Friday, May 24, 2013

Faith Through Hearing: Thoughts on Bearing Fruit

"My Father's glory is shown by your bearing much fruit; and in this way you become my disciples."
John 15:8 (GNT)

I can't always predict when I'm going to write a "Faith Through Hearing" post.  But regular readers of this blog know that I haven't done one in a while, and that's because nothing really spoke to me over the past few weeks.  Every morning I wake up, and read the Bible. I don't make things too complicated--I just click on the YouVersion Bible app on my phone and read the verse of the day.  Easy.  This morning's scripture actually turned out to be the answer to a question I asked God right before my kidney transplant.  God, how will your glory be revealed in all this....stuff?  How will it show itself in the midst of all this blood and guts and IV cords and needles and...you get the point.  How will people see You in this sucky situation?
 
Three weeks later, I open my Bible app and read John 15:8 and I have my answer! I love how God works like that.  I had pretty much forgotten about my initial question.  The effects of heavy anesthesia no doubt.  But when I read the scripture I had a mild case of deja vu and I was taken back to the night before the surgery, when I lay awake staring at the ceiling searching for God-- scanning the white wall for his face, listening for his voice, hoping to reach a conclusion.  I don't know if I even prayed that night.  I think I just watched and waited, and eventually I was asleep and the next sound I heard was my alarm clock.  That was my calm before the storm of anxiety arrived in the pre-op room.
 
Every day, lately, I've been thanking God for my new kidney and my dad, and asking him to use me, and use my experience somehow.  I know God's grace is what saved me on that surgery table (when I had no blood! Thank ya, Lord!), and God's grace is what allowed me to narrowly avoid having to do dialysis (Thank GOD).  Grace is my dad getting approved to be a kidney donor at 50-plus years old in like a month.  I'm not sure I deserved ANY of those gifts.  Actually, I know I didn't deserve any of that.  
 
In John, Jesus tells the disciples that God's glory (aka his awesomeness) is shown to others when those joined in a relationship with Him begin "bearing much fruit."  The last part took me back to this awesome Bible study I did with this great group of women at my church, and for three months we focused on the fruits of the spirit:  defined in Galatians as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  It was one of my favorite studies because seriously, those are ALL good things.  It is my hope that from being a sick person, and now a "not so sick person" under the condition that I have this transplanted kidney, that I can become a little more loving, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, joyful, and peaceful, and learn to check myself before I wreck myself.  
 
I feel like it's not enough to just be healed.  People have to know why.  And our trials have to mean something. 
 
"If you only look at us you might well miss the brightness.  We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives.  That's to prevent anyone from confusing God's incomparable power with us." 
2 Corinthians 4:6-7 (MSG)