Posts tagged: prayer
this brings to my mind Ramon and his wife Allison. please pray for Daisy’s healing…
RT @brittmerrick: Another cancerous tumor was discovered in my daughter Daisy today. We believe in miracles… we believe in Jesus.
Please be praying that when they look at her tomorrow, the tumor is miraculously gone!!!!! Our God is BIG! Our God is a God of miracles!!!
Creation. Fall. Redemption. Restoration. These are the four acts of Scripture we find. Creation and Fall have come and gone. Jesus has come, so has Redemption. Now we live in between Redemption and Restoration.
The Now and Not Yet.
Without these two theological concepts I’ve listed above I don’t know how I’d be able to get through life right now. My soul is heavy. My heart hurts. My mind is weary. My body is going through the motions.
I am still in shock this is happening. He’s too young. He’s my brother. They’ve only been married for seven months - it’s not long enough. I was in their wedding. We’ve walked through life together. I saw them the night he proposed almost a year ago. Even before this incident it has been a long year - now it has been a really long year.
The Now and Not Yet - the world we live in - the world of the in between.
This is the world where pain, suffering, brokeness, sin, death and evil exists. Inside this world, cancer exists. It fills and surrounds. It brings strong men to fall on their faces. It brings their community to their knees.
Here. Now. All. Around.
The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together;
and a little child shall lead them.
The cow and the bear shall graze;
their young shall lie down together;
and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra,
and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den.
They shall not hurt or destroy
in all my holy mountain;
for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD
as the waters cover the sea.
(Isaiah 11:6-9 ESV)
We don’t live in this world. Yet, that’s the one I long to live in. I long for Restoration to come. The Kingdom is here, but it is not. Jesus has come; cancer has been beaten; yet, it still exists.
Kingdom please come. Jesus, please bring healing to my brother.
Holy Spirit bring our Father glory.
People have been asking me why San Diego for my retreat of solitude?
Honestly, the answer is simple - it is here God has shown Himself to me in new and powerful ways. This city has grown my passion for Jesus, His Kingdom and the lost in ways I never knew were possible.
For some reason, God has used San Diego as a conduit for my spiritual growth and journey. Thus, when I was given the opportunity to choose where I could go for my retreat - San Diego was the first place I thought of. It has everything about a city that can speak to my heart and soul - beach and people.
When I need solitude or refreshment I don’t run to the mountains or woods. I go to places filled with people and the beach. It is the way God has wired me. It is the way I process. It is the way my brain works. It is a strength and weakness.
San Diego has spoken truth and hope in my life several important times before; I am expecting God to do it again.
My week has been leading to this. I’ve been preparing my heart for San Diego. God has been preparing me for this weekend.
Pray for me.
Tonight, after work, I am driving down to San Diego. I get off work at 5 p.m. and I will begin my retreat of solitude to process my calling and vocation. I am really excited.
I will be staying at a hotel in one of my favorite cities in the world, within walking distance of the bay and beach to encounter God. I am expectant this will happen. I have been taking all week to intentionally prepare for this weekend. I have been longing to be able to get away and process all God has been doing. Let me tell you, He has been doing a lot.
It is going to be a good weekend. I ask you, my tumblr followers to do me one thing - when you get a chance over the next 24 plus hours - please, please pray for me. Pray for God to speak. Pray for God to move. Pray for me to listen. Pray for me to encounter God in fresh ways.
Can you do that for me?
I am expectant.
Can you please pray for me?
Sacred Marriage, Gary Thomas, 81
I was going to write this for a brother and leave it for him only - instead I decided to open it up, not use names and make it broader…
Life will get better.
God moves in unique ways all the time. We just don’t always see it. Things are constantly in flux. At times, God is trying to get you to a place you’ve never been before. I know this isn’t always an easy thing.
I know you know this.
I know you’ve seen my life. My life is a testimony to this. I hope you are able to look into my life even more in the next season. I long to be able to walk with you as God continues to do stir the great things in you that I and other great men see.
