As I pondered Caleb's
illness, and the things that had happened since we found out, it was almost as
if many pieces of a puzzle began fitting together. And as they fit together, the
picture began emerging. I believe that was God trying to comfort the pain; to
give me some sense of what is in his mind. I have no illusion that I understand
the “big picture” of Caleb's illness – quite the opposite. I think God shared
only a very small piece of his plan. But it was enough for me to clearly see the
Hand of God. Perhaps someday, God willing, the entire thing will become
Since Caleb was diagnosed,
we have received a ton of mail from many people. And we love it. It encourages
us, it lifts us up, and is a true blessing. I was pondering this mail as I
washed the car. And two lines from two different letters suddenly came into my
mind: “it's been a long time since I asked God for anything, but I'm praying for
Caleb”, and, “I'm not much of one for prayer, but I'm praying for your son”. And
with that, it was almost as if, I understood.
At that moment, I began to
see what God has done with Caleb. In at least those two cases, He has
re-established a relationship with people who had wandered away from close
friendship with God! There may be a long way to go there, but people have
resumed their conversation with God! It
brought joy to my heart to know that my son may have been used by God for this
purpose. And then I remembered what I have always told others – God uses things
for his glory that we may not understand. I remembered how God used Elizabeth's
son, John, to call people to repentance. I remembered how God used his own son
to bring salvation to all the world. And finally. I remembered how God has
brought people to my life that have changed me dramatically. And I felt an
incredible sense of joy and gratitude to God for using my son to be an
instrument of His grace.
Once this thought became
clear, I began to think of all the things that have happened as a result of
this. Our neighbors have come together in an amazing way. Caleb's family at his
school have gotten behind him (and us) in a way that brings joyful tears to my
eyes. My colleagues at work have been there to support me, in ways that amaze me
every day. We have met people who have shared love with us, invited us to their
homes, and prayed with us. I began to think of all the GOOD in the world that
God has shown to us. And I considered the line in Genesis - “God looked at all
he had created, and found it VERY GOOD.” Amen – it is.
God has called people back to Himself. He has brought communities and people together. He has shown me all the good things and people in this world – something that I'd honestly began to wonder about. And he has reminded me that He is God, He is in charge, and He is keenly aware of everything happening. Something else I'd been wondering about recently. And that brings me great peace and joy.
Am I glad my son has cancer? No. Do I feel good about the prospect he could die? No. But that day, I firmly realized that this whole thing which seemed like a nightmare is actually a holy thing. God is doing amazing things through Caleb. Wonderful things. And I am glad for my son to be used as an instrument of God's grace. And I know that "in all things God works for good with those who love him" (Romans 8:28). And I am peaceful. Even joyful. I realize Caleb is in God's hands. And there are no better hands for him to be in. I remember the illness of Lazarus, and how Jesus said, “The final result of this sickness will not be the death of Lazarus; this has happened in order to bring glory to God, and it will be the means by which the Son of God will receive glory." (John 11:4) And I hope that might be true with Caleb, too. But in any case, I trust God. I praise and glorify Him for the wonderful things he's doing with Caleb. And I pray that His will be done.