After several rainy days, the weather in Memphis has turned beautiful! So earlier this week, we took some time to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. Since we are now living across the street from the Mississippi River, heading down and “throwin’ rocks in the river” has become one of the kids’ favorite afternoon activities. I don’t know if you have ever seen the Mississippi up close…but it’s pretty impressive. It always moves at a pretty quick pace, and during the rainy days we recently had…it was moving fast enough you could hear it.
But now, the river is calm again. As Davis and I sat and threw rocks in the water, I laughed at how this river is a great example of my life right now. Not too long ago, there was so much going on that our life was pretty loud. But now things are calming down to a more regular flow.
After all the ups and downs of the last few months, Bennett is on a pretty predictable schedule now. He gets chemo every Monday and has his clinic check-ups 2-3 other times a week. The tumor has not grown any more, his liver continues to get healthier, and he is not losing any more weight. This week his bilirubin is 1.1 and he has gained a little less than half a pound since Friday! We were very excited that between all the nutrition we are pushing on him and praying for his liver, that he seems to be taking some small steps forward. We also found out that the clinical study on the new drug is still weeks away from starting because the FDA and St Jude’s independent review board are still working out all the details. So the plan is to continue this weekly routine until the clinical study begins.
But I need to tell you something I’ve decided…I don’t like this plan. I don’t like small steps any more than I like calm rivers. I want movement…a fast rushing movement of God that makes noise and requires bravery to wade out into the middle of it!
Now…I’m not against the clinical study…I’m just against waiting on it! I’m against believing that big steps forward won’t come until we start using that drug. I believe that God can do it on His own, and it’s time I start acting like it.
The last time I was home, I had several opportunities to update friends and tell them how we are doing. As I described the routine we have found ourselves in, I was also sharing the words, “We’re moving in the right direction…but it’s going to be a long road, so please keep praying for us!” That sounds good…but it’s also accepting something I don’t want…a long road. The first night I was back in Memphis, I was praying and it went something like this…
Me — “God, I’m at that place again where I’m just done. I’m ready for you to just heal Bennett now!”
God — “Really? That’s not what you’ve been telling people. You’ve been telling them this is a long road…that healing is a long way away.”
Me — “Oh.”
God — “Do you want something different?”
Me — “Yes. Yes, God, I do! I’m sorry for accepting in my heart the lie from the enemy that this has to be a long road. I believe Your stripes have already healed Bennett, so please quickly get us to the day we see it physically!”
The next morning I was sharing this with Megan and she agreed that we need to be careful with the words we speak and the thoughts we choose to accept in our heart. We prayed together and asked God to show us how to move forward. Here are some of the verse that either people sent to us that day or were in our daily devotional.
“The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.” Proverbs 18:21
“The words of the godly are a life-giving fountain; the words of the wicked conceal violent intentions.” Proverbs 10:11
“the words of the wise bring healing.” Proverbs 12:18
“Kind words are like honey… sweet to the soul and healthy for the body” Proverbs 16:24
Needless to say, God got our attention! We know the He has the power to move in Bennett’s life in a powerful way. So we are no longer going to let our words speak of accepting that we are in a holding pattern…waiting for a clinical trial to open up. If it opens before God is done…that’s great! God can use whatever He wants. We are moving forward and believing that God is going to be healing Bennett more and more everyday.
Will you join us in this too?!
Pray confidently that by Jesus’ stripes, Bennett is already healed (1 Peter 2:24) and that we are quickly approaching the day where we see this spiritual reality become a physical reality! We also trust God when He says in Proverbs that His Word heals.
“My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words. Don’t lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart, for they bring life to those who find them, and healing to their whole body.” Proverbs 4:20-22
We are regularly speaking God’s Word over Bennett and teaching the other kids to pray with the words “I believe” instead of “I hope” or “I ask”. Please understand…I don’t believe there is a special formula of the “right” words or the “right” way to pray that more mature Christians have figured out. That’s not in keeping with the character of a loving God who regularly fills in the gaps of our shortcomings with His grace. But I do believe the Bible when it says that the words we say have the power of life and death. So pray, believe and speak words of life for Bennett…and others as well.
So let’s not accept a safe road to recovery that makes sense. It is a brave thing to pray and walk in faith!