cement me into a nice, clean, sterile white washed room. The room is cool and calm and collected. There are cushions and comfort. There is predictability.
There are windows too, in this room.
But the windows in that room allow me to see only what makes me feel good.
They do not show me the other side.
I see what I want to see. I see what feels comfortable, doable, and expected.
It is an incubator of sorts…keeping the optimal environment for my controlled, manageable existence.
But, this Redeeming God man I have been rescued by…
He grows His people into saints thru anything but incubators
He raised up a king thru rejection and in years of imprisonment
He sanctified and provided for His Chosen thru years in slavery and desert land
He provided for and pursued and consecrated Ruth thru the loneliness of widowhood
He nurtured obedience in one wanting to escape the task asked of him, in the belly of a whale
He cultivated faith and power in the man whose letters would guide the expansion of the church for endless centuries, thru thorns in his side and in prison cells
Most of all, this God man entered our world in anything but a calm and predictable way.
He abandoned clouds of glory to catapult into a blemished world thru the body of a contracting, shaking, young virgin.
He did not evade the stench and the blood and the spastic pain.
He allowed Hope to be birthed thru the cries of an aching girl, lying in a bed of straw and muck, wondering if good could come from such pain…
A girl who had her fair share of man’s opinion stacked up against her, mind you
A girl who was not distracted from doing the impossible and unheard of by expectations and reason
He bombarded a drowning world with a message of Rescue and Redemption
And He did it with the Power of His Redeeming Love working thru broken people
Does He do this because He delights in making a mess of our existence or because He enjoys bringing pain into our lives?
He does this because we are messes and all we will know, outside of Him, is pain…rather felt now, or later
And without being manicured in the hands of a Redeemer, these messes of our cannot be made clean.
And without His blood spilled, our pain is purposeless.
But when He removes us from our attempts at a manageable, predictable existence
When He detaches us from the incubators we try to maintain
We truly live.
And we see things as He sees them.
And He invites us into an upside down Kingdom
That sees purpose in pain and weaves order out of chaos
And He does it all with scarred hands and a piercing gaze of Holy Love.
And He will continue to work in such paradoxical ways
So that our eyes will not be fixed on what is finite and appealing and explainable
But so that our eyes will be fixed on what is unseen, for what is seen is temporary
What is unseen?
That is eternal
These past 3 years have had their fair share of pain and frustration
There have been many nights of confused questioning and wondering if we really heard Him right
Then I crack open His Word, Living
And it penetrates, dividing bone from marrow (as it says it will)
And it invites me to the Feasting Table that is near chock full of broken people who have been made new
The table that is chock full, but always inviting more
I have been reading a good bit by JR Miller lately.
This quote, it slays me EVERY SINGLE TIME
“Christ is building His kingdom with earth’s broken things.
Men want only the strong, the successful, the victorious, the unbroken, in building their kingdoms; but God is the God of the unsuccessful, of those who have failed.
Heaven is filling with earth’s broken lives, and there is no bruised reed that Christ cannot take and restore to glorious blessedness and beauty.
He can take the life crushed by pain or sorrow and make it into a harp whose music shall be all praise.
He can lift earth’s saddest failure up to heaven’s glory.”
― J.R. Miller
I look at those pictures at the beginning of this post…
And I see these pictures at the bottom
I wonder…Who is this God who can make such beauty from such chaos?
Surely, there is no bruised reed that He cannot take and restore to beauty.
Dear one, take heart.
You, too, are not too far from His scarred hands
You, too, are invited to come.
P.S. To any of you, dear ones, who may gather from the opening of this post that I am averse to thinking…I wanted to assure you I am not. I believe wisdom is a gift straight from above and as it says in James, we are to ask our God for it…and He assures that He will give it generously. When I spoke of my conversation with my Raja last night…I was speaking with a smile on my face, half chuckling. Because, sometimes, looking back…it seems so unbelievable…what God is capable of bringing us thru. And it seems impossible that we survived. But, rest assured, we did think it thru. We had many all night talks and we prayed and we sought His Word and we sought wisdom with all our hearts;) Walking by faith, not by sight, in no way removes a need for wisdom. Tis true;)