Oct 21, 2020: Please come tomorrow
At prayer time during nightly tuck-in, Caleb has more and more frequently begun praying for Christ to "please come tomorrow, and if not then, soon." After hearing this multiple nights in a row, I finally asked Caleb why he was so excited for Jesus' return.
"Well, when Jesus comes again, he will take all of the believers back up to Heaven with him," came his reply, "and everything will be made right again."
His answer was very different from my prayer as a 14-year-old. I distinctly recall as a teen having a conversation with Him about Christ's return: "God, I know that when Your Son comes again, we who believe will get to go to heaven. And Your timing is perfect, but can You please wait to come until after I graduate high school?" As the years went on, I occasionally would pray, "Your timing is perfect, but, could You please wait until...." After high school graduation, it was marriage, then it was getting a job, then having kids, and on and on. In short, I was asking God to adjust to my timeline, because I wanted to experience all the good things here before I leave for the great things there.
What was I thinking? Heaven will be wonderful beyond my wildest dreams (which seem so petty by comparison). Now, as a more "mature" believer, I understand that...or do I? If I really examine my heart, do I think and act as though I am ready for Christ to come tomorrow? Do I praise God like no one is watching? Am I concerned with what others think of my ________ skills? (Fill in the blank: parenting, cleaning, Bible knowledge, etc.) Do I chicken out of a conversation about Christ because I'm worried that I might offend someone? Do I spend my time on activities that are important to God? Do I pray with expectation? Do I look forward to Heaven?
Since the accident, I'm much more aware of what Jesus meant when He said in John 16:33, "In this world you will have trouble." Life's not so peachy all the time, and the more trouble I see and experience, the more I'm okay with the concept of Christ's timely return, despite what "good things" I would still like to experience. But, to be honest, that's a totally self-serving conclusion.
Oh, to have the perspective of Caleb. If I really lived as if I were ready for Christ to come tomorrow, my daily life would look different; it's a pretty good litmus test indicating what's important and what's not. The most drastic impact would probably be my worry about the future, which Jesus has already spoken about in Matthew 6:25-34:
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
Ah yes, worry. While we're mentioning the perspective of the kids, I remember riding with Morgan to the hospital to see Caleb when he was in the PICU. I had just been released from the rehab hospital myself, and my anxiety over the severity of Caleb's injuries was climbing as my awareness increased. Tearfully, I expressed my fear to Morgan, who so succinctly said, "Mom, he's in God's hands. We don't need to worry, God's got this." How could I argue with that?
It might take some work, but I'm going to start praying like Caleb, and demonstrating faith like Morgan. I'm going to leave my worry at His feet and look forward to His coming. Speaking of prayer, we continue to covet yours:
- The cochlear implant is proving to be a game changer for Caleb. His latest hearing test shows his left ear in the "normal" range, praise God! Now he is working on rehab activities to teach his brain how to interpret the signals. He's beginning to understand speech, and can even sing along to some of his favorite songs when the signal is sent only to his implant! We're already seeing improvements in his sound localization.
- Pray for all of us as we navigate the daily challenges. At times it's easy to get bogged down in worry. I find myself saying, "If only we were dealing with just the TBI, or just the blindness, or just the hearing challenges, but the combination of all of them...ugh."
If you'd like to take a look, here is a link here to Madonna's magazine, The Independent. After receiving such wonderful care there, we were pleased to be able to share a small snippet of our journey in their Fall 2020 edition. As you'll see, ours isn't the only story of healing...their approach to rehabilitation is quite revolutionary. God certainly works in and through Madonna's people!