What does faith and hope look like? I believe it looks like a field of dandelions. I bet many a suburban weekend warriors would freak if they woke to a sight like this in their lawn. A little research tells us that if you were hungry, or sick, you would rather a field of dandelions than grass. The entire plant is edible, and has medicinal values.
When the zombie apocalypse is here, we will have lawns that look like the Queen's
I love the dandelion. There is something whimsical and dainty that the rose or lily cannot replicate. I love them because they go against the American grain of what is considered a flower, and prove evolution is crazy. If we are getting smarter, then chemicals would not be made for the sole purpose of getting rid of this "weed."
My son, Isaac, called them snow wishes at a young age, and my story starts when snow wishes became something more than a childhood pastime.
One day we were celebrating a birthday, and the next, we were sitting dumbfounded with news our child had something on his brain. He had an accident on his new birthday scooter that necessitated us to take him to be checked for a concussion. In quick deliberate prayer for the Lord to guide us as to which doctor to take him, we made a decision that prompted a Christian doctor to refer him for a cat-scan. He had a "feeling" but no real evidence of concussion. We went for the cat-scan and the radiologist came back with, "No concussion, but there is something there. Who is your pediatrician?"
His birthday had been celebrated early so his friends could be invited on the weekend. His actual birthday was on Monday, and we spent it having an MRI done. We got an immediate phone call after we arrived home. We learned that his situation was not emergent, but urgent, and he required surgery for fluid within the next two weeks. This fluid was not from the accident, but had been there for a while. Our pediatrician referred us to a neurosurgeon, and we had an appointment the next week.
We went to church that Wednesday and I had my pastor help me explain to my 6 year old he was going to have to have surgery. We had not totally kept him in the dark, he knew we were having tests done, and he had a significant goose-bump on his head, but we had not told him the answers to the tests yet. He came out of his Boys Club that night and we went to my pastor's office. He set Isaac up with a soda, and Oreo cookies. He sat in a chair and swung his legs back and forth as he listened to Pastor gently explaining that he would have surgery, but it would be ok, and everybody was praying for him.
He nodded, and said, "Yeah, they already prayed for me at boys club."
I thought he was going to be scared, or mad. He was inconsolable when they put the needle in him for the MRI, and Nurse Betty yelled at him and told him it didn't hurt. He was my sensitive guy, and I was amazed at how well he was receiving this news. He didn't have any questions and was content to eat his Oreos. My pastor said he would go with us to visit the neurosurgeon. The entire church gathered around him and prayed that Sunday.
That Sunday afternoon, I was weeding my flower bed, and I could hardly keep my mind off of the impending brain surgery. Isaac ran up and sat Indian style in front of me with a gift extended.
"Look Mommy, Snow-wishes."
"Well, blow it little boy."
"No, I already did one ; this is yours." I grabbed the flower and blew.
"What did you wish for, Mommy?"
"Well..... I prayed for God to heal your head."
"You weren't supposed to do that!"
"You were supposed to wish for something silly; God has already healed my head. Remember? We prayed about it."
He ran off, just as quickly as he came. He was on a search for another snow-wish. There was no reason to waste one on something God already had in the bag. His faith was whimsical, airy, and free to believe in a good God that was powerful. I had created in my mind pictures of his head shaved, and scars with stitches already. I had put more faith in the inevitable because of what the Pediatrician told me, rather than in the fact that God hears and answers prayer.
The neurosurgeon came in the room and began to speak to Isaac. He acted like a fun coach asking him questions, and asked him to skip, stand on one foot etc. He kept looking back at his chart. Then we went to his office. He said, ".What are you doing here?"
We all looked puzzled. I said, "brain surgery."
He retorted, "WHY?"
"You and the Pediatrician are the ones that said 'urgent not emergent."
He looked serious and perplexed all at the same time. I almost began to feel embarrassed.
"I expected to meet a severely handicapped child when I saw this MRI, and yet here is a little boy that is skipping my hallways, and tells me how he loves to ride his bike. The MRI says something totally different than his body does, and so the risks and costs of surgery far outweigh the necessity in my opinion."
He told us we would watch it. His head had grown to compensate for the extra fluid. There were things to look for that would show us if the extra fluid was causing a problem. We have to go back every so often to have it checked. The first time, I went back, I was totally expecting the thing to be gone. The doctor did some tests, and looked at me and said " I don't know how, but nothing has changed. Not him, or the fluid. His MRI baffles me. There is no way that he should be normal."
I wanted to cry, but smiled and said, "It is the hand of God." He nodded and said" I believe it." We made our annual appointment and left. I got in the car and cried.
Why didn't God take it away?
Why didn't he heal it?
Why is that ugly thing still in my child's head?"
Then there was a gentle whisper......
So you can smile, and cry, look a doctor in the eye, and say,
"it was the hand of God, not I."
Sometimes, the weeds in our life that we ask God to remove, are flowers waiting to be blown upon with the breath of hope and faith. Seeds fly to the ends of the Earth to give God glory in places we would never plant ourselves. This experience has led me to a waiting room that was filled with people that looked normal but needed a neurosurgeon. I prayed for them, but would have never thought they needed prayer otherwise. I have seen tiny babies with tired looking parents. I have prayed. .....
Our story has strengthened us to look impossible things in the eye, and say "Mountain, be ye removed." It has kept me connected to old church members and prompted me to pray for them on the oddest of occasions, even though we have moved. I share this testimony with people that tell me of a sick child or loved one. It actually led me to my current church.
When we moved, I was sure there was no church like my old church, and was afraid to look for one. An officer had stopped my husband for a seatbelt violation in our new town, and found out he was headed back from taking our son for a test. He shared with us that his child also had to see doctors for her brain. I didn't know if he was Christian, but shared I with him (after he gave my husband a ticket) that I would pray for his daughter, and believed God could heal her like my son. He asked me if I had found a church yet, and invited us to his. We knew it was the church God wanted us to be a part of the moment we walked in.
John 12:24 Verily, verily, I say to you, if a grain of wheat, falls to the earth, and doesn't die, it remains only a single seed, but if it dies, it produces many seeds.
1 Corinthians 15:36 That which you yourself sow is not made alive unless it dies.
Sometimes the hardest thing to do, is let go of what our expectations are of how God is going to fix our mess. God loves a broken and contrite heart, not because he loves to see us suffer, but because it brings us to a place that says:
" Come have your way. Do it. Whatever is necessary, I'm open for anything."
Have you ever had someone say "I'm not desperate enough to beg." They are the type that think they still have a few things up their sleeves. They are the seed that remains alone on top of the ground. They are not desperate enough to bury their ways, their ideals, or expectations. They have no faith that God could produce fruit out of the death of their self. They want God to fix or use what they are alone on top of the ground. They can't see they are created in His image and he himself died for us so that we might become his sons and daughters. They have their self image laying on top of the soil refusing to bury it.
The bible is full of promises and commands. He gave us his word so that we could die to our self and have life. A .man must die to himself and be born again. That takes faith. If we take the step of faith, we have hope that God will do what he said.
Isaiah 55:11-12 For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth And making it bear and sprout, And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. For you will go out with joy And be led forth with peace; The mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you, And all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
We all need to be encouraged. We need faith and hope breathed on our field of impossibilities. The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Let us who have faith, go with joy into the field of snow-wishes and stir up life and expectations knowing he is a God who hears our prayers.