‘And I...and I...’ Miss Five was doing her best to explain the excitement of being confined to a hospital bed in an isolation ward. ‘I can have brekkie, lunch and dinner in my bed! And they moved me from one place to another on my bed!’
The last few days have been one of those times you’re glad you only have to live it once! In the past six months our family has walked some challenging roads. Five or more times, we've seen the inside of emergency rooms.
One time a granddaughter arrived in ambulance in full spinal precaution. Another trip ended in an appendectomy. Then, on another occasion, we were given an appointment for an MRI where they were looking for a ‘space invading lesion in the brain’. And now the littlest one has one arm attached to an IV machine and the other hand lying idle as it is covered with massive blisters. As well as that we've discovered the wonders of epipens. This is a small device that when activated injects enough adrenalin into ones system that it stops life threatening allergic reactions. Three times in eight days they've injected into one of my kids as she is grabbing at her throat, struggling to breath.
As I tell this story very calmly all appears to be well. However, perchance I had put on my novelist hat and helped you experience the emotion of these last months, it would be a different story! And where was God whilst all this is happening?
To answer the question, let me tell you another grandchildren story. Some years back, we were blessed with two baby granddaughters in one year. They were born healthy, strong and gorgeous. When the first one was six days old, she was rushed into emergency with raging temperatures. Doctors did a spinal tap, looking for meningitis. They inserted a drip into her tiny veins and poured antibiotics into her for eight days before her exhausted mother could bring her home to her brother and sisters.
When the second beautiful baby was about three months old, her mother, for some unexplainable reason, checked her in the night. Her skin was burning hot. They raced to the hospital where doctors did a spinal tap and then administered antibiotics.
I was mad, hopping mad! What was going on that two of my little babies would have to suffer this way. Where was my God? Why wasn't He on the job?
So I went to God demanding answers. ‘What is going on? These are my grandchildren! We've prayed for them, covered them with your protection. How could you let them suffer this way?’
In the silence, after my ranting was spent, I heard a little voice. I could sense the pain of one falsely accused.
‘But, Jo. I saved them both for you.’
Those few words broke my anger and humbled me, moved my complaint into worship. Yes, they could easily have died, have become statistics in the cot death numbers, or be among those who succumb to meningitis. God did work on my behalf.
So as I reflect on these few days of drama, I am thankful; thankful for medicine that is fighting infection, thankful for doctors, thankful for an epipens that save lives. I'm thankful for the loan of my friend’s car. Thankful for countless little things. I'm thankful that God looks after our finances and so there is no need for me to count the dollars as they fly out of my purse. He will meet all our needs.
I watch and pray as assault after assault hits my family. I know this is a season and it will pass. God does have all things working together for good - for everyone’s good. I'm expecting great things after the battle. All battles do end and I know the plunder will be good.