there is hope (even when life stinks)

It’s been a tough week.

Our son was hospitalized Sunday-Tuesday for his asthma. (And that was our second trip to the ER in 3 days. The first one was with a different kid. I won’t get into that.) On Wednesday I came down with a terrible cold. On Thursday the drain to our dishwasher got clogged and started flooding our kitchen. On Friday I got diagnosed with bronchitis. (Ain’t nobody got time fo dat!) On Saturday I accidentally started a very real fire–think 8 inch flames–in our kitchen. (My husband put it out before anyone could get hurt. Why in the world is there no knight in shining armor emoji?!)

Some good things have happened. We made it out of the hospital alive. Our friends have rallied around us time and time again. We got a free regulation size in-ground basketball hoop installed. We are all still alive… Have I already mentioned that?

This is not our first rodeo. Oh no. Not only were the boys born at 32 weeks, needing 21 days in the NICU, this is our son’s 5th hospital stay in his 6 years of life.

He asked me two nights ago when I put him to bed, “Why does God let so many bad things happen to me if He loves me so much?”

Re-read that if you need to. Let it soak in.

You guys, he’s six.

My heart broke for him. It’s had me in tears several times today.

Thankfully, though, I’ve thought about this question on his behalf many, many times.

God, what did I do so wrong that you thought it right to deny me of every single prayer request I and hundreds of others were praying about the boys’ birth?

God, if you want us be prosperous, why do you allow us to accrue tons of debt as a result of what feels like a gazillion hospitalizations?

God, if you love him so much, why’d you give him so many health obstacles to battle?

As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. “Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?”
“It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.”                 John 9:1-3

This account of Jesus and the blind man was brought to my attention nearly 5 years ago by my husband. He regularly shares Scripture with me. I’m thankful for that.

He read this small passage aloud and by the end I was sobbing. Total and complete ugly cry, you might say.

I was crying because I knew that God was giving me those verses as the answer to my questions, the faith to cure my doubt, the seed of acceptance to overcome the root of bitterness that had sprung up.

God let all these things happen so that His power could be seen in and through my son. And that’s what I shared with him in response to his question at bedtime.

What a privilege it is to know he was marked since before birth to carry these trials throughout his childhood because God wants others to seek and find Him as a result.

Do you know what people say of my son to me in private when he’s in the hospital, the clinic, the speciality doctor, etc? They say, “He’s the sweetest and bravest boy we’ve had in here in a long, long time, if ever. I just wanna take him home with me! You should be so proud, Mom.”

And I am.

But more so than that I am hopeful that my son sees his weakness as a way for God’s power to be perfected in him and that many people know Christ better because of him.

I know I already do.

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