Yes, at times, life is not what we expect. From experience though, this is where God does his best work. I don’t like quoting myself, but “God makes beautiful works of art out of scarred up, wasted ashes.” My friend, my brother, this is all so true. I am praying, for God to make Himself evident in your life and begin to reveal to you more and more of His grand plan for your life. I can’t wait to see how God is going to use this season in your life to make you into the man He is calling you to be.
A man I highly respect and I long one day to meet and pick his brain about Jesus, life and ministry, Darrin Patrick, says: “God has to do some great things in you before He will do something great through you.” My brother from another mother, this stage is where God has you. I beg you to not shortchange it. I ask you to wrestle with it. I implore you to embrace it.
I speak not as a man who has fully left this season, but who is about to. I speak as a man who is barely ahead of you. I speak and pray as a man who can look back at every season God has sent me on and know fully how much God has used it to make me more like Him. I still don’t know fully what this past season was about, but I know, as distance comes, God will have used it to shape me in profound ways.
My friend, my brother, our God is so much bigger then temporary dissatisfaction. In life, I can only guarantee you two things, God is moving and God is here.
Rest in this.
There are stories from this time period and ordeal that would fill academic journals (literally, I’m pretty positive I’m published in some academic journal somewhere). In the course of my 13 days in the hospital I had about 3 doctors assigned to me, many different nurses and all kinds of residents. I was a sideshow in the middle of a one ring circus. My life, my sickness, my near death experience was the stuff of legend; it was the stuff of notebooks - multiple, multiple several inch binders - around 8 or so of those binders actually.
This post, as my days in the hospital wind down, will consist of details. On July 15, 2006 - my life was out of the major danger zone. My life was saved. God moved to save my life and healed me. More was needed. I was in the hospital until my fever could reside for 48 hours (the longest 48 hours of my life, but more on that later).
About 8 days into the fight for my life, Dr. Henson discovered the threat to my life was a staph infection of the blood (for more details: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/007261.htm). What you need to know is how unique I was. In order to come down with one of these, you need to have some sort of wound or cut on you. After scanning my body over and over again, I had none. They took x-rays of my teeth and head. Nothing. I did not fit the profile. But nothing else made sense. The staph infection of the blood, that I had, MRSA, was the worst type of staph infection you could get. Some people get it in body parts - the worst that may happen is losing a limb. Once it’s actively in your blood stream, things get real dangerous. This is where I was at.
As it turns out now, the lower back and left hip pain I mentioned in the last post - were actually the start of the staph infection. It creates puss pockets of the bacteria in your body. Those were mine. I had been walking around with this infection for 3.5 weeks before it hit me and knocked me down. The doctors were impressed, but freely admitted coming into the hospital with those symptoms that a staph infection would have been their last assumption.
It’s a miracle I survived.
The staph infection was in me for weeks - unknowingly.
If this wasn’t bad enough, my body went into two types of shocks: toxic shock (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000653.htm) and septic shock (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000668.htm). What makes this more difficult is that, according to the doctors, a person should only go into one of these - not both. I officially went into both - or so they claim.
See, I’m a medical marvel, this is why I’m sure I’m in a medical journal somewhere. I was the freak show for the residents to gaze over for their once in a lifetime experience. Dr. Henson, at one point, told us that no matter what, my case and disease was puzzling, because someone either gets one type of shock or the other - not both. I had both. Except, I did not have the full symptoms of either of the two - which was quite puzzling. As he told us at one point, the textbook did them no good on me.
He even hypothesized, I had a brand new type of shock not yet recorded. I was a very special case. I was lucky to be alive.
He couldn’t explain it.
No one in therr knew how I got it or how they figured it out.
God guided. God blessed. God led. God healed. God stalled. God moved. God loved. God gave grace.
He gave me more then I ever could have imagined. My story is not over yet. My life was saved from death. If God wanted me to be dead, I would never have made it past July 4, 2006. Every day I have had since then, is a wonderful, exciting, grace filled moment.
Not many 19 year old’s come to a place of realizing how totally, all encompassing it means to say God has their life in His hands. I do, because God saved my soul from Hades in high school and He saved my life on July 4…
I am about to head into my second job interview with a non-profit in Bueana Park, CA at 9 a.m. this morning. Pray for me please.
