Tyler after being moved from PICU to regular care
Throughout Scripture, we see time and again how Jesus worked through hopeless situations in order to display the Father's glory: the man born blind endured 40 years without sight before Jesus opened his eyes; a sick woman suffered for 12 years before touching Jesus' hem for healing; and countless parents went through untold agony watching evil spirits attempt to kill their children before the Lord cast the demons away. Even Jesus' close friend Lazarus died before the Lord performed a miracle and raised him back to life. As unpleasant as suffering is, often it serves to heighten the relief when it does come.
When the blind man was a child, I'm certain he had no clue that one day he would meet the Son of God or that He would restore his sight. The blind man had to wait nearly a lifetime before he fully understood the purpose of his suffering. So, too, when Jesus' friend Lazarus died, many asked, "if Jesus could heal all those people, why could He not have prevented his friend from dying?" Of course, those who questioned Jesus' ability did not yet know that the best was to come when Jesus, instead of healing Lazarus' illness, raised him from the dead.
This past year has been the hardest for me to date (2008 takes a close second when, 2 months after we bought the house, Jon lost his job, the car died, and we found out that Lauren was on the way - all within the same week). Although I would give anything to change the fact that Tyler has diabetes and has to inject insulin multiple times a day, I love what this year has taught me about trusting in God's sovereignty and seeing just how He works everything together for my good and to His glory.
When life began unraveling this summer, I couldn't see past putting one foot in front of the other. When Lazarus grew sick and died, I don't think Lazarus' sisters Mary and Martha could have predicted that they'd see their brother alive on earth after he died, either.
For each difficulty this year, God provided me the measure of grace needed to get through. His timing was perfect. He had plans bigger than any I could have imagined. When He allowed Lazarus to die, He permitted it that His glory might shine more fully and so that more people would put their faith in Him. When the frustrations of this summer hit us, it was so that we would more fully comprehend the greatness of our God and would better understand His kindness and grace, so that we would trust more readily that His way is far superior to our own.
A familiar quote from C.S. Lewis appropriately sums up the lessons from this year's suffering: "I know now, Lord, why you utter no answer. You are Yourself the answer. Before Your face questions die away. What other answer could suffice?" I didn't necessarily question why He allowed the trials that He did, but I am finding that He Himself silences any questions that might try to surface.
I don't have to love the fact that Tyler has diabetes or that Jon thought he would lose his job (it's now going much better). But I do love the Lord more for His care for me during these and other trials that we faced this year. I can love the lessons that each Lazarus experience brings, because they bring me closer to the One Who brought back Lazarus from the dead.