Our Eyes Are On You

February 6, 2015

It’s a weird reality for me. This awe at how the human body is created to work, making clear to me that we are no accident, that we were shaped and formed by Hands larger than our own, by the wisdom of God who far exceeds us. “I am fearfully and wonderfully made,” sings the Psalmist. And so we are… as I learn about bacteria, their abilities and their pathogenic responses. As I learn about neurotransmitters in the gut that match the ones in the brain and as I read about how healing happens biologically. One the one hand I hold this immense awe of a Creator who fashioned such tiny things as mitochondria and cells, living creatures and microbes. On the other hand, I hold the weariness of devastation.

My son has a new infection.

The good news is that it is not the same infection as before… the three times before, to be exact. This is good because that previous infection (and it’s return two subsequent times) was a nasty one. That family of bacteria is devastatingly bad when it grows rampant. This new bacteria is not as terrible, but this new infection is bad because… it just is. A little 4 year old body has been ravaged 4 times now with this sort of thing.

Of course, it’s made worse by the reality that what works for others when they encounter an infection is not as easy for us. For others, they simply go get an antibiotic. But what do you do when antibiotics cause these infections? When another round of them would open the doors and put out the welcome mat for that bad mamma jamma bacterial infection we have battled three times already- the one with devastating effect? When no amount of probiotics and other measures guarantees safety?

So we are left with a shrug in response to “what will we do?” Because right now, there is no clear answer. His doctor is not wanting to do medication to beat this new inhabitant in my son’s gut. We get that. We totally do. But what now?

Silence from every angle. Including our own corner.

So we may decide to risk it and treat this and kill this and hope and pray and plead that the bad infections we have battled before don’t return looking for their prime real estate in my son’s body. We may need to risk it. But friends… I find myself panicked just thinking about it. I’m pretty sure it’s some sort of “kid with medical condition PTSD.”

We plod along day after day, scraping to get by financially, emotionally, spiritually and in every other way. When we are asked by honest seekers about our hopes in this, we can tell you truthfully that we believe that the ending of this story will be good. But in the moments when the bandwidths of our stress levels exceed capacity, we can barely see it.

“Lord, we do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” I don’t know how many times I have breathed these words in these 15 months. And like small children watching closely those they trust to protect them, we intently look for any wind of the Spirit to breathe hot into our home that has been ravaged by a story that awaits it’s fulfillment. It’s like a bad chapter that never ends.

“Lord, we do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” I first met this verse in Chronicles 20 when a man who was once an advisor to me for church revitalization preached it at my church. I remember the meeting with this passage very well. The way he spoke it in a sermon and that one sentence from scripture flew across the room to me and pounded insistently on my soul’s door and demanded a place on the couch, and I was so stunned at hearing it, I, dumbfounded, let it in. This verse and I have had a stormy relationship since.

“Lord, we do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”

I’ve whispered this so many times these long months… and sometimes screamed it at the ceiling when no one else is home or cried it in the shower when I think no one can hear. The king of Israel prayed these words in the face of his own siege. He and his people were besieged by their enemies coming to do war with them. In many ways, we too feel like we are in a siege with this illness that seeks to drain everything in every way from our home and family and lives.

‘Lord, we do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” Outnumbered, out armed, out trained, out smarted. In every way, the people of Israel looked at the coming armies and did indeed not know what to do. “Lord, we do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”

And that is where we find ourselves. We have reached the end of ourselves in so many ways. And all we can do is wait for God. The hardest part for us is that we already have been waiting for God, we have been walking with him, pleading with him to step in. For a long time. A really long time. I often feel the need to remind God that our time is so much longer than how he sees time and could he remember that please? We have tried to be faithful and we have tried to have faith. And we have done so in our clumsy ways with his help. But reaching here, at the end of everything- resources, time, ability, strength- there’s nothing else to do but to wait, trying to slow the bleeding from our broken hearts until rescue comes.

I do wonder sometimes if rescue is coming. I try not to think about it, but I do. “My eyes strain looking for my God,” the psalmist croons that too. And I know that. I know that so beyond well. I know the ache of those words in ways I had never known before. And yet still… “Lord, we don’t know what to do but our eyes are on you.” Even our straining eyes, Lord.

And so here we are. Standing with nothing… pleading for the God we strain to see, willing to die waiting if we must. Daring not to breathe on some days for fear we might miss the whisper of God coming to turn back what sieges our lives. Trying to situate our weary story in the story of God’s deliverance.

And ready, oh so very ready, for his deliverance to come. For the healing mercy that keeps eluding us at this moment.

The king of Israel prayed that prayer amid his scared people who knew the enemies were coming close, and the Lord said to them to not fear. To go out ready for battle and meet them- this vast army that outnumbers them- and wait for God. The next day they did just that, but they did not have to battle these enemies. Instead the enemies turned on each other and killed each other. They did not have to lift a finger.

We are still having to do some heavy lifting, so it’s certainly not exact, but that is our prayer: “Please Jesus, please… do this. And you can take all the credit! Show off, show off big. And you can take every single ounce of glory for it. Our eyes are on you, Lord. On you.”

And one of the things I have learned about myself so far in this is that even in my moments of deep despair, even when I close my eyes at night having not seen God do what we know he can (and will) do, even as I murmur out my disappointment and close my eyes for sleep, I know that I will wake the next morning with the same words, pounding the doors of heaven with “Lord, we don’t know what to do but our eyes are on you.” And I chuckle, because I know that in the past, I would have given up long ago in disgust that God had not yet stepped in to show up and take credit. But for the sleeping boy beside me, I would have despaired entirely.

Walking this journey has stretched us in pain, but also in the very real knowledge that God… IS. And so tomorrow, we wake up at the end of everything again, facing the silence of having no clue what to do and the worry of not having the resources to do whatever we may need to do, and we achingly pick our way in the dark, straining to look for a God who calls himself by the name Faithful.

***

For those who pray… please pray. Please pray. For those who are not into that, please know that you are welcome on this journey as you are. We embrace anyone who comes to us.

One Response to “Our Eyes Are On You”

  1. […] Ian was diagnosed with yet another gut infection and our doctor said we should try to see a specialist he recommends who works on hard cases like […]

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