“…but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope…” Rom. 5:3-4
I wake up at 4:35am last Monday morning and look at my phone. A missed call at 4:14 from the hospital. I listen to a message and breathe a mixed sigh of relief and disappointment. Our precious son would not be heading to the hospital in an hour. Surgery cancelled.
A few hours later I discover through an email that a nurse friend of mine spent the night caring for a child in the same hospital who had been in a tragic accident and declared brain dead. The parents made the brave decision to donate viable organs. Our surgeon was up all night performing a life-saving heart transplant for another child.
I take all of this in. My perspective changes.
Our plans changed on Monday. But God’s plan didn’t. He had a plan all along. The timing wasn’t right for our little boy to go into surgery. The prayers of many friends for our surgeon that night and in the early morning hours had been providentially redirected to a different surgery for an unknown child.
Now we wait for the new date for our surgery. Most likely it will be months away due to cold and flu season. The delay is challenging and exhausting. We want our child well and healthy but we don’t want all the pain that lies ahead associated with the complicated surgery and recovery.
Waiting is nothing new for us and I know it isn’t something new for you. I’ve written about it here and here and yet I feel like I’m still going back to the drawing board as I try to learn to wait again.
During these times I go back to the very same things. The Lord uses the waiting. He builds our confidence in Him during these seasons. His plan is perfect. He is sovereign over all. He holds all things together and is simultaneously working to bring about what is for our good and His glory. He is trustworthy and faithful. He loves us perfectly and completely.
All these truths sink deep into my heart and I realize again these are the building blocks of my faith. Without being able to completely depend on the Lord during these times, I will sink in fear and uncertainty.
So we will wait again. I’ll ask the Lord for endurance. I’ll ask Him for peace. I’ll ask Him to protect our child leading up to the surgery. I will also cling to the goodness of God’s Providence, as I was comforted recently by these wonderful words from the Heidelberg Catechism:
God’s providence is his almighty and ever-present power of God whereby he still upholds, as it were by his own hand, heaven and earth together with all creatures, and rules in such a way that leaves and grass, rain and drought, fruitful and unfruitful years, food and drink, health and sickness, riches and poverty, and everything else, come to us not by chance but by his fatherly hand.
We learn that we are to be patient in adversity, thankful in prosperity, and with a view to the future we can have a firm confidence in our faithful God and Father that no creature shall separate us from his love; for all creatures are so completely in his hand that without his will they cannot so much as move.
I pray that this Christmas, no matter what you are facing, you will find comfort in the blessing of God’s Providence. I pray that you will know His Love found in that tiny manger over 2000 years ago. May the blessed birthday of our Savior be your comfort and joy this Christmas and throughout the year.