Sitting around chatting with your friends is one of life’s greatest pleasures. It was during one of these times that Travis said something I’ll never forget. I told him that if he died I would have a crisis of faith. He looked me square in the eye and said, “don’t you dare. Don’t you dare lose faith if I die. I will come back and haunt you if you do.”
It’s just like Travis to add a bit of humor to an important lesson.
But minus the humor, his comment struck me and I have thought about it constantly since then. Wow. Amazing faith. To encourage someone to not allow your untimely and unfair death inhibit their faith in God. No anger. No resentment. Just encouragement.
Last week was my first glimpse at how I would truly handle Travis’ untimely and unfair death should it happen.
I failed. (sorry Trav)
The only word I can use to describe my feelings last week is betrayed.
You see…I have always whole heartedly believed Travis will not die from this. I have believed that he will get the miracle. To a fault. Almost becoming annoyed with the Roberts when they grieve. (Great friend, huh?) But last week was the first time that it hit me. He could actually die?!?
Perhaps it is his personality. That magnetic personality that draws everybody to him.
Maybe it is the fact that he simply does not lose. As Joey says, “winners win.” And Travis is the ultimate winner. He wins at everything in life. Call it luck. Call it perseverance. Call it God. Call it what you want. But Travis always comes out on top.
I don’t really think it’s any of that to be honest. I think it’s because I believe that God spoke to us not once…not twice…but three times this sickness is not unto death. I get irritated when people try to explain that away. “Well he isn’t dying… He knows Jesus… He has eternity. He’ll never face spiritual death now.” Don’t change scripture. That’s not what happens in the story. Lazarus was already saved. Jesus was simply saying that his physical death would not be the end of this sickness. Travis had given his life to Christ before we were given these messages. We didn’t need the message if it was referring to spiritual death. I believe that God spoke to us and told us “this sickness is not unto death.” And I guess I didn’t realize how much I believed it until this weekend. As I walked around feeling betrayed. Betrayed by God as it hit me he could actually die.
I am not naive about what Travis has. Outside of him and his family nobody knows this disease better than I do. Nobody has researched it more. I know there is less than a 1% chance. I know this is considered terminal. I know the doctors are looking to extend his life. Not save it. So it is not naivety that caused me to never face that he could die. Just a promise.
And then it hit me.
He’s not dead yet stupid.
Sometimes a God sized miracle requires a God sized problem. And in true Trav fashion…that’s what we have. A God sized problem. Travis never does anything small.
My job. Your job. Our job is to pray. The rest is up to God.
I’ll be transparent. I don’t really understand the purpose of praying. It seems to me God is going to do what He is going to do and I don’t understand how our prayers are going to change that.
But because I already failed the “faith” test. I figure I better go for the obedience test.
And so I will pray out of simple obedience. Because that’s what God commands us to do.
Travis’ appointment to get the results of his blood test and CT scan from Friday is today at 1 PM central time.
Pray for peace. Pray for wisdom.
Pray for a God sized miracle.
Because, if you are like me, for the first time you realize that is what we are facing.
A God sized problem.