Last Monday, my daughter came down with the dreaded stomach virus. It was hard to watch our sweet six-year-old bravely suffer, as each wave of nausea hit, until finally nothing remained in her skinny little belly. At two a.m., I thought to anoint her with frankincense oil. Her vomiting lessened and she was finally able to sleep. Eventually, her calls to me were for water, instead of distress.
The very next day, my daughter felt much better, though she definitely was worn out and needed to be rehydrated. She touched my heart when she lovingly said she was glad a couple of her friends hadn’t made it to Sunday School, or they would have gotten sick too. As it turned out, her little friend got the bug anyway, along with half of our church body.
When I sent a note to my Sunday School mom friends, warning them to prepare, the reports started coming in: More children, and entire families, were sick with the yucky stomach bug. I found it interesting that I had just taught my precious class about the lepers who were healed by Jesus. Jesus healed all ten of them, but only one returned to thank him.
Later that night, I reminded my daughter of the leper who had thanked Jesus, and offered her the opportunity to thank Jesus for making her feel better. She thanked Jesus during our family prayer. She believes in the healing power of Jesus, having experienced it first-hand. After all, she knows Jesus healed her big brother with a big miracle! She knows Jesus loves children!
I thanked Jesus too. I was relieved to see my little girl feeling so much better. I know how bad it feels to be that sick. 17 years ago, I found myself vomiting every day, for five months, 30 times a day, because I was pregnant with my twin boys. I had severe, incapacitating nausea, which didn’t fully disappear until I had my sweet, tiny babies prematurely at 29 weeks. I remember sobbing in great heaves, telling my husband that I felt like I was suffering in Hell, because there was NO relief at all, even while on two medications reserved for patients undergoing chemotherapy. I told him I felt like I wanted to die, EXCEPT for the fact that I was going to have these beautiful babies. I wanted to see them and hold them and watch them grow! God gave me the strength to get through it, and He also gave me twice the blessings, and saved their fragile lives once they arrived.
Ten years later, I became pregnant with my precious daughter. I went through the whole nausea cycle again, for four long months, though I was unable to vomit. Again I needed medication, and the days and nights blurred together, as my entire family cared for me. But oh how I laughed when I first saw her beautiful face!
As difficult as both of my pregnancies were, my three beautiful children far outweighed the suffering I endured. I can’t help but think of how my suffering is only considered small scale, compared to the suffering Jesus endured when he died on the cross for our sins. He chose to go through it all because of his great, immeasurable love for each and every one of us.
There were more trials: We almost lost one of our sons to a severe asthmatic illness. Our other son was in a traumatic boating accident. After my daughter was born, my son who had almost died of an asthma attack, was diagnosed with a cruel, incurable disease. Eosinophilic Esophagitis robbed him of strength, energy, and joy. It gave him great pain, and it stole his quality of life, his ability to eat, and even sometimes drink. This disease lasted over three years. My son had daily nausea, and the vomiting was especially dreaded, because it wreaked havoc on his already painfully inflamed esophagus. Depression filtered through the family; the insidious disease had changed our lives. Needless to say, sometimes we really didn’t think we were going to make it. But, our God pulled us through it all. In God’s perfect timing, my son was given a miracle through Jesus Christ. He had been healed! He was no longer sick, and half of his allergies also disappeared. Praise God! Our prayers had been answered! On top of everything, out of those terrible trials, God gave us three amazing children to love, and we learned how to trust God, more than ever!
Last week was tough. But the silver lining was that it was short-lived; it was a reminder that God has pulled us through similar, but much longer, and much worse situations. “Dear God: You have healed me. You have healed my family. You have helped me, and my family, through this, and so much more. I thank you, God! Jesus, thank you for healing me and my family! I’m thankful for a faith that can make me well!” Don’t forget to thank Jesus! In doing so, he will heal you from the inside out.
Jesus asked, ‘Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?’ Then he said to him, ‘Rise and go; your faith has made you well.’ “
(Luke 17: 15-19 New International Version)