Me and My Bone Disease Alone"
"Encourage my children,
Father. Encourage them through me. I want to feel their
pain, so that I can understand what they are going through…I'll
even take their pain, God. Give me their diseases…it's Your
way, isn't it? Jesus did that for us. He took our sin…He
took our place…"
He took up our pain and bore our suffering…
" Please Father, make
me a blessing to my children. I just want to make all of
this go away for them. Please give it all to me."
This has been my prayer over
these long months of discovery in our home. From bone disease
to heart trouble to the realization that things would only
get worse…I have begged God to take these sicknesses from
my children and give them to me. Any mother would do that.
But God hasn't seen fit to
answer my request. Our children are still struggling. I
am still healthy.
However, just a week ago, I
was rushing through the house and accidentally whacked my
hand on the door frame of our bedroom. I gasped as intense
pain rippled up through my arm and into my shoulder. Later,
in the ER, x-rays showed no bones broken. I continued in
pain for a few more days until finally I went to a hand
specialist who found that I had damaged some joints in my
right hand. It is in a cast now, and I am very slow at all
tasks -- especially typing.
But the pain and discomfort
have given me time to think. Jonah has broken numerous bones
and has worn many casts. Now I know a little of what he's
been going through. At first he wanted to collect all of
his casts. It was fun for him to put them up on a shelf
as a memory. But when he filled up a whole shelf, he began
throwing the casts away…it just wasn't fun anymore. Now,
when he loses his balance and falls, or when the cramps
in his legs hurt so badly that he can't walk, he cries out
in anguish, "Did I break a bone?? Please say I didn't
break a bone!!"
Brooklyn has a lot of pain
in her hands and joints. She wants to play piano so badly.
But the pain is so bad that she can't play like she wants
to. After this joint damage, I can truly empathize with
her pain, at least for a little while. I'm grateful for
this time of knowing how to better pray for them -- I am
learning to be more patient with my children in their pain.
Jonah had a bad day a few days
ago. Usually he is soft-spoken, easy going. But on this
particular day he was really hurting. It's hard to know
when to "push" and when to leave him alone, you
know? All he wanted to do on that day was to sit in his
wheelchair and read. I wanted him to get up and get out
of the house. I was thinking that perhaps some fresh air
would help take his mind off of his pain…just a little anyway.
I kept coaxing him and coaxing
him. Finally he yelled at me, "JUST LEAVE ME AND MY
BONE DISEASE ALONE!!"
It's hard! I know he's hurting.
I need wisdom. Oh, Father, I want to be an encouragement
…and not just to Jonah and
Brooklyn. I want to be an encouragement to my other children
as well! I want to be a blessing to them…
…when they are having a bad
…when they are struggling with
…when they are grown and I
don't approve of their lifestyle,
…when they feel like failures.
Elizabeth was that way. I mentioned
in last week's article that every year, I choose a person
from the Christmas story to study. One year, as I studied
the shepherds, I marveled that God chose them first, above
all royalty. God chose to tell a group of "nobodies"
the Good News:
Do not be afraid. I bring
you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you;
He is Christ the Lord!
Shepherds…just ordinary lower-class
working people, like me! And some believe that these shepherds
were the ones who raised lambs to be sold as temple sacrifices
-- sacrifices offered for the forgiveness of sin. And now
the angels were inviting these shepherds to see the true
Lamb of God…to worship Him!
to God in the highest and on earth peace to men on whom
His favor rests!
Elizabeth was just an ordinary
woman, too. After the angel announced to Mary that she would
have a baby -- before she was married -- Mary ran to Elizabeth.
It seemed the whole world judged Mary…but Elizabeth didn't!
Elizabeth was a true blessing to Mary. Elizabeth greeted
Mary with open arms.
Elizabeth loved Mary unconditionally.
She held her. She praised her. She encouraged her.
Blessed are you among
women, and blessed is the child you will bear!
But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord
should come to me?
As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the
baby in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed is she
who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will
Elizabeth wasn't jealous, she
wasn't stern and legalistic, she wasn't inquisitive and
full of gossip…she just loved Mary and held Mary and trusted
God's working in Mary's life.
Mary needed that.
You see…encouragement doesn't
just make someone feel better…it makes them live
Mary stayed with Elizabeth
until little John was born. How full of joy Elizabeth must
have been to finally have a child to hold, to love, to carry
on her husband's name. Finally God had answered her prayer
-- it had taken forever! But it was perfect -- in His time,
in His way.
Elizabeth had waited, so
righteous in the sight of God, observing all of the Lord's
demands and decrees blamelessly (Luke 1:6). Even if
God had never given her a child, she would have followed
Him without abandon.
I want to be that way.
If God never chooses to heal
my children, if He never answers my prayers, though He
slay me yet will I hope in Him (Job 13:15).
And Elizabeth was loving --
unconditionally, unwavering, completely accepting. The mother
of our Lord needed that, oh so badly. God sent Mary to Elizabeth,
knowing this old woman would just love her.
Elizabeth was a woman of love.
God's love shone through her smile and her words.
I want to be that way.
I wish you the wisdom of Elizabeth
I wish it for myself as well.
Praise be to the Lord, the God
because He has come and has redeemed His people…
© 2011. Faith Matters by Lygia Lovelace. All rights