Mike and I have been putting off having to write this post for a long time, hoping against hope and praying relentlessly that we would be able to share some good news with you all.
I just returned from visiting Jonah in the Pediatric Ward. It is clearly evident that his brain suffered serious damage when his heart stopped during surgery. His mom came to be with him two weeks ago. He shows no signs of recognizing her. As I write these words, my heart is breaking…all those prayers, all that effort, so many people loving on Jonah and praying for his healing. His doctor believes that he is blind. His mother is feeding him with a syringe although he is having difficulty swallowing. He moans and is distressed. As a mother, this tears my heart out. It’s at times like this when my faith wavers as I ask, why? Why did this innocent child have to suffer so terribly? Why doesn’t he get to live a life like a normal boy running around after his friends? Why has he touched so many peoples lives all across the world only to be unaware of his impact? Why couldn’t he have returned to Samburu healed and whole? Why aren’t we celebrating his healing?
I have no answers.
It’s been a hard, hard day.
At times like this, I fall on my knees. In submission to a God who is sovereign over all of the hurt and pain. In service to a God who hears our cries and our questions. In honor of a God who loves Jonah more than we can ever understand. In gratitude to a LOVE that is so perfect and so true that we cannot even begin to wrap our minds around it.
But it still hurts so badly.
Would you please join us in our disappointment, our grief and our sadness?
Would you join us in leaning into the promises of God? That He knit Jonah together in his mother’s womb, that He ordained each of his days here on earth, that He has His arms wrapped around his little body here and now and forever more.
The age old question of how a loving God could allow such suffering surfaces in me at a time like this. But in the depths of sorrow and grief, I hang onto the one and only thing that I know to be true…God Himself. As C.S. Lewis wrote: “I believe in Christianity (God) as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” Without Him, none of this makes any sense. Knowing and believing that He brings beauty from ashes is the only thing I can cling to. His ways are higher than ours. His plans are better than ours. He is always good despite what it looks like from our perspective.
Would you pray this prayer with me for precious Jonah?
“When my life was ebbing away,
I remembered you, Lord,
and my prayer rose to you,
to your Holy temple…
…Salvation comes from the Lord.”
Jonah’s story is not over yet…