Since classes began in August, our family has experienced an unending whirlwind of sickness. The boys have been in childcare for the first time, and they pick up every germ that gets passed around. Add to that the airborne allergens of Missouri, and the result is very sick kiddos who are generous enough to share their germs with their parents. Between countless colds, influenza, Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (HFMD), and a severe attack of eczema in Ivan, our lives have been short of sleep and just short of insanity.
The latest round of illness was HFMD in both boys. As the painful, itchy rash began to show, they needed lots of love and attention. Especially at night. If Ivan was a wreck, Titus was an absolute basket case! Five nights in a row we were up countless times with both boys, awakened from our fitful sleep by shrieks and wails.
Then the intense crying would start. Most of the time, all I could do was hold them and cry with them. I prayed unceasingly that God would speed their healing and give us an easier night so we could sleep. Their cries continued, and I didn’t see answers right away.
On one particularly difficult night, I leaned over Titus and helped him pray that God would heal him and ease his pain. Just a moment after we finished, Titus cried despairingly, “But, Mom, it still hurts!”
Oh, how his voice echoed the cry of my heart! “But, God, it still hurts! If you’re with us now and see our pain, why do you let it continue?”
In the middle of the night, it’s really hard to trust that God is there, caring and loving–even crying with us. When my circumstances belie my faith and I focus on the pain surrounding me, I start to doubt. This is when I have to choose to cling to God’s promises and the assurance of His character. This is the source of our all-sufficient hope; it is what gives us courage to face another day–and another night.
Recently we have known of several people who have experienced incredible losses or trauma. A young man at the Training Center lost fingers in a wood shop accident a few days ago. A young pilot overseas lost his leg in a motorcycle accident. Others have experienced serious health issues or traumatic incidents.
Where is God in all this pain?
We believe He is right here in the midst of it. He’s holding out His arms, pleading with us to come sit with Him and allow Him to heal our wounded hearts. He is leading us through the pain, not directly out of it. Even when He doesn’t fulfill our every request, He is still good.
We will choose to trust. We will continue to cry out to Him, laying our burdens–with thanksgiving–at His feet. His promises are sure, and His purposes are good.
“Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.”