Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The sacred gamble

God decided we were worth the risk.

That's my conclusion, reading the story of Aaron's robe. When he went in to meet God, he took the stones "used to determine God's will" in pockets centered over his heart. It comforts me to know God chose to place the tools for decisions close to the heart, rather than another body part like the elbow or back of the ankle.

If I were trying to communicate, I don't know that I'd use the toss of a few stones to make my intentions clear. But that was what Aaron and his family did: they rolled the dice, so to speak. The early church did the same, choosing someone to replace Judas after he betrayed Jesus and hanged himself.

W and I have "rolled the dice" a few times in the past, using our best guess and fervent prayers. Kirsten's care was one of the puzzles for our family when Kirsten was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis at age 15. We tried all kinds of alternative treatments and medicines (at one point the poor kid was choking down 54 supplements a day). My folks took care of the bills, telling us to pursue every option. We did - and it cost them tens of thousands. For what?

After a year, of "you should be almost cured" (Dr's and therapists' words), K was admitted to Children's in Seattle. Her hip was replaced because the disease had stolen her cartilage and her hip bones were scraping. Yes, she was in incredible pain.

W and I cried buckets of tears, asking if God had seemingly given us false direction. Every time we had been on the verge of taking her for traditional treatments, some nurse or friend cured of arthritis or doctor would warn us of the side effects of RA drugs and propose a less harmful treatment. We asked God for direction, rolled the dice, and did our best. Ouch.

We're no wiser than before about that year's delay. Could the JRA have been arrested? We watch her go through the hellish surgeries and arthritis complications. This is the first time I haven't sat by her bedside during recovery. (Thanks hon, for picking that up this time - I'm writing, reading, researching trying to get the dissertation beast caged and sent away.) 

Each time I wonder if I'm going mad. What is God doing? Why does he who promises to visit with healing in his wings and the balm of Gilead stand and watch her suffer? 

I have no answers.

But I sew those little stones into my apron, take a gamble that God has a plan, and enter the holy place to ask for direction. 

I'm a holy roller because I know God is good. He took the chance that we would seek him and come into relationship with him. In fact, he thought we were worth coming to earth, living and dying among us to reconcile us to himself.

What unknowns does the day hold for you?

Read more:
*"'In this way, Aaron will carry the names of the tribes of Israel on the sacred chestpiece over his heart when he goes into the Holy Place. This will be a continual reminder that he represents the people when he comes before the LORD. Insert the Urim and Thummim into the sacred chestpiece so they will be carried over Aaron's heart when he goes into the LORD's presence. In this way, Aaron will always carry over his heart the objects used to determine the LORD's will for his people whenever he goes in before the LORD.'" Exodus 28:29–30 NLT

*For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 KJV 

*So they nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. Then they prayed, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs.” Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles. Acts 1:23-26 NIV

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