"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God," 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Update: Eli and I are in Memphis. I was reading James 1 tonight. "(2) Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, (3) knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance." Endurance is not one of my talents. I am a power up the stadium stairs, take a break and a breather walking to the next set, then hit it hard up again, then walk again. I am not a distance gal, don't do a lot of long-hauling physically, mentally or emotionally. Of course, this unexpected trip back to Memphis is not our first rodeo with a hiccup. We've had some issues along the way, but comparatively we have been blessed beyond the ability to pen it properly. But, driving up alongside the looming pink buildings of the St. Jude campus tonight I was reminded of how far we've come and how far we have to go with many peaks and valleys yet to navigate. Our new friend Ryan is fighting an infection in his line which has made his blood septic. Last I heard he has come out of ICU today, so we are praying that he continues in that direction. But, his experience, along with our trip back after only a week at home just serves as a reminder of what to expect throughout this journey. It is going to take an unusual combination of endurance of strength to hold the line tight despite the ebb and flow of the stress put upon it. I am reminded of one of my favorite camp games, Tug-o-war, of which I often played the anchor. Wrapping the scratchy rope around the back of my waist, weaving my arm along the long side of the thick braids, then looping the end around my wrist and other hand. Digging my heals deep in the sand and bending my knees to drop my bottom down close to the ground. When the flag is dropped, it's key to stay low and sit back on your heels pushing back with your legs, not pulling with your arms. Obviously, your legs are stronger than your arms, so why use the weaker part of your body. And, you have to stay low with your heals dug in or the initial yank will pull you forward onto your face. But, even more important is to maintain control during the gives and pulls. When you hold the line, you can feel it give a little then pull a little. It's that inconsistency of stress on the line that can knock you off balance and give the opponent and opportunity to attack when your energy is focused on regaining your balance not on pulling the rope. That is endurance. The ability to maintain consistent control for a long length of time despite the gives and pulls. Why do I feel like Charlie Brown getting tangled in the Tug-O-War rope with Lucy twirling the other end. My picture tonight is of Eli arriving in our room and the first thing he did was pull the curtains back to see if he could see the pyramid and the interstate of cars. Our appointment is at 11. I should know by tomorrow night what the plan is.