Yesterday was a remarkable day. It began ordinarily enough: Drove Daddy to work, drove back home, took a shower and got to work. During the trip from Daddy’s office, I got to ponder my prayers for him and for our family. I realized I could be more intentional and specific in my conversations with God.
So I started talking to Him. “How great it would be,” I said, “if Wowell could be regularized in his job come July, and then have his transplant in August or September. Then our baby could come in November or December, soon after Wowell passed the critical stage of his recovery from the transplant. Wouldn’t that be wonderful, Lord? What a Christmas that would be! Would you grant it?”
Then I was humbly reminded of God’s sovereignty when this verse came to mind: “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” (Proverbs 19:21)
Near the end of the day I received a call from Hope Foundation, the clearinghouse that coordinates the matching of kidney donors and transplant candidates across the country. We had received similar calls a few times before informing us that a possible match had come up, but this time was different. I was informed that Daddy was Priority #1 for the available kidneys, and that we should proceed to the hospital right away for blood extraction and tests. He would have to be immediately admitted to be prepared for the transplant.
I called Daddy and we prayed together, declaring that God’s will is always perfect. The next minutes whizzed by as Daddy took a taxi from the office to the hospital (he had been instructed not to wait for me to pick him up as he needed to be there as soon as possible), while I prepared all the stuff we would need for confinement and informed close family members and our prayer warriors before proceeding to the hospital as well. As we negotiated the early evening traffic we arranged for me to pick up his 2D-Echo from his cardiologist (This doctor primarily oversees Daddy’s laser therapy that we are crediting for his now-75% healed diabetic toe wound — a wound that has been around for almost 8 years). In an unexpected turn, the doc advised us that Daddy should not proceed with the transplant until his toe wound had completely closed. Daddy informed the Hope Foundation rep, who then advised us to wait for the opinion of the transplant doctor and the nephrologist.
As we waited we kept reminding ourselves: God’s will is perfect, whatever it may be. Soon enough, we received confirmation from the transplant doctor that Daddy could not be cleared for the transplant, as his toe wound would be prone to infection that his body would not be able to fight off once he’s given anti-rejection drugs to facilitate assimilation of the new kidney.
We updated our family and our prayer warriors, and we prayed again, repeating our declaration that God’s will is perfect, indeed. We admitted that we were yet to grasp the lessons God was teaching us. I felt we probably needed a heart-check especially in the department of trust and surrender; on the practical side, we thought we were also being reminded to be more diligent in caring for Daddy’s wound.
As we drove back home our conversation turned to “Courageous Caitie” and her family, and how their story calls us to appreciate God’s “No’s” in the light of eternity and His kingdom. Some people will be healed and some will not, some will live long and some will not, but all these circumstances take place against the backdrop of a much bigger scheme of things, over which there is a sovereign God. It is this kingdom mindedness, this eternal perspective that allows us to see that it’s not about us but about HIM, and that the point is not on whether one is healed or not, whether a relationship is restored or not, whether a problem is solved or not, or in any circumstance in itself, but on whether God is glorified in us be it in life or in death.
This is a hard thing to understand, anak. It’s quite hard to explain, too, but your Dad and I have been through so many things that have brought us to this point in our relationship with God — this point of surrender, of gratitude, of knowing our wholeness in Him, of knowing that there is no better way to live than to live for our Savior and Lord. We have arrived at this point only by grace, as we immersed in the immeasurable love of our Almighty God. And so we each proclaim that by the grace of God, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
How I wish everyone would experience this love! I suppose this is also why Caitie’s parents have been so purposeful in sharing their story to the world: because they want to be used for God’s kingdom, to make Jesus known to as many people as God would allow them to reach. For, as Jesus said, “No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light.” (Luke 11:33) In this, then, the Lucas family has already been victorious: They have obeyed Christ’s commission to “make disciples of all nations,” having pointed so many people to Jesus.
Now, Daddy and I are continuing to wait on the Lord — for his healing, for your coming, and for all that He has in store for the future. Just this morning, Daddy reminded me of Joshua 1:9, where God reminded Joshua, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Indeed He is with us. And so as we wait, we can continue fixing our eyes on Jesus and leading others to Him — our Savior and Lord, the author and perfector of our faith, the one source of our strength and our joy, and the one whose glory we seek to manifest.