A storm collided with our lives three years ago, and it hasn’t stopped since.
March 11, 2017, a pediatrician visit snowballed into an ambulance ride to Indianapolis.
April 18, 2017, I nearly swerved off the road with the words “Isabelle has Leukemia.”
January 26, 2018, Ashley takes two steps back in a game of pickleball that changes her knee forever.
February 5, 2018, Christina’s pediatrician says, “Her blood sugar reads 860. Wait, while I call Riley Children’s Hospital to admit her tonight.”
April 1, 2019, I wish I was merely the victim of an April fools joke as the nurse wheels me in for my first of two eye surgeries.
With the power of God, wind and water often destroy what we consider permanent. Every day we read of tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, and more changing communities. We don’t control storms, we prepare for them and respond to them.
I think health crises affect us just like storms.
Sometimes daily needs drain us like never-ending rainy Indiana days.
Sometimes a diagnosis shakes us like a California earthquake.
Sometimes the flurry of appointments upheaves our lives like a coastal hurricane.
Honestly, our lives barely resemble the family I knew on March 10, 2017. The storms of the last two years have shaped us as we’ve grown.
When your two years old receive a Leukemia diagnosis, you ask God questions pretty quick.
“Why would God allow Isabelle to develop cancer?”
“How will I respond if we don’t win this?”
“If we do beat Leukemia, what about the other kids who don’t?”
Watching your child suffer makes your wrestle with more profound questions in life. Not that it makes you a deep thinker. It’s just that you reach the end of yourself quickly. You run out of tears to cry and sometimes find yourself alone with your thoughts. You want to know more about the One watching over your little one.
The Psalmist describes God as a Shepherd watching over us like sheep. Through dark valleys and danger, this good shepherd cares for his sheep. This idea and Psalm has stuck with me over the past two years.
The Bible has a story about a man named Job. Though the man was practically perfect, God allowed Satan to take nearly everything from him. In a sort of cosmic bet, God calculated that Job would never abandon his faith and Satan disagreed. In the end, Job doesn’t get an answer and doesn’t leave his faith. God shows up in the end, not to explain his bet but to give Job perspective.
“Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me. “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me if you have understanding.”
Job 38:2-4 ESV
In short, God tells Job that once he grasps the things God understands, only then can he question God’s actions. God then blesses and rewards Job’s faithfulness.
The story of Job has played in the background of my mind over the last years. No, I haven’t suffered anywhere near as much as him. But yes, I have wondered at the collection of trials stacking up in my life.
Psalm 23 and Job form part of a baseline for how I’ve seen God over the last few years. I trust Him as a caring Shepherd/Father watching over me. I accept when bad things happen in my life because He’s also the God of Job.