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Jun 2

Embrace Your Age

Posted on Thursday, June 2, 2011 in Uncategorized

I met Dr. Bob Rakestraw when I was a graduate school student.

While reading through my class notes I found a note that I had written to myself.  I wrote, “Scott, remember this and tell it to the TH kids.”  [I’m not sure why I wrote notes to myself in the third person, but I did.]

What was so important?  What did I wish that Bob Rakestraw had taught at TreeHouse?  Bob said, “We are not fully experiencing life unless we have meaningful relationships.

That stuck with me.

Years Later

In his The Benediction Project blog Bob wrote, “I have struggled for twenty-five years with heart problems. I had open-heart surgery in 1991 and a heart transplant in 2003. Because my health continued to be poor after the transplant, I reluctantly retired from teaching at Bethel Seminary in 2005. In the seven years since my transplant I have had numerous [health problems] and in March, 2007, two doctors told me I likely had no more than six months to live. Well, God keeps me going, and he gives me peace.

Bob was struck with a critical decision.  Have a 2nd heart transplant or not.

He explains, “Some family members—strong believers—want the surgery, because they think it may be playing God to withhold a chance at recovery. Whatever is possible should be done, they believe. Other family members—equally strong believers—think it may be playing God to request the surgery and that the family should, given the surgical risk to their loved one’s life, entrust him to God’s care, believing that God does all things well. Whatever can be done does not always need to be done, they believe.

Where do we draw the line between playing God and trusting God?

I feel good about this recent decision, especially since my wife, Judy, and I had prayed about this very issue according to James 1:5-8 just moments before the nurse came…I feel good as well about the decision to refuse a second transplant.

Decision-making in matters of medical care is not always easy. My situation is just one of a multitude of possible scenarios. Other people might have made different decisions, and I fully admit and respect the possibility that two or more choices in a given situation may be admissible. My view—about the overall issue of playing God, as well as my personal condition—is not infallible. I believe God is pleased with my decision, but I admit that he may have been just as pleased if I had chosen differently at different points on my journey.”

Your Journey

I don’t know where you’re at in your journey.  Maybe you’re at a peaceful place or maybe you have some life and death decisions to make.  Like Bob I have found those words God inspired James to write help me too.  I remember James 1:5 like this, “If any of you need wisdom, you should ask God, and it will be given to you. God is generous and won’t embarrass you for asking.

There may be a lot of challenges in your life, but regardless what may come and go try to keep Bob’s advice near: “We are not fully experiencing life unless we have meaningful relationships.

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