What If My Son Isn’t Healthy?

I hadn’t let it get to me before, despite the comments of others. “As long as he’s healthy…” I’d hear them say. But what if he wasn’t? It may make life harder, but would it make it any less blessed?

Then today, fear struck me. The possibility of Lyme disease being passed from me to my child paralyzed me for a moment. I mourned for the life he may encounter with such opposition.

Not that any other opposition is less of a fear, but the memories and possibilities of Lyme disease are all too familiar. If you don’t know about the prevalence of this disease in my life, you can read a bit about it here in my testimony. I’ve known a lot of people with this disease; I’ve seen people no longer able to keep their jobs, continue school, or enjoy former hobbies and activities as they are confined to their beds.  And of course, I know firsthand the pain of this disease and how difficult it is to treat, especially if passed from mother to child in the womb.

As these thoughts penetrate my mind today and tempt me with fear, they also challenge the foundation of my hope: Do I hope merely for that which is seen – the physical blessings of this world – or do I hope for that which is unseen – the reality of heaven?

Of course, I hope for my son to experience health and happiness. But beyond such a temporary hope, I long for Him to experience Jesus.

Hope in the latter brings me back to reality. This life passes quickly and Jesus is coming soon, so we persevere through present sufferings with our hearts and minds fixated on this unseen hope of heaven (Romans 8:18-25).

Because if I only hope for my son to be healthy and not suffer the pain of such a disease, or of any disease or ailment he may encounter, then my hope will be crushed because suffering and pain are prevalent in this world.

So I turn my hope to Jesus because He alone is able to redeem the sin and suffering we encounter in this world and the former fears fade in light of eternity and the joy of knowing Him.

While I continue to pray for His miraculous power to protect my son, I trust in His goodness and sovereignty, whether through sickness or through health, and I pray that my son would know Him who makes all things new.

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us…” -Romans 8:18

My Rationalization of Sin

Deny God’s Word? No way! I would never…it’s just that sometimes my pain, or my anger, or my “justifiable” situation seems to rationalize…well, my sin. Oh, you know, that all-too-common phrase “I know, I know all that, BUT…{rationalization here}…” The truth is that sometimes our situation is so difficult, our pain so great, our hurt so deep, that it seemingly gives us reason to justify our actions.

This rationalization is a timeless phrase; the Israelites used it too. They were in slavery under the hand of Pharaoh, and Moses’ encounter with Pharaoh only caused greater hostility toward them. As Moses sought God, God gave him a message for the Hebrews: “I will rescue you from bondage.” It was a message of freedom. “I will redeem you with an outstretched arm.” It was a promise of redemption. “I will take you as My people, and I will be your God.” It was a declaration of love.

The Israelites’ response? We read it in Exodus 6:9, “So Moses spoke thus to the children of Israel, BUT they did not heed Moses because of anguish of spirit and cruel bondage.” Don’t you see it? They used their pain and desperate situation as a reason to deny the one thing that could redeem them from it. Yes, their pain was real. But so was God’s promise.

Are you struggling to forgive that person who greatly wronged you? Are you anguished in spirit? Are you consumed by a circumstance that is so difficult, it seemingly gives you reason to deny the Truth? Friends, the Truth will set you free. It too is timeless: it is a message of freedom; it is a promise of redemption; it is a declaration of love. And it is written to you.

May we not rationalize our sin by our situations or emotions, and in so doing, deny the Spirit of Truth. Instead, let us deny all earthly reason to justify ourselves and hold fast to the hope and promise that God’s Word has the power to save, redeem, and transform. Heed His voice, for though our situations are real, so are His promises.

The Hard Questions

Have you ever faced a question that challenged your faith? Have you ever been faced with a circumstance that was so horrific, you didn’t know where it fit into your Christian world? If you haven’t…you will. We live in a fallen world full of pain, disease, and depravity. If we don’t ask the questions, someone else will ask them of us.

We can deal with these questions of faith – or even crises of faith – in three ways: 1. Shrug it off too fearful it would challenge our faith and leave us hopeless 2. Deny God’s existence because of the world’s depravity or 3. Ask God the questions and go to His Word for His response. So what are these “hard” questions? Here’s a few that are bound to come up:

  1. Why does God allow pain and affliction?
  2. Is God really good and does He really care?
  3. Is God even real?

I’ve faced some of these hard questions myself recently while reading a book called Half the Sky, a book about the horrific oppression women face worldwide. Specifically, why does He allow this pain and affliction? I’ve also had these questions asked of me from a woman whose friend was just diagnosed with cancer. How are we to respond?

When I need to know the truth, I go to the Truth. When I need peace from the storm that rains havoc in my life, I go to Him who is Peace. When I struggle with the character of God or doubt His sovereign wisdom, I go to the testimonies of people who had all reason to struggle and doubt, and yet who personally found Him to be faithful and sovereign.

Asking Him the questions allows our faith to grow. We become confident in His Truth and in His perfect character as His Word validates that He is a good and righteous God. When you face these life-altering, faith-challenging questions or situations, ask God and then go to His Word for His response. Seek out the Truth and be in continual prayer. He speaks through His Word to bring light to the darkest of situations, to give wisdom to those who ask, to bring peace and increase faith.

“He is the Rock, His works are perfect, for all His ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is He”. –Deuteronomy 32:4

“But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works.” –Psalm 73:28