Ally has a cold.
This may sound like nothing to some of you.
Just a cold, right?
In our house, “just a cold” looks like inability to eat.
It looks like attempting to cough up mucus, dehydration, and lots of vomiting.
It looks like putting her in our bed because of very rational fears of aspiration.
It looks like hospital grade suction machines and syringing pedialyte into a feeding tube ever so often in attempts to get a wet diaper and lower a heart rate.
It looks like me sitting in my couch starting at 5 this morning, reading, praying, and typing in between helping her elevate enough to cough.
It looks like Hugh and I having casual conversations of a game plan if we end up having to get admitted, as if we are talking about the weather for the day.
Just a cold.
“You should be exceedingly glad on this account…”- 1 Peter 1:6
Not only is this the girl’s birthday week, it is also a week that we have some fun things planned. Today was supposed to be our last meeting with the girls’ Early Intervention team- a group of people who have entered into our home and done therapy with the girls since they were less than a year old. I was even going to get my hair done tomorrow. #firstworldproblems I know; but I can really begin to throw a pity party when it seems that these things always happen just when I feel like I’m able to come up for air. As a parent of children with special needs, it’s not that you get used to watching your children suffer. It’s heart-wrenching every time; but there is a level of desensitization that has to occur in order to survive the day-to-day. I remember the first time I watched the girls get shots. It felt like the worst thing ever. I cried and cried in the car on the way home, barely able to keep it together in the doctor’s office. These days, if I cried every time a doctor or therapist did something that made Ally and Bailey Grace upset, I would spend most of our days in tears. If I lost it each time Ally struggled through a coughing spell, I wouldn’t be able to be the mom she needs me to be in her sickness. There is a level of momma turns caregiver that has to occur in these times; and I’m thankful for the grace God gives to help me do so. But, exceedingly glad?
“Set your hope wholly and unchangeably on the grace (divine favor) that is coming to you when Jesus Christ the Messiah is revealed.”- 1 Peter 1:13
You see, you either follow Christ or you don’t. There aren’t versions of being a Christian, or levels of Christianity, or radical versus not radical. You either set your hope fully on the grace that is coming or you don’t. Period. Sure, there are denominations and differences in theology and interpretation, yet the Gospel is the Gospel and whenever we try to add anything to it, we are substracting from the very truth of the Word of God.
Does this mean that we don’t get disappointed on this side of heaven?
No, no, no.
Look at David- he was considered by God a man after God’s own heart- and the Psalms are full of moments in which he felt temporal frustration. Having faith doesn’t mean you never experience disappointment on this side of heaven. Having faith means that you can confidently and authentically take your disappointments to the One who promises that One day, He will repay double for all the disappointment.
“They shall possess double what they had forfeited.”- Isaiah 61:7
Think about Job. After losing basically everything, he came to a deeper realization that while he may have lost it all from an earthly perspective, he possessed all he needed- namely, the friendship of God. And, Job 42:1 and 12 both claim that the end of his life was more blessed than the beginning. God outrightly says that. Now, I don’t know how this could be true in light of all the losses Job had, but I don’t have to understand it to trust it.
Friends, today I am extremely disappointed. I wish this sickness never had to enter our family but if it did, there are several other weeks I would have chosen for it to come.
I’m resting fully on His promises- like the deer that pants for water, I come to Him thirsty for the truth that He will fill these weak and hurting places and grant us the peace that only He can give.
And, when circumstances and situations and timing leaves me wanting- I can breathe deeply in the promise that says that this world is not my home and greater things are coming.
We are not called to rejoice in the circumstance itself; we are commanded to rejoice in Him in the midst of the circumstance. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
Today, whatever disappointment you are carrying- lay it down.
Cry out to Him and beg Him for the mercy to believe and hope and trust solely in the Greater Reality that is Jesus.
Today, in the Cheek home, it is Friday.
But, Sunday is coming.
All glory to God from now until forever.