(Recently I was given the question, "How has God been working in your life recently?" The origin and context for this question is unrelated to what has happened with my son, Seth, but the answer I gave is all about that. Here it is with a little editing for the blogging setup.)
The answer to this question is like a dagger to my soul, and painful beyond description as I write these words. Clearly I am wrestling with both God’s bountiful generosity and God’s heart-wrenching inaction regarding my ten year old son’s accidental paralysis. Seth could walk fine with no problems, but it was feared that the spastic nerves in his legs due to a slight case of cerebral palsy would become more interfering as he grew older. It was thought that a surgical procedure called a rhizotomy would prevent this by isolating and removing the effects of any spastic nerves in his legs. The procedure was considered to have very few risks, with potential paralysis not even a consideration. Nevertheless, in what is now the only known case to ever occur, Seth experienced complete paralysis from the waist down about five hours after surgery. Blood pressure inexplicably built up around the spinal cord and began to starve the cells of oxygen. No one knows why or how this happened, but it is all too obvious that it did, and this condition has continued without improvement until this moment thirty days later.
In the meantime, I have descended into the depths of hell itself, desperately seeking God’s mercy for my son. Nothing I have ever experienced before begins to compare with the heartbreak I feel for what is happening to Seth, and never before have I been so desperate before my Lord. I am driven to trust God like I’ve never trusted before, yet at the same time being overwhelmed with anguish of God’s apparent inaction. Why has God let this happen to Seth? Why is God so slow in responding to the prayers of so many?
I am not in a so-called “crisis of faith,” as, like Peter, where else can I go to find the words of eternal life! God is God if there is a God! The clear mercy and compassion of the Lord is daily flowing forth in the amazing ways my family and I have been cared for by so many, and in the provisions for us all, even for Seth. These signs and wonders are many, but still so far no healing for my son is among them.
In this crushing wait for God's glory, I have walked the terrible path that Abraham walked with his son, Isaac, as they approached the mountain of sacrifice in Moriah (Genesis 22:1-14). I have had to lay my son, Seth, on that altar in faith that somehow “God will provide.” In an obedience that shreds my soul I have had to give up my son as I place my faith in a God I can in no way comprehend who is asking me to do something I can in no way reason through. I must obey this stark, sheer Word of God, trusting that somehow God’s promise will be fulfilled despite the apparent unreasonableness and injustice of the present situation. Yes, I know the anguish in Abraham’s heart as he drew his dagger to slay his only son, Isaac. It is the anguish of obedience to the Word while trusting the One who spoke the Word to keep His promise. God will provide for His promise! This I am believing, this I am standing on! God who calls me to obey will also provide!