Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Translator

"But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you." (Jesus speaking to his disciples; John 16:13-15, NIV)

Do you remember when you child was first diagnosed? Whether it was at birth or further into their life, you were immersed into a whole new culture and had to learn a whole new language. For us, medical professionals had to explain the clotting cascade that forms a blood clot in the average person. New words like hematoma, venipuncture, Factor VIII and prophylaxis suddenly became part of our every day conversations. Fortunately, we had other parents who'd gone before us to take us under their wing and translate this whole foreign dialogue to us. When we went to conventions or "family retreats" to learn more about managing our son's diagnosis, they were there to help us when we were confused. Without them, we would have no idea why it was important to keep track of how much each unit of clotting factor cost. We wouldn't have understood that we could assert ourselves when deciding to skip having a port placed and instead, opt for peripheral infusions.

It has more than likely been the same for you. Learning new diagnoses, therapies and medications requires others to initially translate for us, so we can understand and make good decisions. Things like IEPs, SPD, RAD, FAS and AIT become commonplace after someone interprets it for us.

This experience uniquely fits us for God's kingdom because growing as a believer follows this exact same path. How many of us have thought, I don't understand the Bible. I've tried reading it before, and I just don't get it. What is God's will for me? Is He punishing me? What does grace mean anyway? I think I'll get to Heaven because I'm a good person. I've never killed anyone or anything like that. You have to be good and do good to get to Heaven, don't you?

Now, lest I sound overly simplistic, no one can fully know the mind of God. However, our Father is so loving, kind, merciful and generous that He has provided us with a Translator. Just as we have other parents and medical professionals to help us interpret the confusing information we encounter at diagnosis, so the Almighty provides us with His Holy Spirit to clarify things for us as we attempt to live out the Christian life. As we read His word daily and pray for His guidance, He sends The Interpreter to translate His will and His ways to us. He reveals things we previously neither understood nor realized when we weren't walking in a relationship with Him. This makes His word and fellowship with Him dynamic and always growing. We begin to understand who God is and how He operates, yet, He never becomes dull or boring.

In the NCV translation of Psalm 25:14 it says, "The Lord tells his secrets to those who respect him; he tells them about his agreement." That blows me away! The Creator of the entire Universe, the highest mountain, the smallest cell, sees fit to confide in me! And so it goes with God. The more He reveals Himself through the person of The Translator, the more we are left in awe of Him!

When we need direction, discernment on making those important decisions for our children and our families, He is faithful to give it to us. All He wants is for us to seek Him out. He's loving, willing and ready to point us in the right direction.

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