We drove a familiar drive down to SCRIPPS and made our way through the early morning hues past Oceanside, Carlsbad, Del Mar and into La Jolla. Names forever etched in our memories. Christian was sleeping in the back as Kelly and I, seeing the sun poke above the horizon, spoke to each other’s hearts and prayed for a smooth liver biopsy. The pinks in the sky, coupled with the majestic oranges seemed to illuminate the angelic smile of my bride, laughing and singing, mixed with the silent trepidation of what we were about to enter into. Please Lord, let my blood results confirm how I am doing; that indeed, I am healthy, for I haven’t felt like this for a long while. Too long actually. After all we have been through, can we get past the hurdle of “six years” that seems to be a wet cloak of doom spoken over us in the nameless fears of the night. My last liver transplant was almost six years ago, that ageless time that resounds in my foggy memory like a lighthouse beckoning me to praise and worship the Creator with greater urgency. He answered prayers for His glory, and it just so happened that I was able to live to see my son, my precious baby boy Noah, born to this world.
That’s what was so precarious a few months back when they told me my liver was in rejection. Was it the fated time when I would go see the Lord, to break the chains of this world only to fly into the arms of my God and redeemer like that of my son Samuel almost two years ago? Our days are detailed for the glory of God, and not one dust will settle save God’s supreme authority and knowledge making it happen. So we live with courage today, knowing our home is not this place. These things were swirling through our minds as we drove down there. Was the rejection of my liver just a forerunner into what will soon transpire? Anyone who has gone through questions like these will know that they are natural; there is no lack of faith to experience these emotions. Too many lies say otherwise around the churches in America these days. Our healing is not contingent on our faith. Break that chain. Break it now. Our healing is contingent on the person and work of Jesus Christ, and in that regard, we all who have confessed His name as Lord have been healed.
Yet we succumb to the realities of this life. Flesh has married spirit, and so we dwell in the land of the dead as living lights and testimonies to the glorious Father who does not change like shifting shadows. Sing it out. There is power in our Trinitarian God of hope.
I had blood drawn early, on an empty stomach, and was graced with a nice and speedy hematologist. She was probably tired too, but I got to share, as I always do, that God is good amidst my transplants. She needs to know I am not normal; I am a son of the Most High, and I live in thankfulness for the joys of today. We drove to get bagels, enjoyed even more time together, and laughed as each person in the line told us of Christian’s beauty. No he’s not a girl thank you very much, but he is beautiful. Have you seen my daughter? Here’s a picture of her; God is good huh? We ate, drove back to the hospital, and I was told some news about my blood.
There are three levels we look at. For the past ten to fourteen months, we have been struggling with getting them in normal range. Pulses of steroids, liver biopsies, increases of medication, all could have ravaged my body. But don’t you know? My body is a temple of the Holy Spirit; it’s His house and He has His way with it. He’s in control, not me. I read the numbers and couldn’t believe them myself; each level that had plagued me now read to be within the normal range. It seems as though my faith was small, for I couldn’t believe what I read. Normal. Not pristine, but normal. I’ll take normal. I’ll take normal any day of the week. I’ll take normal when I’m walking my daughter down the isle during her wedding day. I’ll take normal when I see my sons graduate High School. I’ll take normal when I coach their soccer teams. I’ll take normal when I stare into the eyes of my wife tonight. I’ll take normal when we celebrate our fiftieth wedding anniversary at Little Dom’s in Los Angeles. Normal? I cry tears of thankfulness for normal to a God who’s love never fails me, never ceases, and always consumes me. Even when He takes away, His love never fails me.
I will find out the results of the liver biopsy within the next few days, and a more detailed description within the next few weeks when I see the doctors again. I believe Lord, help my unbelief.
So I step into a new light for me. I am not strong; I do not have reservoirs of strength welling up within me that I create, but I am at the mercy of the God of the impossible who is more passionate for His glory than my health. I get that Lord. I submit to that. Whatever brings you glory. This is Your house I’m dwelling in, and I will not presume upon You on what you do. Can I dream? Of course I can, but my dream above all is that God would receive the glory in my life. My free will submits to your free will. I am the creature, you are the Creator. You will supply me with the strength and the faith I will need to give you glory. One thing I know is, God has never left me. He is faithful even when things do not go my way. Our God is faithful.