Last night my middle daughter, Norah, had another severe allergic reaction.This isn't something new for her, and I doubt it will be the last time we go through this due to her mast cell condition.
After dinner we noticed her face had hives so we gave her Benadryl. As I put her to bed, she was unable to breath without coughing so we moved her downstairs to keep an eye on her. As the hour passed, her lips began to turn purple and swell, more hives showed up, and then her ears started to swell. Our epi pens have just become unusable and we were playing the "when to call the ambulance game" (parents with allergies probably know this game all too well) since the nearest hospital is an hour away.
I asked our good friends to pray for her as Eamon was on the phone with 911, and Norah's eyes started rolling in the back of her head. I sat her up, prayed, and remembered what I've been studying in my bible this week.
"AND BLESSED IS THE ONE WHO IS NOT OFFENDED BY ME." Matthew 11:6
Jesus had a cousin who went before him, preaching of His coming, John (John the Baptist). At this time, John was imprisoned because of his prophesying to the people in the dessert who came to see him. He was locked away doing what was good, for the advancement of the kingdom. He had sent out some of his friends to go to Jesus and see if it was really Him. He told them
"Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me."
You see, Jesus was quoting scripture from Isaiah, confirming that He was the Son of God, but I think He ended this report of miracles with the phrase "Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me." because He knows our hearts.
The Jesus I know is about healing, about freedom, about life, and yet, here is someone who is dearly beloved to him, beaten, imprisoned, and ultimately beheaded for his service to The King. He knew John's heart was tender. He knew how fickle the human soul can be, to take offense to it's creator, to lose faith.
Having a child who is "sick" gives me plenty of opportunity to be offended with my God. To say "Why us? Why her? Is *THIS* fearfully and wonderfully made?!" Yet I have come to trust in the power of my God. I have tossed aside the lie that "God won't bring you to anything you can't handle" because it is a misquote of 1 Cor 4:13
"No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it"
And last I checked, sickness isn't a temptation. Our God is going to protect us from personal sin. I know that, as Isaiah 45:5-7 says "“I am the Lord, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God. I will gird you, though you have not known Me; That men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun That there is no one besides Me. I am the Lord, and there is no other, The One forming light and creating darkness, Causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the Lord who does all these." And I know He is good. And as Beth Moore said "He cannot do good for himself and harm to His children."
We hear the sirens coming down the highway and Norah tells me "I love you, mommy. I so sowwy I having a 'action'." And I want to cry, but I assure her it wasn't her fault. The paramedics walk in, and she doesn't make one squawk. Not one cough, not one grunt. Just talking like "Oh hey guys, what's up?" The swelling in her lips subsides, her hives start to lose their heat and size. Over the next few minutes the EMTs note how much better she's doing. But it's not like we called too soon, this reaction had been going on for about an hour and a half with no signs of getting better. And my God showed up. There He was, so sweet to us.
Last night in between creeping back into her room to make sure she was still breathing, I had the thoughts "What if next time the reaction is too fast? What if she ignores the signs as an adult? What if, what if, what if..." And then I thought about John the Baptist. This eternal life that he spoke of, that he was sure of. The freedom, the healing, the joy, HE RECEIVED IT ALL when he met his Father in heaven. See, The One Who Made You knows that His ways are hard. As unbelievers, it keeps us at a distance from him. As believers, I think we become even more offended when God doesn't "behave" like we think He should. It is my job to protect, and love, and teach Norah for as long as I have her, but if that day comes, and I lose my baby, though she has not accepted Christ as her personal Lord and Savior, I know she will run to Him on that shore, like all of the little children of Israel, and hug Him as He welcomes her home. And I will not be offended by Him.