What matters more than material blessings are the things He is teaching us in our spirit.
It all began much earlier for him, but most of the nascent signs were quiet and crept into life bit by bit–a silent predator slowly introducing the victim to its presence. Then two years ago, the boy’s everyday life shifted with such suddenness there could be no doubt. Our son knew what it was to struggle with anxiety and depression.
Sleep oscillated between the extremes of non-existent and constant. Recurring migraines…weight loss…lack of appetite. And my adventurous, full-throttle son retreated to a solitary world that seemed impenetrable. Once in a great while I would catch a glimpse of the boy , but the cloud of oppression that hung over him was normally the more visible of the two.
There is no heartache quite like that a parent has for her suffering child and in my grief I confronted God. I wept. I raged. I begged. I prayed.
Please, Lord, please!
After more than two years of trial and error…missed school days and fading dreams, we discovered the right combination of interventions and supports–not the least of which included medication. Finally…some relief for the boy I had soothed with lullabies not so many years ago.
During this time, my boy continued to seek after God. He wanted more of Jesus–and, unlike me, didn’t seem to struggle with blaming God for allowing this trial in his young life. Despite the depression…regardless of the anxiety…in spite of the weariness.
One evening he returned from youth group, his face transformed by joy.
We asked God to heal me. I don’t need my medicine anymore.
I was skeptical…fearful…doubtful. I believed in miracles, but this? A young man’s life could be at stake.
Slow and methodical in my response, I have taken the “yes, but” approach to this precious boy’s healing. “Yes–God can heal, but…”
Yes, but…healing is not probable…practical…likely.
Yes, but…this could be temporary…time-inhibited…explainable.
Yes, but…are you sure you can sleep…function…manage?
And he continues to do well. Feel well. Live well.
I have begun to relate to the Bible verse, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” in ways I never expected. And I wonder if any of you understand? If you’ve lived it, too? At some level, those of us who are Christians must grasp the mystery of such things–at least a little bit.
We trust in Jesus, after all.
Yes, but…a virgin birth is impossible…unimaginable…implausible.
Yes, but…a resurrected Messiah is unbelievable…incredible…miraculous.
Yes, but…can we know we are sanctified…rescued…redeemed?
Yes, but…He was born of a virgin, died on a cross, and rose again in three days.
Scripture for Reflection