Slightly Obsessed 198: When There is No Way Forward

Jesus said, ‘If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.’

– Matthew 17:20

All I remember is a small room filled with people and a sour-faced doctor.

I can’t tell you what the room looked like, or who was in it besides me, my husband, our eldest son, and the doctor in charge of the unit in which our middle son lay on life support. Kevin had been injured during a trip to Canada, and we had driven twelve hours through the night to be at his side. He was conscious and alert, but paralyzed from the neck down.

We had barely sat down to this consultation when the doctor launched into a recitation of all the “nevers” our son faced. He told us Kevin would never breathe on his own, never move his body below his chin or shoulders, and never return to his home. He could not even return to a hospital in the States, because no doctor in the States would take him as a patient, no airline would consent to fly him, and no medical team would accompany him. Even if we could arrange all that, the cost would be prohibitive.

Kevin could not leave Canada, we were told, and he could not stay in Canada. The only other choice was to pull the plug on the ventilator keeping our son alive. We were given no hope. There was no way forward.

That was twenty years ago. Our son has been home in Idaho since he left a rehabilitation hospital seven weeks after the initial injury. He breathes on his own except to sleep at night. He moves his entire body to one degree or another. He can walk, exercise, and use a computer with help.

Every day he lives the impossible, because he serves a God who loves to do the impossible.

Life is still hard, and our family often faces new mountains in this journey. But we have learned several important principles to follow when the way forward seems blocked.

Resist the temptation to find an easier path.

But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

– Philippians 3:13-14

Death would have been the easy way out for our son. It has been much harder for him to choose life and walk a difficult but rewarding path of daily deliverance. Doing what’s right is always the first step forward.

Listen for God’s voice.

Your ears will hear a word behind you, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ whenever you turn to the right or to the left.

– Isaiah 30:21

It’s pointless to try to solve our own problems without God’s direction. He alone knows the way, and He is eager to lead us, even when we feel abandoned.

Be patient.

But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

– James 1:4

Deliverance is often a step-by-step process. Just take one step at a time, and let God do the heavy lifting to clear your path.

Submit to God’s sovereign plan.

Submit therefore to God.

– James 4:7

Sometimes the path we are sure is the correct one turns out to be a dead end, because God has a different journey mapped out for us. God is a good father, and He knows what we need.

Trust Him.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,

And do not lean on your own understanding.

In all your ways acknowledge Him,

And He will make your paths straight.

– Proverbs 3:5-6

He is worthy of our trust. And if we follow Him even in times of the greatest pain, He will take us safely to our destination.

 

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