How often do we want a quick fix, miracle cure, or the key to the treasure? We want to fix our relationships, we want to get well quick, and we want 3 steps to a happy life. Bam! Done. Onto the next thing.
But what if it’s a quick fix for your son’s reading delay? Or a miracle cure for your beloved’s cancer. Or, as it was in my case, the key to reversing my daughter’s developmental delay. No bam, done, onto the next thing. No — these are the things that stop us in our tracks.
The first year Kristen was in therapy at Easter Seals, we spent all morning at the center. We drove home for lunch, nap, then I’d have my own “therapy” session with her in the afternoon. Intentional play with Kristen was top priority. I was happy if she had fun, but it wasn’t fun for me. It was stressful. I felt driven to catch her up with where she should be developmentally. I thought if I could only double up the therapy, she would catch up.
I knew about child development. I was a teacher. I had taught children to read. Shouldn’t I be able to teach my own child to recognize a square, a triangle, or the color blue? If my determination could come close to matching her reality, she would surely excel. As it turned out, though, my determination was no match for reality. The developmental markers came and went, leaving my child behind.
My spirits plummeted. I desperately needed God’s comfort. Tuberous sclerosis was taking Kristen, and our family, on a course into the unknown and unwanted realm of mental retardation. I didn’t want to face it.
But just when I was at my lowest, God reached out to me. As I was flipping aimlessly through my Bible, a passage grabbed my attention:
A man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief
Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried.
Since my heart was so heavy, the word grief stood out. Acquainted with grief? Who?
I scanned back in the passage. Jesus. Jesus was acquainted with grief. This was a foreshadowing of what He would go through when He gave His life for our salvation on the cross.
I stared at the verse. Jesus was a man of sorrows, like I was a woman of sorrows. He was acquainted with grief, like I was acquainted with grief. He carried my grief and sorrow.
Jesus, you really know how I feel?
I had so much knowledge about Jesus, the Bible, even verses I knew by heart, yet I was amazed that Jesus Christ himself would know exactly how I was feeling because He had felt pain Himself.
I felt like He was saying, “I know exactly what you’re feeling.”
My prayers changed. When I prayed, it was easy to imagine Jesus waiting for me, arms outstretched. I poured my heart out to Him, knowing that He knew my pain and would provide comfort and hope. He was no longer a distant, remote Savior. He was one who knew sorrow and how important it was to press through the pain towards joy. It was a turning point for me. My stress began to fall away, replaced by hope.
I saw that God could, and would, do something good with Kristen’s tuberous sclerosis. If not now, then someday.
20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations [n]forever and ever. Amen.