This week has been horrible… yet now that I’m out of it, beginning to start a new week, I feel I’ve overcome.
We went on “vacation” last week. We went to visit some family that unfortunately we only get to see once a year. We stayed in a home with 2 other families, 6 adults, 6 kids all under one roof. It was close quarters… It was wonderful! I didn’t mind sleeping on couches for a week because I knew my kids were playing with their cousins. With 2 air mattresses between me and the baby, when he cried at night I would just keep him on the couch with me… hence getting no sleep! But truthfully, it was worth it. Family is always worth it!
We came home to find out that the Hand Foot and Mouth Disease that the cousins had before traveling to meet us on vacation was still in fact contagious. It started with Ruby, then Nate. Ruby did great, slept a bit more, broke out in a great number of “bumps”, looked pitiful, but played and slept just fine. Nate maybe didn’t appear as sick as Ruby physically, but he ran a high fever, didn’t sleep, didn’t eat, cried a lot. Then Zech ran a fever, then Lily join the crew. At one point, I was rushing one child to the bathroom to throw up, covering a shivering fever ridden child with a blanket, keeping a spotted energetic two-year old from jumping on the sick ones, all while packing around a very sick 10 month old. When the throw up was flushed, the blanket was back on, the 2-year-old was calmed and the 10mo old finally fell asleep, I sat and prayed… “WHAT IS GOING ON!!!???” It seemed there’d be no end to this. (I’m sure I was being dramatic… but that’s what happens when you go multiple days not getting any sleep… I remember the newborn stage… one I never plan to go back to!)
The throwing up was done, the fevers broke, the 2-year-old was happy to have her playmates back… but the baby still did not eat, would not nurse, still did not sleep, and was NOT better. He cried, he was in pain (hunger pains probably). He wanted to be held, but was never comfortable. I felt helpless, overwhelmed, sad to think he was never going to nurse again and OVER TIRED. I tried to find God’s lesson in it all…I knew God was not teaching me to “steer clear of disease ridden family members”… so what was it?
God reminded me of a scripture that he’s taken me back to many times. I don’t even need to go back and read it, he’s given it to me so many times, I just have to say, “Right, I remember!”
Psalms 77: 1-15
I cried out to God for help;
I cried out to God to hear me.
2 When I was in distress, I sought the Lord;
at night I stretched out untiring hands,
and I would not be comforted.
3 I remembered you, God, and I groaned;
I meditated, and my spirit grew faint.[b]
4 You kept my eyes from closing;
I was too troubled to speak.
5 I thought about the former days,
the years of long ago;
6 I remembered my songs in the night.
My heart meditated and my spirit asked:
7 “Will the Lord reject forever?
Will he never show his favor again?
8 Has his unfailing love vanished forever?
Has his promise failed for all time?
9 Has God forgotten to be merciful?
Has he in anger withheld his compassion? ”
10 Then I thought, “To this I will appeal:
the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand.
11 I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
12 I will consider all your works
and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”
13 Your ways, God, are holy.
What god is as great as our God?
14 You are the God who performs miracles;
you display your power among the peoples.
15 With your mighty arm you redeemed your people,
the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.
By the week’s end, the kids all seemed better. The spots were still visible on the babies, the older two never got them (assuming they had some totally unrelated illness), energy levels were returning, I had some sleep (not much, but more), and my husband had reached the end of his work week. Things seemed better. Monday-Thursday seemed a far distant memory. But the week was over, and I think it’s all something I will not forget! I didn’t get to make phone calls as I needed to, I was not able to check up on loved ones, I was unable to read, or clean, or catch a breath. It seemed the world was carrying on without me and life consisted of having 4 sick kids only…
But God remembered! He reminded me that it was just a season (and a very short one at that!) He reminded me that He’s been there in the past, He’ll be there in the future, and He is with me in the present. Although my week isn’t as horrible as one struggling with cancer and chemo treatment, or as bad as someone who just lost a child, or a parent, or as hair-raising as one awaiting possible negative test results… God’s word is the same for us all.
Where are you God when I am struggling? Where are You when things are so chaotic that I can not sense you in the midst? Where are you when I cry out, but things do not seem to get better? Where are you when I am about to give up?
Then I remember the times he’s steadied my weary feet. When he’s calmed my chaos right in the thick of it. I remember when he heard my cry and fixed my broken heart. I remember when he did not let me give up, but gave me a new hope!
Your ways, God, are holy. What god is as great as our God? You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples. With your mighty arm you redeemed your people.
I love my God! And He loves me! (AND YOU!). Whatever you’re facing right now, remember the things of God. Remember how he has redeemed you in the past. He’s still in the business! He remembers… don’t forget about him!