A young couple I know recently had a child who had to be hospitalized. The day after their son was released from the ‘baby jail’, as they called it, Dad posted this on his facebook wall. I’ve edited it and added a few comments.
So, I have to share my humbling experience. As some of you may know, our child spent the night in the hospital. He caught a painful viral illness, which made an excruciating existence for a 9 month old. He hadn’t slept in about 18 hours. We had tried to get him to sleep; our cousins tried, my mom and dad really tried. We drove back from our family reunion four hours away to make sure he got the best treatment. Unfortunately he screamed the whole way. We were also suffering from a major lack of sleep, (think 5 hours in 2 days), then received conflicting information from the hospital staff, had a bunch of people doing the same tests over and over without explanation, and we were terrified. There just aren’t words to describe the feelings that come with watching your child in agony with absolutely nothing you can do to help. I was a MAJOR jerk.
We were admitted, he got an IV, pain meds and some rest. For 36 hours it had been a roller coaster of pain, screaming, and medications. We were all scared, we parents were completely stressed out. And we were completely, utterly exhausted. That night his other grandma stayed with him all night at the hospital, so the rest of us could get some sleep. When we got back to the hospital the next morning, with the pain under control, a decent amount of sleep and re-hydrated, I saw my usually happy boy mostly back to himself. Mom and I got smiles and giggles and the greatest feeling in the world. He continued to improve by the hour. When we got our release that afternoon, I began to pack the car.
On one of my trips I was engaged by an 11 year old boy who ran onto the elevator and with victory in his voice said to me “I just kicked cancers butt, give me 5,” I proceeded to slap him 5 and chatted with him on our ride. It was in that moment that I was humbled: this young man beat cancer, and here I am being a huge jerk over a little virus. I couldn’t begin to imagine the trials and tribulations he and his parents have gone through. It hit me in the “feels.” Hard. Life can throw much worse at you, be thankful for who you have, and cherish every moment. I know this guy will. A big thank you goes out to the grandparents for their help and support. Another thank you goes out to all the prayers, thoughts, and well wishes from all of you throughout this experience in life.
One friend posted this comment: Well said!! I believe true humility is the KEY to unlocking true happiness!! It’s not the cross that lies before us, but how we choose to pick it up and carry it that defines our character.
It seems to me (Sharri) that having humble faith makes a huge difference in how one handles adversity. I’ve seen people cry, lash out and swear profusely; become belligerent and demanding of everyone around them. I’ve seen people wither and withdraw in fear and helplessness, or simply walk away from the situation and leave it to someone else to deal with – sort of ‘call me when it’s over’. I sometimes wondered if those people had a clue how much God loves them and wants to be there for them. Or maybe since they were in a trial, they mistakenly believed He was somehow absent and they were on their own.
Conversely, I’ve seen people of faith handle impossible circumstances with peace, courage, faith and kindness to all those around them. Those folks knew their God, knew His power, knew His love and care for them, even in the most trying situations. Don’t get the wrong idea – having faith doesn’t make the circumstances somehow less painful; but it does give us tools to deal with those circumstances. Faith gives us peace in the midst of the storm, joy in the midst of sorrow, a measure of comfort in the pain. Faith can replace fear with courage, hopeless and angry outbursts with prayer.
Faith doesn’t just magically appear when we enter a crisis. Faith needs to be developed each day, so it’s there when we need it. We develop faith by prayer, by reading and studying the Sacred Scriptures, by faithful church attendance where we can encounter God in His Word and in our brothers and sisters. As we learn to trust God in the little things, we are strengthened so we can trust Him in the bigger things. And that will change our whole perspective. 🙂