I’ll be meeting the warehouse manager and going out for a test drive in a 24 foot box truck.
I’m stoked for this and want this job. I am lying awake the night before as I type this praying for God to move and do His thing.
Going through this reflective and thanksgiving process has been a wonderful journey for my soul. During the course of the past several days of posting my mind has been flooded with memories, thoughts, visions, pictures, stories, mercy, grace and love. It has been amazing.
July 7, 2006, was just another day in the rhythm of the doctors trying to figure out what was wrong with me. The most important thing that happened is what is pictured below - the pick-line.
At one point, in the hospital, I was hooked up to four IV’s. It was at this point they realized I was eventually going to run out of veins. They were also getting tired of all the tubes attached to my body as it was making my life miserable - well - it helped add to the misery of the hospital and dying. I was unable to sleep and could barely move.
They knew whatever it was I was dealing with was a long term problem. Thus, they decided the best course of action was to give me what you see above. If you don’t know what this is, it is a catheter inserted into a blood vessel leading directly to my heart - so they could pump the medicine through me faster.
It was at this point the tide began to change. Dr. Henson practiced medicine on me. At one point, he had me on four different antibiotics hoping one of them would work. One of them did, but they had to figure out which one…
Thankfully, they guessed right. It turned out to be a brand new, not quite yet to be officialized drug.
July 7, the day I became part bionic man, was just a day of waiting and anticipation expecting God to move. During my four days in the hospital, I knew God was going to move. I knew He was going to save me.
Even in my lowest of the lows, in the moments where I could easily identify with Job, I never once doubted God. Did I question? Of course I did. Did I lament? You bet I did. Did I doubt? Did I doubt God had a plan? Did I think I was going to die? Not once. Did I beg for God to just let me die? Several times in fact.
Yet, even when there was no light at the end of the tunnel; even when I was more confused then I could imagine; even when I had no words; even when the pain was too great and I thought I couldn’t make it - I knew God was there - in my midst - wanting to heal, wanting to save, wanting to make His name famous.
All I could do was trust…
Today, five years later, I have scar on my left arm from where the pick-line was inserted into my body. Every day I wake up and see that tiny, circular scar on my arm, and it reminds me my God is present. He is moving. He is persuing.
All I have to do is trust.
Isn’t that reassuring?
My memory is pretty blank on what happened July 5, 2006.
There are all kinds of things to be posted of what happened between July 4 and July 17. This day and the days to come, were full of tests, prayer, tears and so much I could not dream of describing. Today was the beginning of a new routine - prayer, tests, prayer, blood work, prayer, MRI, prayer. July 5, at this stage in the game, was a day of life - which meant there was hope.
More time to pray. More time seek. More time for tests. More time for care. More time to allow God to heal. More time to ask for a miracle.
What I do remember, comes from the night of July 5, I was out of it (medicine and a temperature of 105 will do that). But, at some point in the night, I awoke to a sight I will never forget. I can count on one hand the amount of times I have ever seen this sight. Up until this point, I thought everything was fine and all would be simple and good - because I knew God had a plan. What I witnessed though, while I didn’t know what it meant, showed me something big was up. It would not be as simple as my childlike faith would lead me to believe.
I woke up to the sight of my father, sitting over me and weeping.
He knew I was dying.
He knew there was nothing he could do but pray.
He knew the doctors were clueless and confused.
He knew God had to move and heal.
He knew God had to save.
Realizing his son might not make it through the night.
So, he was weeping.
I can only imagine the conversation my dad had with me/God during the night.
Thankfully, in what turned out to only be a few short days (but felt like months, and lead to months of reocovery) - those prayers were answered.
Tears were turned to laughter.
Sorrow turned to celebration.
For, July 5, 2006, showed that Jonathon was still here.
God was moving. God was saving. God was near.
His presence was known and felt, but the journey was nowhere close to being finished…
The drive back to Orange County on the third was uneventful, but it only took a few hours being home for the Fourth of July to become one my family would never, ever forget. It would become so etched into our brains, that every year, we cannot help but marvel at how God moves and how He saves.
