We are currently in the Ministry Machine making our way to Mbarara. We will be hosting clinics there for the next two weeks, then spending a week coordinating cataract surgeries for those that God brings our way.
As I make this trip, I have to admit, I am a mess. Today we left Jamil with our friend David and Jamil will start his boarding school tomorrow morning. We have purchased all of his supplies and paid his fees. Even though we will see him again in 3 weeks, there is some finality to today that struck me while we were in church this morning. Since then, my “allergies have been acting up”, as Jill likes to say. Only this time, I am not sure if there is enough Benadryl and steroid shots to set me straight.
I am grieving for our family that our time with Jamil in our home is over.
I am grieving for Jamil that his time with our family is over.
At the same time, I do believe that it is God’s plan to return him to Uganda and get him back in school. Knowing that it is God’s will for Jamil to stay in Uganda, helps my brain to feel better about our separation today, but it so far has not helped my heart. I believe in God’s plan, but does this grief show my unbelief?
I catch myself grieving over Jamil’s diagnosis of a brain tumor and Neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2). I grieve even though these things have been stable with no growth for at least 9 months. I grieve the fact that the life expectancy for patients with NF2 is around 30, even though I know my God is in the business of doing miracles. I grieve that there are no surgical options for Jamil’s brain tumor and that if it starts to grow, the medical treatments are limited. I believe when I pray for Jamil’s healing, but does my grief show my unbelief?
Please review this passage from Mark 9.
17 A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. 18Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.”
19 “You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.”
20 So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.
21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”
“From childhood,” he answered. 22 “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”
23 “ ‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”
24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”
26 The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.
28 After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”
29 He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer.”
I currently see myself in the father in this story. He believes that God can heal his son, but at the same time he asks for help with his unbelief.
Dear God, I know that everything is possible for one who believes. I pray that Jamil’s transition back into Ugandan boarding school be as smooth as possible. I also pray that Jamil grows old while doing your work. I pray that his longevity, as an NF2 patient, will be talked about in text books.
Lord I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!