I immediately recognized the number on the caller ID.
It was my 27 year old son, Jake.
Since neither of us are “morning” people,
I knew the 8:00 a.m. call wasn’t to chat.
“Mom, I hurt my back. I can’t move.”
This boy, this man-child of mine is so strong,
and so smart,
he thinks he’s invincible.
“What were you doing?” I ask,
waiting to hear that he’d tried to bench press a refrigerator or
push start a semi-truck.
“I was putting on my sock and something just popped.
I don’t know what to do.
Can you come over?”
Music to a mama’s ear.
He needs me.
He still needs me.
“Of course I can. I’ll be right there.”
When Mr. 4-Ever and I arrive, we discover
Jake cannot move without biting pain.
Scaffolding made of crutches and blankets gets him out of bed and
into the car where we whisk him to the chiropractor’s office.
Jake’s frame is so out of whack,
he can’t walk and when he shuffles he lists to the left.
He drags one foot behind him,
like the Hunchback of Notre Dame,
wincing with every jostle.
There is no relief.
We ask everyone we know to pray.
We pray and we wait.
For days and days, Jake grits his teeth in pain as he inches his way to
doctor and chiropractor appointments.
He swallows pain relievers and
I gently stuff ice packs under him.
The pain will not yield.
I hurts me to see him like this.
The doctor prescribes narcotic pain killers and orders an MRI.
Jake is put on disability at his work.
I begin to fear this is our new normal.
Jake in constant pain.
My optimism wanes and my faith cries out,
“God, where are you?
Do you see my boy?”
I make demands on Heaven.
God is silent.
We have to trust him in the waiting.
I know God never fails,
I hate this part.
More doctor visits.
The chiropractor orders Jake into decompression therapy,
which quite frankly,
resembles a modern day version of a medieval rack.
He spends hours on a machine that stretches his spine
in hopes of alleviating the pain.
Every waking hour he is not on the rack,
he wears a pressurized belt that pushes his ribs away from his hips.
Finally after watching him suffer,
willing him to be better and
praying for Jesus to reach out his hand of healing
is there the tiniest bit of relief.
The relief grows as the healing continues.
Relief from the pain.
Relief from the fear.
He’s on the mend.
He can stand.
He can sit.
He can go back to work.
I’m so thankful.
I’m so grateful.
How do you wait?
How do you manage chronic pain or illness?
How do you handle the fears and
the grinding quiet from heaven?
Being sick or in pain is a full-time job.
It sucks your time
as you wait on hold,
wait in doctor offices and
wait on God.
It derails your disposition
as you explain your condition again and again
It chips away at your budget
as you swipe your card to pay for
time with specialists,
It consumes your energy
as you try to push back the pain or
the effects of medicine or
press against fears.
It invites you to question God
as your pain remains,
your sickness lingers or
your prayers seem to go unanswered.
Friend, take courage!
Do not forget all God has already done.
Refuse to let fear dominate.
Hold onto your hope for what He will do in the future.
He’s never failing.
He’s in the waiting.
Please share how you wait.
What brings you hope?
How do you keep your eyes fixed above the circumstances?
Scripture Refresher: “Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 The Message (MSG)
Prayer: Oh my God, let me feel your nearness. Let me see you at work in this situation. Reveal your plan, or at least your love for me this day. I need your strength.
I’m desperate for new.
I’m desperate for you.