mi·crom·e·ter
/mīˈkrämədər/

noun
     1. a gauge that measures small distances

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

-2 Peter 3:9

When we are asked about our situation, it is invariably with this question: How is Asher? Is he getting better?

I know they mean well. I know the heart behind the question is one of hope. These are people that are praying for us and desire to see the Lord work in miraculous ways. These are friends and loved ones who know the pain we experience and experience some of it themselves as they watch our family suffer through this season. These are brothers and sisters in Christ. I know they mean well.

However, they also are human and in an age of insta-everything it is a heavy burden to carry a load of uncertainty for any real length of time. And when we shake our head to signify that Asher is still very much in the throes of this battle, their disappointment is almost more disheartening than our own struggle to remain steadfast in this journey.

Joseph recently captured the essence of an appropriate answer to this question: We measure progress with a micrometer.

For those of you not familiar with this specific tool, please allow me to educate you. A micrometer is specifically designed for mechanical engineer and machining. It is used for taking highly precise, but incrementally tiny degrees of measurements. As in ±0.0005 mm in accuracy and computing down to 0.0001 inches (or 0.00254 mm). For instance, those teensy washers you got in that plastic bag from IKEA had to be designed. The manufacturers undoubtedly used a micrometer to determine the appropriate thickness for the prototype.

It is an incredibly accurate depiction of our current season. Yes, Asher is getting better but it is nearly imperceptible. And that is discouraging – not just for us.

We all love a good rescue story. And we all want to see God win the day with a huge miracle that defies human wisdom and reminds us all that He still reigns on His throne. But Joseph and I must fight against the temptation to become like the Israelites of old. They saw many miracles and perceived great works from heaven but still cried out for more proof that God existed and loved them before giving Him their hearts.

We do believe that Christ is in the business of miracles today. And we pray for one in our family on a regular basis. But we also cling to Peter’s reminder that God is not slow the way we would make Him out to be. Asher is where he is for a reason and he will not spend even a single day at JCF beyond what is necessary for him and our family. We just don’t fully understand what the bigger picture is and what exactly the Lord is accomplishing behind the scenes. But if this is all to ensure that Asher does not perish in hardness and rebellion, then please, dear God, give me the patience to take joy in measuring success by millimeters when I want to run miles.