“We have a follow up appt to talk to the doctor about next steps for you,” I said to my daughter.
Suddenly, she erupted into tears.
“I thought if I took these meds like the doc said, then I’d be better and finally get to feel normal like all my other friends,” she cried!
My heart sank at the weariness and discouragement in her eyes. Especially because I know it all too well.
Sometimes, I set myself up for disappointment because I put my hope and expectations in the end result I desire. And when God doesn’t act according to what I hope and expect, panic sets in. “I was sure this wouldn’t last this long! I thought God knew I couldn’t keep going like this – why won’t he bring relief?”
I don’t have all the answers to those questions – for myself or her. God’s ways are mysterious to us and his promises (although trustworthy) don’t always look the way we think or expect them to.
As I sat with my daughter and fought against my own stress over layers of difficulty that I don’t see an end to, I held her, let her cry, and told her how sorry I was that she’s had to face so much pain and difficulty in her life – and she has every reason to feel sad and tired of it all.
But I reminded her that, although we don’t know how the future will unfold, God promises to give us the grace we need for today (2 Cor. 12:9). Not yesterday, not tomorrow, and not 10 years from now – but right here in this moment. He knows the grief and sorrow she carries and he’s not indifferent to it. Good Friday and Easter – the cross and Christ’s resurrection – assure us of that.
She and I agreed that we would encourage each other to trust his grace and strength one moment at a time today. Provision for tomorrow and wisdom for next steps will come in his timing. But we don’t need to know those right now.
She didn’t need me to fix it. She needed to know I saw her pain. She needed to know she wasn’t hopeless. And she needed to be reminded that Christ will not let her go – that her illness and struggles will not have the last word.
And today – we must preach these same truths to our own hearts. Grieve what’s been lost, accept what is, remember what’s true, and rest in his grace for today.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”2 Corinthians 12:9
Home is around the corner,
You can pre-order Sarah’s new book – Tears and Tossings: Hope in the Waves of Life, releasing May 2nd.
To read more on the hope we have in suffering, you can purchase “Hope When It Hurts – 30 Biblical Reflections to Help You Grasp God’s Purpose in Your Suffering” authored by Sarah Walton and Kristen Wetherell here or here. Jeff and Sarah Walton’s marriage book, Together Through the Storms – Biblical Encouragements for Your Marriage When Life Hurts.