Thursday, March 8, 2012


Friday’s scans and results + the sermon I heard on Sunday got me thinking about what a magnetic life is all about.

Friday, Sophia had an MRI.  MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging.  On a whim, I looked it up and here is how described the whole process (full article found here):
An MRI scan is a radiology technique that uses magnetism, radio waves, and a computer to produce images of body structures. The MRI scanner is a tube surrounded by a giant circular magnet. The patient is placed on a moveable bed that is inserted into the magnet. The magnet creates a strong magnetic field that aligns the protons of hydrogen atoms, which are then exposed to a beam of radio waves. This spins the various protons of the body, and they produce a faint signal that is detected by the receiver portion of the MRI scanner. The receiver information is processed by a computer, and an image is produced. 
(What they didn’t mention is you need to be perfectly still to get the best images – which is why Sophia, at age 5, is sedated.)

In our normal, walking-around every day lives – all we can see is Sophia from the outside.  We don’t know if the “spot” where the tumor was, is now bigger, smaller or the same size.  It takes this deep insight of the MRI technology to see what is really going on.  Throughout her treatment and after, we knew God was up to something – but we couldn’t see it without help.  It takes this especially technology to peel back the layers and show what God is up to.

It has been over a year and 3 months, give or take a few days, since the tumor or “spot” has done anything at all.  It shrunk from a marble to a pea size during the first 12 weeks of her chemotherapy.  But there it stayed – unchanging.  Just a little pea of tissue, not sure if it was alive or dead.  After radiation, we kind of figured it was dead, but still it stayed the same size. 

I wrote about how disappointed I was when we found out the pea was still a pea after her end of treatment scans. (Read that here).  I was truly devastated and a lot of people couldn’t understand why.  I can only tell you that I was expecting a miracle to show up on the MRI report.  I also wrote in that blog about how I thought maybe The Lord had left it there to remind me to be dependent on Him.  But I got it wrong - that wasn’t what The Lord was doing. 

God’s timing is not our own – His ways and thoughts are not our ways and thoughts.  He didn’t leave that spot there, the same size, to keep me down.  He had a perfect plan of healing and it is happening on His schedule, not mine.  Don’t get me wrong, the amount of relief I have over it shrinking is something I can’t put words to.  It certainly gives me another reason to trust that His plan is so much better than anything I could come up with.

I have to think these last 15 months of no-change were in preparation.  There is a lot He is teaching me about what is means to live an authentic life following Christ.  It is a life that is meant to draw people in and He is using every situation to do that.  He especially used this round of scans because I think we had more comments and likes on our updates last week than ever before.  

(If you were one of those letting us know you were thinking, praying and loving on us, I truly hope and pray The Lord strengthened your faith with our news!)

In listening to the pastor give his message on living a magnetic life Sunday, I remembered the MRI.  I remembered how long it was that we couldn't see what is going on, just only view it from the outside.  But every once and awhile, He peels back the layers and for a very thin, brief moment, we can see beyond.  

Sharing those moments, like we did on Facebook and email, draw people close to God.  Praying for this little girl and hearing of our faith in the God Who can heal her brought people in.  That's what faith does - it is designed to attract.

The Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:19-22 talks about how he molds and morphs himself to bring people the Good News.  We need to do that too, become students of the people and situations around us, constantly learning how to communicate and serve any and all kinds of people.  We will repel a few when we don’t get it quite right and we will move in directions that distort the results.  We are humans who will make mistakes, but the long-term focus is to bring people in.

To do that, we need to practice being still.  We need to listen to Him and wait on his timing for the results.  We need to be consistent and gracious, confident in the knowledge that He is God and He is going to get it done.  We must endure the waiting and hardship to develop the virtues and character of Christ that make people ask what is different about us. Charles Spurgeon, that great 19th century preacher, said this from his Morning and Evening devotionals that I recently started reading:
Thou hast a difficult road before thee: see, O traveller to heaven, that thou go not without thy guide. Thou hast to pass through the fiery furnace; enter it not unless, like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, thou hast the Son of God to be thy companion.
So this is what I'm learning:  If you have a tough spot in your life, like Sophia does behind her eye, don’t lose hope that God isn’t doing anything about it.  It may take longer than you like to shrink it out of your circumstances, so instead of getting caught in the why of it all, maybe the question we should be asking ourselves is what kind of result is God wanting to reveal? 

What or Who is it that He wants to attract to you so you can share what He is doing?  What is special that you've endured that might come in handy in loving and understanding someone else?

God comforts us so we can comfort others and it is in that process, He reveals the changes He is making all around.

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