April 23rd, 2016 is a day that is branded into my heart and mind.
It is the day that my entire family fought to save my dad from the ocean, from drowning, and from death. It is a day that flashes through my mind without warning, and with uncomfortable consistency. I will never forget the moment I held his neck as we dragged him onto the beach, and looked into those lifeless glassy eyes. We knew that he was gone. Since that day, there have been countless miracles. Like him coming back to life, or having full brain function. Like his ability to breathe on his own, or regulate his own blood pressure. Raising $75,000 to fly him back to the states, and hearing the doctors marvel at his pace of recovery.
In total, my dad fractured or broke 30 bones in his body including five of his vertebrae, his ribs, collarbone, and shoulder blade. When we brought him home on August 9th, he had no feeling or movement from his chest down and limited movement of his arms and hands. The doctors have told us that he will never walk again. We, however, do not accept that. From day one, my family has refused anyone to use the word “paralyzed” around him, and has believed that he will regain full function. But sometimes the hardest part of waiting for miracles to happen, is the waiting. The “in-between". During the weeks that followed the accident, I would pray and pray for God to heal him. And then as time went on, I began to learn about my own faith. I began to get discouraged as I saw nothing happening, and I realized that my faith was being influenced by my own timeline. I had put God in a box. We have all heard of the verse “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen." (Heb 11:1) I had faith that God would heal my dad, but I was hoping that He would do it in my timing.
The moment I realized this, there was a shift in my heart. Faith is not tied to hope. Hope is based on a desire for the miracle to happen at some point. Faith is the knowledge and belief that God has already done what He promised, that we already hold the miracle, and are waiting for it to be revealed.
I hope everyday that I will arrive at my dad’s house and he will walk to the door to greet me. But my faith is not dependent on that. I believe, with everything inside me, that God has already healed his body. And his body will show us the miracle in God’s timing. And nothing that the world tells me will take that belief away from me.
You see, I have realized that having faith isn’t just for the purpose of bringing about a miracle, but also for the purpose of changing us. It brings us into alignment with God’s will and purpose. It brings us closer to God’s heart, as we rest in His promises. As I have come to understand this process more, the in-between has become a blessing. It has given me something that I would have never gained: perseverance.
James 1:2-3 says “Consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”
I will continue to hope every day to see my dad walk, but my disappointment, if he doesn’t, will not affect my faith because it is rooted in the Word of God. Isaiah 60:22 says “When the time is right I, the Lord, will make it happen.”