It's quiet and dark as I sit and wait for my grandson to wake. His world is still limited to the things that eight year olds deal with--school, soccer, football, rules to follow and so many lessons to learn. What he doesn't know is how his life might change if his mom's diagnosis is what it could be. Neither do I.
It all began with an MRI looking for something else in a hip that was giving my daughter pain. Doctors conferred and in the age of specialization they chose to punt to the experts. More waiting. Speculation is fueling us until we file into a small room to hear what we hope not to hear. Waiting is always an opportunity. Hours and days of waiting can be spent fretting or focusing on the only One who can truly make a difference. I've done a bit of both.
Prayer is like breathing to me. I walk and pray. I think and pray. I write and pray. I wake in the earliest hours and pray. So I prayed it would be a mistake, a misdiagnosis--those things happen, I remind myself over and over. I pray that God would just take his mighty healing hand and make it all go away. Now I wait to see if my prayer will be answered the way I want.
I check my grandson again as he sleeps, so peacefully unaware that he might also have what his mother has. Aren't genetics fascinating? How all those genes match up and create who we are and every intricate system that helps us live. Except when the genetic roulette wheel spins and the little ball lands where we don't want. I remind myself that God knew it would happen the way it did.
And since genetics is a bit like gambling, I'm now hearing about the "odds". There's a 50% chance my sleeping grandchild will eventually be sickened. And where did this faulty gene come from—the odds are from me. Oh, I’d never have chosen that. Yet God knew.
So many have endured medical trials. Strength comes from battling them. God meets us where we are—in the exam room, surgery, the days of waiting; He's there. Is that why we get sick, God? Perhaps, but sickness wasn't his plan. But He uses it for good purposes. Trials help us trust in His promise to never leave us. Trials reveal our deepest needs and we learn that only God can supply them. During this time of waiting, I'm recalling all I've learned through my own trials. Adversity brought me closer to God. He knew it would. Yes, indeed, He knew. And now I’m even thankful for those challenging trials.
While I continue to wait, I pray, and sense that even if my prayer isn't answered the way I want, God will take care of it all—my incredible daughter and my precious, sleeping grandson. Do I want them to be much closer to God? Yes. And He knows how to do it.
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. James 1:2–3