Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fear and Faith

The past ten days have been some of the longest in my life, longer even than the days of waiting for our oldest son to be born a week late. This waiting has not been so happy. Our oldest son's son has been gravely ill with high fevers for many days. He also refused to drink or eat much of anything.

I have learned again the exhaustion of prayer without ceasing. We finally got to see him this weekend, and I was able to hold him in my arms and not just in my prayers. It was hard to see him so thin and listless, like the little ones I used to rock in the local neonatal intensive care unit. He's always been such a happy baby with a joyous laugh. I've spent these many days beseeching God for healing for him, and for comfort for his parents. I realized, with great reluctance, that all I could do besides pray was to place him in God's good hands and trust that God would care for him, whatever the outcome. Not an easy thing for a grandmother to do.

I was helped by memories of a young woman I met among the evacuees from Hurricane Ike. She came to the arts and crafts room where I volunteered with her small children and created a beautiful piece of artwork out of construction paper. She made an apple tree, complete with bright red apples cut with a hole punch, and below the tree she wrote in Spanish, "Count the blessings God has given you." On a small heart, she wrote, "Jesus will not leave you alone and friendless. Live your faith." In the past ten days I have clung to the wisdom of this faithful young woman in her challenging circumstances as I've attempted to live my own faith in a difficult time.

Thanks be to God, our grandson finally seems to be making some progress towards health. His fever is gone, and he has started eating and drinking again and sleeping. So now I'm praying for his complete recovery. I want to see once again the happy, laughing little boy who brightened our lives. I'm still exhausted, but now with relief. I'm especially grateful to God for accepting my prayers and my fears and my hopes in such a dark time. God is good, even when a grandmother's heart has a hard time feeling that reality.

Grace and Peace,
Donna Sue

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