Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed. (Heb 12: 12-13)
Almost a week ago, a surgeon in Colorado Springs cut into Caleb's knee to repair and re-attach the same strands of ligament that God had originally knit together in utero. The extent of damage was considerable, and the task of healing three ligaments at once no small thing. Yesterday Caleb went for his first post-op check, and the news was good. He has very little swelling or bruising and more flexibility than expected already. His surgeon seemed surprised. I'm sure there are many pray-ers out there who aren't. Through medicine, surgery, rest, and supernatural strengthening, that which was lame is being healed.
Scott moved Caleb back into his dorm, and said a painful goodbye after five days of intensive paternal nursing care. Caleb got on his crutches and went to class, trying not to slip in the snow. He gave me his usual line on the phone: "I'll be all right."
But I waver. It was hard for all of us to see Scott go. The discipline and medical review board juries are still out, and may be for many months. Catching up on work, just getting to class, just getting dressed, are exponentially harder than they were last term. It's dark and cold and the middle of the most intense hazing of the 4 years. The USAFA is an enclave of the physically perfect, a place where only the healthiest and fastest and strongest are allowed. It is not a nurturing environment for the disabled. And the things which made it bearable: soccer and the hope of flying and jumping and the release of hiking or skiing . . . are all a year or more away.
So as you pray for that knee, for that healing, for the bones and ligaments to knit together, can you also pray for our hearts to be whole? Faith is that elusive evidence which remains unseen. With Scott gone, Caleb is in God's hands alone. Which should be more comforting than it feels when you read the entire chapter of Hebrews 11. Pray against discouragement. Pray for hope. Pray right on into chapter 12, that Caleb would see this chastening as a mark of God's love, that as painful as it is now he and we would cling to the assurance that it is for his profit. That we would all be able to rest on the Kingdom which can not be shaken, by grace.