It’s a beautiful morning and I’m sitting outside with coffee and breakfast in the sunshine before the noise of the day starts. It’s a Bank Holiday weekend. It should be the perfect, relaxing day…
However, it’s not! Even sitting in the sunshine that’s warm already at 8.30am there’s no escaping what’s going on in the reality of our daily life. We remain on lockdown due to a global pandemic and our 13 year old son has terminal cancer.
We’ve known for almost a month now that the cancer cells have returned to his blood and just last week our consultant told us that there’s more of them and his current treatment is no longer working. Next week begins a new treatment which will likely drop his blood counts further and make him feel worse before he feels better. He can already tell that things aren’t right in his body as his energy dips and he doesn’t feel as well. The thing he wants most is for his platelets to recover so that he can jump on the trampoline with his brothers.
In our house the only quiet space is in the morning before everything bursts in to life. The house stays busy and noisy until 10 o’clock at night when we fall into bed. My list of half watched movies that I’ve fallen asleep through is getting very long. I need these quiet moment to settle my soul, to help gather my thoughts, to connect with God and to draw strength and joy for each new day. It’s so far removed from my night owl days of the past but a real necessity in my current reality.
I often start the day using the Lectio365 app produced by 24/7 prayer. This app allows me 10 minutes to reflect on Scripture and come before God in prayer. Sitting outside in the sunshine this morning I listened to the narrator speak the words of Matthew 7: 7-12:
7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
The focus of today’s devotional was to keep asking, to keep seeking, to keep knocking… The narrator encouraged us to listen to the passage as if we were the first listeners, the first people hearing this message.
I try to listen with fresh ears…So. Ok. I need to keep asking… well that’s straightforward… keep seeking… yep, I get that… keep knocking… well that’s an interesting one. I wonder what he means by that? And then the line that strikes me most – “how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him”. I have heard this line many times but today it seems more real as I recall some of the conversations I’ve had in the last few weeks with friends and with God about Timothy’s illness.
We’ve been praying for healing for Timothy since he was first diagnosed in November 2016. When I ask, seek and knock I believe that the “good gift” that I want for Timothy echoes the heart of God. God loves Timothy. God wants Timothy to lead a long and healthy life. God sees the potential that we see in Timothy. God knows that Timothy longs to be fully well and fully alive. I don’t for one moment believe that our loving God has a different plan than this. Do I believe he can bring good out of a difficult situation? Yes! We have already experienced it (I’ve written about it before here). I don’t believe that sickness is part of God’s plan. God wants what we want! God wants to give us good gifts!
We have known God walking with us through the most difficult days. We have seen mini miracles. We have not yet seen God completely heal Timothy. It IS difficult to understand why we have not yet seen that. We may never understand. But I continue to believe that this is what God wants for Timothy.
So I ask and ask and ask for healing (along with so many others).
I seek more of God’s presence while the medical team seek new treatments.
We keep knocking and knocking and knocking until we see the door of healing opened through the skills of doctors and/or the miraculous power of God.
I keep asking, seeking and knocking until Timothy is bouncing on the trampoline again, enjoying a walk with family or friends and back at school again!
Thank you for walking this journey with us.
Please keep asking for complete and forever healing for Timothy, for Timothy to be fully alive, reaching his full potential in God, the God who longs to give good gifts to each and every one of us.