What We Have to Do Now
I’ve googled a lot of medical symptoms throughout my life. I wish this time my guess was wrong.
Instead, last week, my husband drove through a winter storm in order to take our youngest son to the emergency room of our children’s hospital. Our suspicions were confirmed: our son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. In an instant our world changed.
As we sat through hours of instruction with hospital educators, practiced administering insulin, and learned how to take blood sugar tests I felt so overwhelmed. It was as if I was being handed a newborn again… except even scarier. This isn’t how it’s supposed to be. Yet it’s here nonetheless. We may not feel capable, but we just have to.
We have to give our son four shots a day no matter how much crying ensues. We have to wake up at 2 AM to prick a finger no matter how much he resists. We have to count every carb that crosses onto his plate, and be more attentive than we ever were. We have to live by numbers and dosings. We have to watch out for mood changes and keep track of his activity. There’s no way around it, we’re his pancreas now.
My brain is far too muddled by adrenaline and emotions from the past week. These days we live meal by meal, as I brace myself for what must be done. I can only grip on to the fact that my Savior not only sees, but knows my pain. In taking on flesh he bore the aches and hurt of a world cursed by sin. A world where our bodies hurt, and pancreases stop working. He experienced the sting of death as he wept for his friend in the grave (John 11:35), and later agonized over the torture he would feel on the cross (Mark 14:34). Our Savior cried out to the Lord in his anguish, repeating the same words from the Psalms that pass through my own lips (Psalm 22:2).
Hebrews reminds me that Jesus sympathizes with his suffering children (Heb. 4:15). He not only keeps track of each tear and every time we toss in our bed, but he personally knows the grief that brings them (Psalm 56:8).
You may not be facing diabetes. Maybe you are forced into different circumstances. Maybe you have to wake up and face another day of work with an aching body. Maybe you have to juggle another day through the ups and downs of mental illness. Maybe you have to help a child through their painful traumatic past. Maybe you have to parent your children alone. Or maybe you have to live one more day in this world without the family member you love.
I wish we didn’t have to. One day we won’t.
But in the meantime, we can hold tight to our Savior. Because suffering friend, he experienced it all, and he didn’t even have to.
What we never would have chosen for ourselves, our Savior chose to walk through–for us. He suffered for us. His body broke, so that we could be brought nearer. He didn’t have to, but because of his great love, he did. And now that same Savior who intimately knows our pain, gently comforts us, holds us, loves us, and walks beside us in whatever it is we have to do.
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