Yesterday proved to me, once again, that God is in complete control over my life, and that of my family. The story I’m about to tell may not be something that Hollywood will want to pick up and make a movie about, but nonetheless, when you receive confirmation, it’s a wonderful thing.
Yesterday, we had some friends over to celebrate my son’s birthday. It was an amazing day of food, fellowship, friends, and family. We were able to attend church, hear an awesome message from the Lord, come home, BBQ, play, and have a great afternoon. Once everyone left, it was fun to sit and watch my son play with his new toys. After we straightened up the house (lets face it, we had 12 kids here, ages 4-9…there was some clean up that had to be done), my wife and I were going to do our workout. We were about 30 minutes in, and then we hear the scream that all parents fear. The type of scream that can not be described, but one that every parents can nod their head in agreement that they fear. It came from outside. All three kids were playing out back.
Let me put it this way, it was the screaming and crying that made me immediately stop and run to the back to see what happened. I’ll admit, my children will scream, cry, hurt each other, etc. But there are times when I can sit back, wait for further “noise” to really determine the 911 status. There’s whining, petty crying cause a toy was taken away, a pinched finger, or even a legit pain that needs attention. But in a lot of those cases, I can walk upstairs, or to the scene of the “crime”, evaluate the situation, and respond appropriately with love, discipline, instruction, care, or a smattering of all of the above. But every parent will understand when I say, without hesitation, I ran to see what happened.
The moment I laid eyes on my girl, I knew what took place. For the third time in the last two summers, our girl has been stung by a bee. The first time, screaming, crying, etc. The second time, screaming, crying, a little puffiness and itching. Last night, screaming, crying, itching, and then swelling. Her eyes started to close, she broke out in hives, and was feeling itchy all over. At that moment, my wife and I connected eyes and said, “ER”. Both of our fear was that her throat would start to close, or worse. We just have not had allergic reactions like this in our family. So this was another parenting first. She was checked in to the ER, and just a few hours later, came home exhausted back and back to normal size.
So what’s the result? We now have to carry an epi pen with us because if she’s stung again, she could go in to anaphylactic shock. Every moment we go outside, both of our parental fears will go in to overdrive. Do we wrap our daughter in bubble wrap and duct tape every time we go somewhere? I envision dressing her up like the little brother from “A Christmas Story”…”I can’t put my arms down!!” Will we be paranoid? Yes. Will we have fear when we leave her at school? Yes. Will we want to protect her and hover over her every moment from now on. Yes. Are we going to protect her and the rest of our children from every hint of danger, bug bites, pain, or fear? Nope.
Yet through all of this, my wife and I have developed an overwhelming feeling of thankfulness and peace. We both understand that our children do not belong to us. They belong to the Lord. He is the one that has entrusted them to us. We will do our best to protect them from the hurts and pains in this life, both physically and emotionally. But we also understand there are certain things that will happen that will be beyond our scope of parental super powers. This is where faith and trust enter the scene as parents. We must fully trust in the Lord and have faith that our children will be protected. Now when something goes wrong, we don’t point a finger at God and blame Him for allowing them to get hurt. That’s not why bad things happen. My daughter getting stung by a bee and developing an allergy to bee stings is not God’s absence from our lives. It’s in those times that we draw closer to God. Just like my wife said to me today,
“I’m feeling overwhelmed with thankfulness this morning…I think the kids need to know how blessed we are. This could have happened somewhere out of reach of the closest hospital. God’s timing is perfect, no matter the circumstance. I think that’s lost on most people, including me. Until now! The Lord is teaching us and growing us!”
Even in fear, my wife’s perspective is spot on! It is in situations like this that we should seek the Lord and find answers in Him, not point fingers and blame Him for allowing things like this to happen. There are things in life that are way beyond our control. Many things too numerous to list. So why be anxious and worry about things that we don’t have any control over? Like it says in Matthew 6:25-34, will worrying add any length of time to our lives? Not a single nano-second. We trust in the Lord with all our heart, and have faith to acknowledge Him in every situation, good or bad.
Now Cameron, let’s get serious here for a minute? Your daughter was stung by a bee…seriously?! You’re talking to me about drawing close the Lord and seeking Him because of a bee sting? Let’s wait until something more serious happens, or one of your children are killed, then we’ll talk about God’s protection over your life. Let me tell you why I run to the Lord for protection and thankfulness. Because I trust in His word in all things. This is what He tells me:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” ~ Proverbs 3:5,6 (ESV)
See what it says there? “In ALL your ways”. This is not exclusive to only when things go bad, or when you’re in a 911 scenario. In good times, in bad. Happy or sad. Joy or suffering. My God is to be praised, sought after, and thanked. So when I receive my paycheck, I will thank Him. When my daughter gets stung by a bee, I will thank Him. As hard as it is for me to say, if I were to lose one of them, I will strive with all of my being to give Him thanks. Why? Because in and through every situation, He is deserving of thanksgiving and praise. It’s extremely difficult to see your children get hurt, physically or emotionally. But it is in these situations that we can draw closer to the One who holds the world in the palm of His hand. It is in these situations that we can teach our children that God is in control and has a perfect plan for our lives. But we must trust in Him, and Him alone!
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rak Chazak and may the Lord bless you!