I was home and feeling horrible. My back was in pain, more pain then I had ever experienced before in my life. I went upstairs to my room, to sleep in a real bed, my bed, for the first time in a month. I took my medicine and hoped sleep would help. I was too tired to think about the prospects of leaving my community for the rest of the week. I just wanted to get healthy. I needed to get healthy.
At approximately 1 in the morning on July 4, 2006, I woke up screaming.
My parents came running.
My temperature was at or around 106 (I was dying, pardon me for not remembering exactly).
The bathtub was filled with ice and my temperature did not go down at all. At this point, my father went into super hero mode. He helped me down the steps, placed me in the car and him and my mom drove me to the Emergency Room at Kaiser Lakeview. My father, broke every traffic law known to man (now looking back on it, we all laugh and admit we probably should have called an ambulance).
I had no idea what was going on. I was hurting. I just wanted to sleep. The worst thing in my life had just happened, I had to leave my community in San Diego. I was already under some immense spiritual confusion and attack. My parents knew more then they told me.
My dad, in his super hero mode, told me his plan of breaking my nose (to make me bleed), in case the ER would not receive me immediately. It made me laugh. I had no idea what the big deal was, it was just a temperature of 106…
I couldn’t even walk into the ER. My dad had to grab a wheel chair. Needless to say, they took me right away and I wouldn’t leave until 13 days later.
There are many stories I don’t remember from this day.
What I know, is by the end of the day, I was in the Direct Observation Unit (DOU). The major difference between this and ICU - is how nurses have two patients instead of one. I was “tricked” into signing my overnight papers, by my parents, saying: “Don’t worry. They just want to watch you. You’ll be out tomorrow morning.” So I reluctantly signed them.
That was the most important signature I’ve ever written.
What they told my parents was, something along the lines of: “If he doesn’t stay overnight, he’s not making it through the night. We have no idea what is wrong with your son. His body is shutting down. He doesn’t have much time left.”
On this ominous Fourth of July, my definition and reason for celebrating, would forever change. I saw no fireworks. I ate no hot dogs. Barbecue’s were not on my mind.
God had other plans; plans I could never have imagined.
July 4, 2006, was the beginning of the almost end.
The end of my adolescence had begun.
It was the entrance to a journey my soul, my faith, my life, my family, needed to see and feel God in ways we could only dream of.
If you’ve been following my blog for any amount of time, you know I talk a lot about the Now and Not Yet. This past year has been full of learnings and trials of the now and not yet.
Last night and today are another one of those.
I have been blessed with a great brotherhood - brothers from another mother - that through life, mission, passion, calling and Jesus we have bonded and become brothers. The relationships I have with these men are not something I ever want to sacrifice; instead I will willingly and joyfully sacrifice for them. They are critical and important. With many of these men, I feel and understand the relationship between David and Jonathan in the book of Samuel.
Well, today, I am driving down to hang with a brother, who had has dad pass away from cancer last night. My heart and soul are grieving with him. I am honored to be able to support him and his family in this time. I am thankful to know that his father loved Jesus. I am grateful that Jesus lived 2,000 years ago, was fully God and man, lived a life without sin and willingly sacrificed his life on the cross for the sake of everyone who ever lived, wiping out sin and rising three days later conquering death.
Without this, moments like these would be extremely difficult. Mind you, they still are extremely difficult. The now and not yet is a wonderful and dreadful thing because Jesus has conquered death and sin - yet - the world and people around us are still suffering. Cancer still exists. Fathers still die.
Jesus even said the Kingdom is here. But, it’s not fully here. It’s here - but it will be coming, fully, powerfully, in the future. One day, all will be restored. One day, lions will sleep with sheep. One day, tears of sorrow will be eliminated.
But we live in the middle of the now and not yet. Sin and death are conquered, but they are still here. We live with hope - biblical hope. This is not hope that is wishful, or fanciful. This is expectant hope because it has already been guaranteed us, because Jesus has already won. Easter Sunday proved it.
So, today, I drive down to SD before I close for work, to hang, mourn, grieve and celebrate with a brother.
Please be praying with me.