vivek jones

Kingdom Wisdom

"Your son has epilepsy"

It had already been 4 days of hospitalisation. The doctors still had not found what was causing our son’s white blood corpuscles to shoot up to 25000, nearly four times the normal amount. “His blood is infected”, they said. But that’s all they knew. He was still battling high fevers and skull-wrenching headaches. JM had gone through a battery of tests and scans to identify the culprit. It pained me most to see his desperate pleas when they wheeled him away to conduct a lumbar puncture on his puny three-year old frame, a procedure where the patient is bent into a fetal position as the doctors plunge a dagger-syringe into the spine to retrieve spinal fluids (to assess whether he was suffering from meningitis).

Among the tests, an EEG was also performed on the second day of our arrival.  A couple of days later, while I was away from the room, the paediatric neurologist strolled in. Nonchalantly she announced to my wife, “The EEG has revealed that your son has epilepsy”. This news  shocked Anne and my Iranian neighbour, Hadi, who was accompanying us. But before any explanation was given, the doctor hurried off to her next patient. I rushed there as soon as I heard the report and was exasperated that nobody knew anything more than the fact that JM had epilepsy. I tried to contact the doctor from the nurses’ station but learnt that she had left for the day and that we would meet her only the following night. How convenient for her. And how despairing for us. Hadi sorrowed with us at the room.

That day, I couldn’t rest. My thoughts were racing. Epilepsy? I grieved. And grieved. What were the implications of this on him? On us? Won’t he be active in sports like every normal kid? I always envisioned him to be active in sports what with his innate, demonstrated flair for football and cricket at such a tender age. What about his intellectual edge? He was one of the brightest kids I had seen from his age group. Many reports indicated that epilepsy affected one’s IQ. Hmmm, so he won’t be smart either. How about that, Vivek? JM won’t be sharp or sporty. While every parent talks the world of their children and their trophies, you can shut up and smile for themRight then and there, the Spirit of Jesus snapped me out of my sinful moping.

I was deeply convicted of my self-worshiping heart which churned out such self-centred thoughts. What was my chief concern for JM? That he be an Einstein with the affable looks of Tom Cruise and the athletic prowess of Bruce Lee? Was I sorrowing over such earthly pursuits for my only son? I was convicted that JM can be all that Jesus wants him to be and THAT should be our goal! The more I thought of it, Jesus’ Spirit made me rejoice in what He was doing in our life at that moment. My son would not possibly grow up like every other kid in town. But at every turn and juncture of life he would be confronted with his own inability — one that would hopefully help JM to see how helpless and finite he is. I could see how, from a young age, my son could be taught God-dependence rather than mankind’s default mode of self-dependence. He could learn to lean on God for strength and wisdom, and learn the crucial spiritual discipline of not trusting his own strength and wisdom. He would be in the right frame to understand the gospel, should the Spirit pour the love of Christ in him. He would be primed to hear the message of one’s inability to do anything to please God, and of a God who has favour on those who realise their inability and trusts His strength alone. In other words, he would experientially learn the rich word, grace! As a father, is not THAT a more important desire than anything else for one’s son? Additionally, Anne and I as parents too would be drawn daily to Jesus for the sake of our son. Should he be a smart and sporty kid, we would not necessarily feel such desperation to go to God for his strength and life on a daily basis. My parenting, now, would be one which depends on God alone to rightly bring him up to face each day and its troubles. “I don’t have what it takes”, I thought sorrowfully earlier. Yes, I don’t have to have what it takes to bring my child up with all wisdom. Because I know that only Jesus can aid me for this task.

I'm trusting my Father

I’m trusting my Father

Nowadays I pray for JM more intently than I ever used to. I thank God, my Father, for His delight in pursuing my family with love. I pray that He heals JM of his condition. I believe Jesus can if He chooses to. But I seek His grace earnestly in all things. The trip to the hospital for insane fever ended with the painful news of epilepsy. But it was indeed the sound of grace knocking on the doors of our life!

About vivekjones

22 Replies

  1. Alwin, Bangalore

    Dear Vivek and Anne, i just read your update on JM and was moved to tears. We went through a similar situation when our son Allen was about 7 months old. He just crossed 10 yrs last month and when I look back, I can relate to what you are going through. We have experienced God’s grace richly over these past years and pray that your family too and specially JM would feel His love and experience the promise – ‘My Grace is sufficient for you’. His strength is made perfect in our weakness. He knows us and does not allow anything more than we can endure. Praying for you all and JM specially for his recovery. With much Love & Prayers, Alwin, Bangalore.

    1. Vivek Jones

      Alwin, Thanks a lot for your encouragement. I can’t believe Allen is now ten years! How time flies, huh! Please keep JM in prayer. His grace is all we need.

  2. Vivek, it was just last week that I was in the ER with another dad from my church whose 2.5 year old was punctured thrice to rule out meningitis. He has been having seizures for over a year now. I can understand. Praying.

