February 10, 2016

John 12:16 At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that they had done these things to him.

Very often we don’t understand things as they are happening, but as the old Southern Gospel song says, “We will understand it better bye and bye.” The disciples were in the middle of fulfilling dramatic Messianic prophecy, and yet they didn’t realize it. The thing is, they didn’t have to understand it at that point, and if they had, they possibly would have tried to manipulate things to make them conform to their interpretation of the prophecy. I think that’s a big reason to be glad we don’t know what’s happening while it’s happening. However, it was doubtless a huge encouragement to them after Jesus’ resurrection for things to fall into place in their understanding. Right now it seems highly probably that we are somewhere within the events depicted in John’s Revelation, but I think it is God’s grace that we don’t know exactly where. The point is to walk in the assurance that nothing surprises God, however shocked we might be, and that in the end, those who are in Christ are more than conquerors. (Romans 8:37) Whether it is world events or our own personal lives or anything in between, we need to stand firm against our impulse to take control (which doesn’t work anyway) and pray sincerely, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done.” Even Jesus had to do that in the Garden of Gethsemane, so we need to follow His example.

This is spot on for me right now. My wife’s brain surgery is to start at 9:10 this morning. I found out from my daughters yesterday that she has been talking to them about a distorted memory she has of when my mother had a brain tumor removed (that turned out to be metastatic lung cancer). Before she died my mother indeed had considerable memory loss, including forgetting that she had grand children, but my wife remembers it as the result of the surgery, when actually it was later, when she was in hospice care with multiplying tumors. (We were in Japan and she was in the US at the time, so we only had reports from my siblings to go on.) At any rate, my wife has a real fear of that happening to her with this surgery, even though the brain surgeon assured us that was highly unlikely. The idea of part of your brain being cut out really is scary! I have no anticipation of major complications, but the point is, even if they happen, God is still God, and His plans are loving and good. I need to rest in that assurance, and strive to help her do likewise.

Father, I have every reason to believe that, as the brain surgeon said to us early on, this surgery will be less traumatic to her system than the back surgery she had in the late fall, but that doesn’t change the psychological impact of having your head cut open. I ask You to pour Your Spirit, the Comforter, onto and into her, so that she will be able to release herself, her family, and everything else into Your hands and experience Your peace and joy, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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