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Coming Up on Randomlychad

Happy Friday, folks! Glad you could be here. Coming up on the blog will be a post on the importance of embracing conflict. It’s neither pleasant, nor easy, but is worth it (something which has taken me far too many years to learn).

Also, some time between now and next Friday, the 28th, I’ll be hosting a Noah themed giveaway. It’s a pretty cool prize pack, and you’re not going to want to miss out on your chance to win.

Thanks, and God bless!

Have an excellent weekend.

This ‘N That

You may have noticed that things have been a bit sparse around here of late. All I can say is, because life.

In the last couple of weeks:

I’ve changed jobs.

I became the parent of a first-time Girl Scout (yes, that means cookie sales, Virginia).

My wife has been dealing with health challenges. And everyone knows that when momma’s down the family comes to grinding hault. (If you could pray for her, I’d appreciate it very much).

Theny family came down mega-hard with the “crud.” While I didn’t get it, I was a lot more tired than usual. My get-up-and-go got up and went… somewhere.

Maybe over the rainbow. Who knows. I just know that since entering my forties that neither my energy, nor my focus, is in Kansas anymore.

Is that the enough Wizard of Oz references for one post? Can I get a ruling?

I’m woefully behind on both blog reading and writing. I owe both friend,  Tim, and author Shawn Smucker,  reviews of their respective books.

Hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s back to work I go!

See you around the Internets, friends.

Ciao for now,

Chad

“You’re Not Like The Other Kids”

“You’re not like the other kids,” I said to my son. “I mean in all the ways that matter, you are. In your hopes, and dreams. The things you want from life. That stuff.”

“What do you mean, dad?” he asked. “If I’m the same, how am I different?”

“It’s like this, son: sometimes your mother and I, we forget. We forget, and take you to the movies, or out to eat… We forget how sick you can get. About the headaches, the nausea, the indigestion. All that stuff that comes from eating food with corn in it. I think you forget, too. Or maybe you’re fed up with not being able to eat what all the other kids eat. So you cheat.”

—————-

This is a journey that my family and I have been on for the past several years. I wrote of it in a post entitled How Blue Like Jazz Saved Me, which was about the journey of finally coming to a diagnosis regarding my son’s corn allergy. Nobody knew anything, and the detours along the way included seeing a pediatric oncologist…

I know, it may not seem like such a huge deal, but just try to avoid corn-containing foods (or drinks), and get back to me. Like Mr. White in Quantum of Solace, corn has people everywhere. It’s in everything! Plastics are made from it, soft drinks are sweetened with it, and even MSG is synthesized from it.

Say what you will about Chick-fil-A (they use MSG), but it’s one of life’s cruel ironies that it’s not something I can share with my son. Something as simple as a chicken sandwich! I know that’s not huge, but it is one of my (dwindling list of) guilty pleasures.

And as he gets older, the consequences just mount up. Lest you think I’m overststing things, he’s had both a colonoscopy, and an endoscopy, and both showed lesions–lesions where linings were irritated because his diet consisted of foods his body rebelled against. The price of indulgence maybe be small now; later, he could be looking at Crohn’s, colitis, or worse…

As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

So I write this today more for him, than I do for you, constant reader: take this seriously now before you wind up in a world of hurt. I know it’s not fair. I know you want to be like the other kids. I know eating, or drinking, these things won’t kill you now (like someone with a peanut allergy), but what about down the road? Do you want to shorten your lifespan over things you can avoid?

I guess what I’m saying, son, is that you’ve got to learn to think long term. Think about consequences. How will this effect you in the future when you’re a husband, and dad?

These are the cards you’ve been dealt; how will you play them?

And how about you, constant reader? Do you have food allergies? How do you handle them? Is there anything you can’t eat?

When The Healing Doesn’t Come

What do we do when the much longed-for healing doesn’t come? When hope is dashed again and again?

When God, whom we know has both the power and ability, to do something, doesn’t?

What do we do with this disappointment? Why does he seem so silent, hidden, unfair, unloving, uncaring?

Are things really as they seem?

“Who is this who darkens counsel with words without knowledge,” Job was asked? Who, indeed? God, apparently fed up with Job’s questioning, answered him in a very Socratic way:

With questions of his own.

It seems there were things Job, and by extension, us, simply couldn’t understand. Meaning that if God, and his purposes, could be understood, he wouldn’t be God.

From his perspective, things were well in hand; from Job’s, unremitting loss and suffering. And instead of cluing Job in, the book seems more of an object lesson for Satan:

Do your worst, I know Job’s heart. He loves me…

Blows me away everytime I think about it. Admittedly, we don’t have the (if one can term it that) the luxury of God appearing in a whirlwind; rather Jesus tells us “Blessed is he who has not seen, and yet has believed.” Put another way, we walk by faith, and not by sight.

We are put into the position of having to trust that Father does indeed, despite all appearances to the contrary, know best.

So what do we do when the healing doesn’t come? We join that great cloud of witnesses which surrounds us. It’s some rather august company:

Paul asked thrice for his thorn to be taken; it was not. Instead, he was told that “My grace is sufficient for you…” The entire roster of the “Hall of Faith” in Hebrews eleven consists entirely of people who didn’t get what they were promised, only glimpsing it from a long ways off.

A certain petitioner asked that a cup be taken from him; it was not.

We know how that turned out.

So what do we do when the looked-for healing doesn’t come?

As trite as it is to say: we trust, and obey. Otherwise anger, bitterness, frustration, and hopelessness stand outside the door threatening to destroy us.

We walk by faith and not by sight, right? I know: easy to say. But how do we do this–walk by faith–when our bodies, and our minds, betray us? I wish I knew. The world, the flesh, the devil, illness make a fairly comprehensive case against God’s fundamental goodness. Why does he seem so absent when things fall apart?

Why does everything have to be a test of faith?

“Lord, I believe. Help thou my unbelief.” It’s hard, but I have nowhere else to go, no one else to turn to.

And I’m sorry, folks: I don’t have any answers. I’ve only got an Answer. I wish it were more satisfying. Like God, who doesn’t want to be analyzed, but rather just loved for who he is, I don’t want to be constantly tested, tried, found wanting.

Like him, I just want to be loved. Right where I’m at.

How about you?

Past the Breaking

Sleep is fleeting… when it comes.
Rising early, I groan “Not again.”
Temples pounding, I rise.

Why, God, does sleep hide from me?
I want to avoid, blame, hate You

When night after night stretches into:

Weeks…

Months…

Years…

Leaving me past the breaking

But is this where you want me?

What is on the other side?

Where is rest

When is the rest?

Where are You when night after night I beg for sleep?

God, can You hear me?

Will You bring me past the breaking into peace?

Will you?

I’m waiting.

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