In reading my devotion today, I came across these verses: “I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:13-14. I spent a good deal of time on the verge of tears over these words from God. We had a harder talk with the doctor this morning – it’s looking like Samantha has some problems with her vision and hearing and possibly some issues related to one side of her body. I’ll write more about that on the caring bridge site. But for me these verses are what I have to cling to. I hear God’s promises to us in them.
One of the hardest things in my faith journey has been issues of certainty. I know that God promises He will give us whatever we ask in His name. I know God wants good for us. But I also know that not everything we desire is what God deems best for us or for others. I’ve been thinking a lot about how Jesus prayed in the garden that the cup be taken from Him, but also asking that the Father’s will be done. I’ve found myself praying similar prayers lately. I keep asking God for a miracle, for total healing for our daughter, for restoration of her brain. But maybe what I am asking for is something that isn’t God’s best for us or her (and yes, I know I just sounded like Joel Osteen. I’m sorry).
The other thing is, it’s hard to feel sorry for myself or her while we spend time in this place. I have tried to ask, “why us? Why her?” but when we walk around and see some of the difficulties faced by so many of the kids here, I find the question changing to “why not us? Why not her?” What makes one kid have no problems while another has many? This sinful world is full of all kinds of trouble. And while I wish that Samantha didn’t have to experience the pain and difficulties that she already has, not to mention the ones that lay ahead of her, I can’t keep her from experiencing pain or difficulty in this life. Jonah (our stillborn son) is the one who didn’t have to go through those things. Ok, I guess I can’t speak for what happens in the womb, but for the most part he escaped the difficulties of life.
I still pray that we can protect her from unnecessary pain and suffering, but who defines what that is either? For example, to listen to her cry, diaper changes and clothing changes and baths are unnecessary suffering. But we know they are for her good. Similarly, I know God sees the bigger picture. We are merely infants in the light of eternity, struggling to understand what we face every day. And we cry out to Jesus in our pain the same way Samantha cries out in her discomfort. Our lives are completely in God’s hands and we have to trust Him, even when it’s hard.