My 5 year old got laid out pretty bad last week. A severe case of strep throat had her lethargic, lying on the couch and not eating... for 6 days. She was coughing, couldn't breathe easily and couldn't be understood when she spoke because her throat was so swollen. The worst part of it was noticing her weight loss as the days went on. My sweet girl was already so thin. It was worrisome. She's had strep throat before, but usually by day 2 she would be up and active with the help of her antibiotics.
On what would have been her 7th day of sickness, I woke up at 4 in the morning. Felt compelled to get up and search the scriptures for general life direction. Not two minutes later, I heard a bedroom door open and my sickly child came around the corner, sights set on my lap. As I held her, I was troubled by her very labored breathing. I began to pray for healing and read scriptures over her about sick people becoming well and Psalms that claim the Lord heals all our diseases.
Then I just flat out asked God, "Why aren't you healing my daughter? You're a dad. You know how difficult this is for me to see her suffer like this. I don't get it." I was aware that there were other more pressing prayer requests that had been offered to Him, but my concern in that moment was solely for my own child as I held her and listened to struggle to get air in and out of her lungs.
Then God stopped me in my questioning tracks and took me back a few weeks after I had experienced an uncomfortable situation, one that had drawn me to Him. As a result, I declared I needed to thank God for anything that pushes me into His presence. And my interrogation of God stopped. I changed my tune and began to thank Him for that time with my kid and I resolved to hold her as long as she needed me to, even if it meant watching the sun come up. I could sleep later. I thanked Him for the time both Ella and I were spending together in His presence. And then He took it to another level.
He allowed me to anticipate the future. My girl was going to grow up and experience other times of sickness, bad days, trials, and hardships. It comes with the territory as we age, as we live. Yet, she could always find her Father's lap in the midst of it and cuddle up to Him and He would hold her as long as she needed Him to. It doesn't mean the trying circumstance is going to just disappear, but His presence would be available for the duration. I wrote it all in a card that will be saved and given to her when she's old enough to understand.
I was so focused on my daughter's healing that I was in danger of missing Jesus in the journey. I wasn't going to stop praying for her healing, but I was reminded to focus on Christ and not just my desired outcome.
Ella got off the couch later that day, ate, played, and even laughed a couple times. Thank God He stopped me from contradicting myself and reminded me that I said with my own mouth that I needed to be thankful for anything that pushes me into His presence. If He hadn't, I would have missed out on a lot.