Two years ago, today, I sat next to a bed at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, sleep-deprived and in shock, while my five-year-old son writhed in pain, bled profusely from his nose, burned with fever and screamed at everyone.
His eyes were lit with fear and a desperate plea. “Fix it, mommy!” But I couldn’t fix anything.
I refused to let this thought enter my mind, but I knew it hovered way too close, like someone reading over my shoulder. “He is dying.”
And then came the word that sent me dry-heaving into a nearby trash can and drenching my dirty, blood-stained t-shirt in tears. Cancer.
I heard other words too. Like treatable and Chemotherapy and central chest line. But, mostly, all my brain did was call to mind what I knew about cancer. People die from it.
But Justin didn’t die. He is very alive and fairly well and playing Minecraft and eating banana bread and, very shortly, going to fight me over doing his reading lesson.
This is modern medicine and good doctors and dedicated parents. Above all, this is our Sovereign Lord preserving the life of a child for His good purpose. But we have gone by way of the valley of the shadow of death, for sure.
If God had ordained a different outcome and, still, He could, would I be saying anything different? The truth is, I can’t know for sure. But that isn’t the test I was given.
I didn’t lose my child, but I have watched him suffer much. And we still have many hard months to come.
But God is here and He is good and His love does not fail.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35-39