My daughter is sick. It's been a longer road than anticipated and I'm feeling stuck. I've reached the end of my abilities.
Many parents have dealt with chronic illness. I can't even scratch the surface of their wisdom. But for me, this sickness has brought me deeper.
I've faced many sleepless night, holding my baby girl, imagining what blue lips might look like. The mental picture terrified my soul, but I had to be vigilant to check. You see, my little girl contracted whooping cough.
Sickness invites worry but God's Word invites peace Psalm 91 echoed in my mind during those dark nights when no one was around to comfort me as I poured out all my comfort on her. I fought worry with the sword of the spirit:
"...you shall not be afraid of the terror by night...for He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways...In their hands they shall bear you up,"
What If's invite worry but the truth brings trust I don' t know about you, but my mind is often plagued by "what if's." What if I messed it all up? What if what I'm doing isn't good enough? On and on...
But life holds much more than I can ever predict. It's easy to worry about secondary complications. In those times, only the Lord can speak the truth to me.
It'd be easy to blame myself for her sickness because I forgot to vaccinate her or to say that if we hadn't moved, she wouldn't have gotten sick. But I must trust in her undeniable destiny. I am not more powerful than God. What he desires her to become will not be hindered by my ignorance, weakness or failings as a parent.
As my arms fail, become weary and my mind wanders into worry, the Lord God reminds me of his ways and His strength.
Doubt invites worry but love brings strength
Sometimes I forget the Lord when life looks unclear. Darkness covers the path and I can't find my way and it's easy to doubt what God has said in the past. It's easy to doubt his word and let worry take over.
But then I recall how he has loved me in the past.
I was the one gasping for breath in the darkness. He held me, he bore me up as I tried to catch my breath. The sickness of my sin infected my body. All of me was rejecting all of Him and still he held me. He spoke kindly and drew me close even as I writhed in pain and misery.
Over time I began to see his face - I'd catch my breath and notice that hands held me up. A wave of affection took over and the next time I found myself in the darkness, I ran to Him. arms outstretched. I called out to Him.
His breath of life revives me and fills my lungs with truth. When I remember how he's loved me I can let go of worry and allow his strength to flow through me.
Complaining invites worry but thankfulness brings hope
And for my daughter He will do the same.
Now she runs to me in her distress, but someday she will run to the Most High. And if she cannot run, I am confidant He will scoop her up in His warm embrace.
This infection feels long. The wakeful nights are a testimony of my love for her. I am keenly aware of my inability to change her situation, but I can alter the posture of my heart and so I give thanks.
- Thank you that each cough and sneeze is proof of oxygen flowing through her body.
- Thanks for each dirty/wet diaper as evidence of hydration.
- Thanks for every mess cleaned as an opportunity to serve as unto Christ.
Opportunities to live with purpose are around every corner.
Maybe it's just another difficult time and I need to push past it. I could distract myself with the phone, numb my pain with cookie dough or BBQ chips. I could do that; but I know He has more for me.
In silence, I intentionally decide to value listening to God's truth by meditating on his word. This is worship. In these small acts I picture myself kicking Satan in the face, disfiguring his smirk. I fight in prayer for her health, but more than that, I fight for my habits - to praise my God in everything, yes even in sickness.
It is good for me to admit my weakness and accept His sacrifice. He offers to trade my worries for his peace and hope. He knows I am a weak baby in need of a caring parent to wake up with me, hold me, clean up after me and love me back into rest.
How do you fight and battle worry in your life?