This week Chel and I met with the doctors marking the beginnings of the journey of radiation therapy for her brain cancer. We have known that this was coming for a couple of months now, but being in the room where it happens is a whole different ball game.
During the past few months the amount of support that I have been given, so that I can support my wife, and the amount of support that she has been given has been incredible. I cannot thank you all enough for your parts in that showing of support!
I have been thinking a lot about what has happened over the past few years on Chelsea’s medical journey. We didn’t have a couple of months to prepare for her first brain surgery to remove most of the tumor, or for the four other surgeries to fight the infection in her skull the next summer. And each time, we were taken care of by an army of people who loved us well.
This time, though, we have had the time… and it still feels like we are under prepared.
One of the things that I love about Grafted Community Church is how well we love people who are in some kind of crisis/transition. I can’t help but think this type of service became etched into our DNA as we took care of the Hammond family during our past five surgeries. But did we sacrifice anything as we learned these skills? Are there somethings that we have forgotten? If so, can we learn them this time around?
I want to propose that there are two big ideas that we need to keep in mind as we head down this path of serving someone in crisis/transition once again.
First, there are many people in our church who are not in a crisis or a transition today that still need to be cared for and loved. The process of supporting someone in a big transition also means linking arms with your brothers and sisters to hold back the waters from rushing too quickly against those that are hurting the most. If your brother or sister (or you) fall while trying to support someone else, then the support will not be as effective. We need to support each other in the nuts and bolts of life as we collectively support people in transition.
Second, there are many people not in our church who still need to be cared for and loved. If we cease to carry out the mission that Jesus gave to us of helping more and more people become a part of His Family while we work hard to support one family, we will end up turning our backs on both the Family and the family. My kids need to be reminded that God really does save sinners. Chelsea needs to be encouraged by seeing the ministry of the church continue even if she cannot be as active as a member as she has been in the past. God is worthy of us following Him. (Let’s do it!)
But adding in all of that to our already busy lives sound impossible. How are we ever going to have the energy to support those of us who are in crisis/transition, those who aren’t, AND reach out to others with the gospel? The answer: we won’t. Under our own strength we are far too weak to pull all of this off.
But then there is the verse: (2 Corinthians 12:9)
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
God’s power is made perfect in our weakness. It is by God’s power that we are going to be able to keep flying along, applying the good news to our lives and to the lives of our family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. Remember: (Romans 8:11)
11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.
The power of God at your disposal, so that you may serve, love, and reach out without burning out. Please join me praying that God would help us to know the right things to do, have the courage to do them, and have the strength we need to complete everything to which He calls us through to completion.