It’s been a rough couple of months.
My Dad passed away in June, and shortly thereafter my daughter Annie came down with a mysterious illness. She was traveling in France at the time, and we now know that she picked up a bacterial infection that went misdiagnosed for long enough to cause serious complications throughout her body. Since then, I’ve watched her suffer through heavy medications, countless tests and assessments, and a 10 day hospital stay. By early August my sweet girl had lost nearly 30 pounds and there seemed to be no end in sight. Frustrated and helpless, I cried out to God over and over.
Trials like this one have a way of distilling and clarifying what’s important in life. That’s why they tend to offer the best opportunities to grow in our faith. Through this time, God has been teaching me to take our requests to Him confidently and fervently:
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.
-1 John 5:14-15.
God uses our trials in amazing ways. I believe that. I believe he will heal Annie soon. I have learned to pray HARD and OFTEN. And He has been faithful.
At a particularly frustrating point in Annie’s hospital stay, all of her organs were showing improvement, but she was still unable to eat without excruciating pain, and no one had an explanation as to why. One night Annie, a friend, and I prayed fervently together, crying out to God for a medical answer. The very next morning, my friend Rob Pace who had heard about Annie’s struggle, emailed to suggest a diagnosis and to tell me the story of his son’s battle with strikingly similar symptoms. Days later her doctors confirmed that Annie had the same thing, and started treatment. At this point she’s been discharged from the hospital and though she’s certainly not recovered, she’s showing considerable improvement.
Honestly, if I were in charge of the universe, Annie would have been healed two months ago, but that’s not the case. Instead, recovery has come slowly, in a series of small victories and improvements. Each one a cause for much rejoicing and praise. Each one affirming God’s power and affirming above all that He hears us.
Have you been through a trial recently (medical or otherwise)? What have your trials taught you about prayer?