    1. Vivek Jones

      Edison, thanks a lot man! Prayers mean much. I am praying for that family from your congregation right now.

  3. Cherry

    Praying for JM. Can’t imagine the anxiety that you had gone through and may be still join through. His Grace is all we need. God is sovereign even when things around don’t make sense. Much love from all of us. – Cherry

    1. Vivek Jones

      Cherry, Thanks for your encouragement bro. The situation at home is blessed by grace. God’s Spirit has always caused us to stay rooted in Him and not to be flustered. Ah! Isn’t grace good!

  4. Rupali

    Praying for JM n for the way God is leading ure family. Thanks for sharing this n getting us grounded that we don’t want the earthly best for our children but what the Lord chooses for our childrens lives, for HIS GLORY!

    1. Vivek Jones

      Thanks Rupali for your encouragement and prayers. God is good…indeed all the time!

  5. Benoy

    Our God loves us so much, Vivi.. But we in our earthly sinful perspective wont be able to fully comprehend whats happening currently. We are praying that let JESUS showers His Unending Love, Grace and most importantly HIS PRESENCE during this time. Praying for JM …

    Benoy & Ana

    1. Vivek Jones

      Benoy and Anaswara,
      Thank a lot for your love and encouragement. I am testifying from our little experiences that the Bible is true when we are assured of His divine presence while we suffer even minor trials like these. God is good. You guys should come to Pune some time!!

  6. Anil Cherian Jacob

    Brother, remember whatever comes into our lives proceeds from a nail-pierced Hand. I’ll call later.

    1. Vivek Jones

      Thanks for that reminder Anil! Do we have better hands to run to in times of relative insignificant suffering? Who could be better than Jesus!

  7. Vivek,
    Thank you for putting this post up. People like me need to remember how to think right about life and problems that come, and though your blog is painful to read since it’s about little John Mark.. it is helpful to be reminded of what ungodly attitudes and godly attitudes look like. Thank you bro!
    Jesus does all things well.

    1. Vivek Jones

      Thanks Aravind for your encouragement. Your ‘through-the-week’ encouragement has been so special for our family. Praise Jesus for the family@Marg!

  8. Donald

    Hey Vivek we have never met but I have heard from Ashy. Our daughter Nia had seizures when she was about year and half. Know exactly what you guys are going through. Didn’t turn out to be epilepsy but just febrile. Can possibly not understand what you guys are going though now. But your note here is an encouragement and the name of The Lord is praised. Stay strong a few years only on this earth for a life eternal. Have gone through a lot myself in a short life and I can God is good from the depth of my heart. You guys will be in our prayers.

    1. Vivek Jones

      Donald! Did you work briefly with Prulife at Cochin and then with Accenture in Bangalore? If so, I think we have met a few times. I worked in Cochin and then in Bangalore. In fact you picked my wife and I from K R Puram station and dropped us at Anne’s cousin’s place in banaswadi (because Ashy’s house door in Indra nagar refused to open). All these details because that Donald had the same name! Anyways sad to hear about Nia. Is she still on meds? I have never heard about febrile. But I am praying right now that you experience God’s grace with each step too bro.

  9. Johns George

    Dear Vivek, if your memory is sharp, you may remember me as Ebby’s housemate, Johns, in Bangalore! I am also a good friend of Aravind, through whom I came to know of JM’s illness. Thank you so much for this post and the earlier one. We are praying earnestly for JM. Having a son who is the same age as JM, it was heart-wrenching to read what JM is going through. But your posts gave such a wonderful Christ-centered view of dealing with pain and suffering and it blessed our heart. We will continue to pray for you and Anne and JM. Marg is often in my mind and prayers since my dear friend Aravind is part of the church 🙂

    God bless you and give you much grace at this time and for all your life.
    Johns

    1. Vivek Jones

      Johns, off-course I remember you and continue hearing a lot from P&G (Bangalore) and Aravind. Thanks for your encouragement and prayers for our personal life as well as church. Many a times the theories of grace become functional only in the context of real-life situations. The Holy Spirit teaches much in this context and our family benefited a lot though like another friend we were ‘eating fire’. God is good, isn’t he! Love to your family from ours.

  10. all love from us. just a call away.

    1. Vivek Jones

      Thanks a lot Roxy! You guys were big help those days. In fact even the knowledge of your family’s nearness was very helpful for some quick decision we took! That was huge!

  11. Elizabeth

    Dear Vivek and Anne,
    Heart broken to hear the minute details of the events, but thanking you for the way you’re presenting it, so that we all see our own faults ourselves and join you in praising God and praying for JM. Will continue to keep in prayer. May God be with you all thru this time. God bless..
    Eli and Manoj

    1. Vivek Jones

      Eli and Manoj,
      Thanks a lot for your love and concern each time! God has been kind enough to reveal some of our flaws. He has shown exceptional grace to us. I am glad that the blog helps you think too for your own life. I wanted it to be common learning and am glad it is directing in someway. Thanks again for your prayers and encouragement!

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