Brad called me last night. I was about 3/4 asleep, but he woke me up pretty fast. Katie (her real name is Katelyn, but I’m not sure how she spells it so I cheat) had tests yesterday. There wasn’t anything good that came of them. She’s sick, with a virus. Illness and surgery aren’t a good combination. That’s just common sense. There’s more hardening around her heart than they expected, which will make the surgery harder. And there’s a growth around her heart, so they’ll have to go in again in six months to a year. And (I’m getting sick of that word) the part of her heart that needs to function for anesthesia to work normally doesn’t. I’m getting this third-hand, so I don’t know if that makes any sense or not.
The odds are stacked way too heavily against her.
Brad was pretty down about it. A lot of people are. I am too.
“Maybe the surgery isn’t supposed to happen tomorrow,” I said at some point. Hey, I don’t know.
Brad asked if stuff like this makes me question my faith. Absolutely it does. Then I got philosophical. What else was there to do? Besides pray, that is. I wasn’t in the right frame of mind.
From the dawn of civilization to today, more than twelve billion people have lived. Twelve billion people! And God knows all of their names. Not only that, He knows everything about those people, down to how many hairs are/were on their head. God knows when they lived, and He knows why. And He can run all the possible scenarios in His head. Someday I can ask God, “What if I’d lived in Israel during the time of Jesus? Would I have followed Him?” and God will know the answer!
It’s pretty easy to determine when we’ll die. The instant we’re worth more to God dead than alive, it’s over. We’re gone.
Brad and I can imagine scenarios where Katelyn is worth a whole lot more to God alive than dead. What if she went in and beat all those odds, then 15 years from now, stood in front of a group of people and told her story?
God knows the answer to that what-if. He knows who would be there, and who would react in what way. God also knows what would happen if He miraculously healed her, instead of letting her go into surgery. And God knows exactly how much pain and grief He would save her by pulling her out of the game and taking her home at any given point.
Meanwhile, I’m trying to get over that bit about God knowing more than 12 billion names. I do well to remember five. Not five billion. Five. So I need to trust Him.
I told Brad about a surgery I never had. I was in second grade. I had a bad case of tonsilitis. Not as bad as my sister had about the same time, but bad enough I was missing school. The day before I was scheduled to go into surgery, my doctor checked me up one last time. He looked in my throat, and where he’d previously seen walnuts, he saw two normal tonsils. “They look good to me,” he said. “Let’s just leave them there and see what happens.”
What happened was nothing. It’s 20 years later, and I’ve still got ’em. I missed a few days of school since then, but never on account of a sore throat.
Miracle? Who knows? And why was God doing me any favors? Who knows? Am I worth that much more with my tonsils intact? Only God knows. He knew that 20 years later, I’d need some reason to trust Him. For all I know, that’s the only reason.
God can do for Katelyn’s heart what He did for my tonsils. Or He can do something else.
Please excuse me while I go talk to Him.