My son is sick. Sick, sick, SICK! Isaac’s had a couple ear infections, some sniffles & coughs, but he’s got the stomach flu, and it’s bad. Not that you really wanna read about this, but he’s filling his diapers at an alarming rate and has developed a rash that’s impossible to keep up with. There’s been a visit to the pediatrician (early on), a phone call for more advice, a trip to the ER where they found him to be dehydrated and gave him IV fluids, a couple more phone calls to the pediatrician. Most alarming is the mantra all the medical staff we’ve contacted: it’s just gotta run it’s course. So it’s a waiting game, at my son’s expense.
This is a time when I struggle to remind myself of God’s will, God’s plan, God’s timing, and while those ideas resonate in my mind, my heart is broken. Until just a couple hours ago my prayers have been terse, spat out bitterly while Isaac cries, as I once again clean him up, irritating his skin and undoing any healing the ointment has achieved since the last diaper change – oh, 30 minutes earlier, at most.
As a parent, it is so difficult to keep an attitude of submission. I get angry when my son suffers, indignant at the thought that it would be part of what God intends or allows. “OK, make ME sick, not my little boy!” I think. (I did get sick, by the way.) I fall back on his innocence and ask God why he deserves this, forgetting that no one on this earth is innocent. I think of my own flaws and failures and wonder in horror if I am somehow responsible for my son’s suffering, forgetting that I am responsible for His son’s suffering.
As I lay Isaac down for his afternoon nap I realized that I have not been praying properly. My pride as Isaac’s father, his earthly protector, has gotten in the way of my communication with God. I have failed to respect God’s wisdom and timing. And so in a quiet moment, apart from my frustrations, I sent up a heartfelt prayer of submission, confession, an appeal for strength & patience, and Christ’s healing touch upon Isaac. I realized that at this time, as much as Isaac needs physical healing, I need spiritual healing so that I can be his earthly protector and properly appeal to God on his behalf.