Watching your child go through a life-threatening experience is the hardest thing as a parent. I had only been a mom for 2 years – 6 months -15 days when my second child was born and had bowel surgery 63 hours after coming into this world. When you see your child helpless (and even dead-like), one of the many cries out to God is “Couldn’t it have been me instead!?”
All we could do is sit and hold him, trust the nurses and doctors, and pray. Of course this question stares you in the face at some point: “Why God?”
Why was Damon born with this congenital anomaly? Why God did you allow the earthquake in Nepal? Why are you allowing Christians to be hung, beheaded, shot? Why did baby Elijah at 13 weeks contract Fifth’s disease and die in my friend’s womb? Why was my friend murdered by her husband?
I’m not going to answer these questions. You can read back in Part 3 that most of life’s pain, death, disease, etc is a result of sin and not God, because God cannot sin nor does he cause it.
Some questions we may never know the answer until we see Jesus face to face. But I do know this:
“Seek the LORD while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near.
Let the wicked change their ways and banish the very thought of doing wrong. Let them turn to the LORD that he may have mercy on them. Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously.
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:6-9
And when every.single.person that has ever lived stands before the Creator and Lord of all, there will be no questions. Every knee will bow. We will understand. We will see Jesus on His throne and will know that our purpose is to bring glory to His Name. (Whether you believe this or not is irrelevant because Absolute Truth does not change based on belief or lack thereof.)
So chronic pain and suffering, people trapped and dying under rubble, riots and killings, a mother holding her lifeless 13-week in utero baby is pleasing to God? No, I sure don’t serve a God that gets pleasure out of these things.
His glory comes from “Seek[ing] the Lord while you can find him! Call[ing] on Him now while He is near! Changing our wicked ways. Turning to God, for He WILL forgive generously.” With open arms He died on a cross. With open arms He is waiting for us to come take a leap of faith.
our 3 day old son goes through bowel surgery…
the mom says goodbye to her baby…
the Christian who is seconds from being shot in the head…
the man trapped in the rubble without earthly hope…
the sister of my murdered friend cries herself to sleep again…
we can all say…
“For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods.” Ps 96:4
“The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” Job 1:21
God can take the effects of sin and turn them to Good for His Glory. We don’t praise the Lord for the sin and evil of the world. We praise Him because He is Love. Mercy. Grace. Forgiveness. Without Jesus, there would be NO hope for the suffering, disease, earthquakes, riots, murders. But because of Jesus, there is Hope. Hope that His love and grace will be sufficient to meet all our needs.
And here is why I believe this to be true:
Hopefully by now you have read through my Crohn’s story. This is part 5 and will be the last. If you haven’t, will you take a moment to go to my home page and scroll down to start with Part 1? You’ll understand this post better.
I explained in Part 4 how I was denied health insurance because of Crohn’s but it brought me to Samaritan Ministries. The members of Samaritan paid for my projected maternity health costs before Damon was born. Yet, because of Damon’s diagnosis while he was still in the womb, I had to switch to a high-risk OB physician and delivered at a different hospital then planned. To make a long story short, when I went to talk to a financial advisor at the hospital, the lady gave me an incredible discount, which was lower than the projected costs I submitted to Samaritan Ministries.
Therefore, I had received from the members over $2000 more than my health costs. I contacted Samaritan and received an email with two other members’ names and addresses where I needed to send my leftover money to help with their medical costs.
I downloaded the document and waited for it to open.
Then I couldn’t believe my eyes. I read:
Theodore, newborn son of _____ and _____, was born prematurely and had surgery to correct a congenital problem affecting his digestive tract. Please pray for complete healing.
Tears. More tears. What?! NO WAY!! BREEEEEEEETTTTT! You won’t believe this!!!!!
I have Crohn’s disease. I was denied health insurance. I joined Samaritan Ministries. I had a baby boy with a “congenital problem affecting his digestive tract.” I had to switch doctors and hospitals. My health costs for my labor and delivery were lower than projected. My extra share money was sent to help a family WITH A BABY BOY WITH THE SAME CONGENITAL PROBLEM!!!
That is the all-knowing, all-powerful God I love and serve. That brings God glory. That is my purpose.
I immediately took out my stationary and wrote a card explaining Damon’s similar condition and shared the link to my blog post. A couple days later I received a Facebook message from Theo’s mom sharing his story. Sisters-in-Christ and moms sharing a connection all because of my chronic disease I used to see as a curse.
And almost a year later both boys are healthy and growing, and daily we praise Jesus for poop! Yes, poop. The very poop that I feared most with Crohn’s disease. But hold an infant with wires all over his body hooked to monitors, and you will be crying out to God for him to poop. God sure does have a sense of humor.
This is why I can and always will say…
“Thank You, Jesus, for my Crohn’s disease.”