Thursday, October 9, 2008


Last week, Ethan had an appointment with a new doctor. An appointment that took two months to get. We consider the doctor that suggested Ethan see this new doctor to be a good friend. One that really cares about Ethan, sees his potential and basically, is just a gift from God. So, based on his recommendation, off we went. Walking on new and unfamiliar territory. My least favorite place to walk.

The doctor's office was in a really neat old two-story house, with a beautiful view of the bay. It had a nice ramp for those who can't use stairs but guess what? When we got inside we realized all the patient rooms were upstairs and ... no elevator. So, for the next 45 minutes we were stuck in a tiny office sitting on top of each other. That would be me, Jim, Ethan, Ethan's wheelchair and the doc. Jim had to position Ethan's chair sideways to the doctor so it would fit into the room. He couldn't even look the doctor in the face.

For those scolding me for complaining, I've already taken care of that. I'm just setting the scene.

I know that if Jim thought the only way for this doctor to help Ethan was for us to meet with him on top of the roof, he would find a way. And, I would have found a way to get this tiny, petite body of mine up there, too.

That was a joke. About the tiny, petite body.

So, we sat on top of each other and relived the last five years. We told him as much as we could about Ethan's injury and everything that Ethan had been through since then. The doctor never looked up from the notes he was taking. No "wow." No "what-a-miracle." No "amazing." Just silence.

Every time I would look over at Ethan, his eyes were saying, "I'm sorry." I hope he could read what I wanted mine to say.

Finally, the doctor looked up from his notes and said, "I'm going to need more time."

Appointment over. Done for the day.

We loaded back into the car. Jim wanted to check out the area around the doctor's office. Ethan wanted something to drink and a Payday candy bar, and I wanted to wake up from a really bad dream.

Jim drove around for a few minutes, Ethan got his candy bar and I, unable to wake up from reality, just sat in the backseat and cried. I have mastered the art of crying without making any noise. I didn't want to make Ethan feel any worse than he already felt. But I couldn't stop the tears.

I reached over in the seat and grabbed my Bible. I take it with me if we are going to be in the car for any length of time, and since we moved, we are an hour away from almost everywhere we go. Including this doctor. I intended to read some Psalms but my Bible fell open to Jeremiah 32. Verse 17 was highlighted, so my eyes went to it first.

"Ah, Lord, God!
Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth
by Your great power and outstretched arm.
There is nothing too hard for You."

Pretty comforting words.

But then the "whys" came.

But God, if there's nothing too hard for you, why do we need these doctors? Why use drugs I'd rather not give my child? Why, if it is your will for these problems to be taken care of, don't you just do it? Why do you want me to trust a doctor that is really just another stranger? I know all good things come from you ... why can't we just skip the middle man?

I started to turn back to Psalms but decided to keep reading in Jeremiah 32. And when I read verses 38-41, I knew why.

"They shall be my people, and I will be their God;
then I will give them one heart and one way,
that they may fear Me forever,
for the good of them and their children after them.
And I will make an everlasting covenant with them;
that I will not turn away from doing them good;
but I will put My fear in their hearts
so that they will not depart from Me.
Yes, I will rejoice over them to do good,
and I will assuredly plant them in this land,
with all My heart and with all My soul."

He promised me and my children good. Not just once. But three times.

I sat in the back seat with mascara smeared all over my face. My sweet child sat up front with his dad, while his wheelchair was in the trunk. And then and there, God made me a promise. No fanfare. No loud trumpets announcing He was ready to speak. Nothing falling from the sky. But still, He spoke. And I heard.

I've thought about those verses all week. And I have decided that the problem is:

I don't know what good looks like.
And, I want to know.
I want to know exactly what it looks like.

Sometimes, I find myself stomping my foot and demanding to know. But, He keeps saying:

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
nor are your ways, My ways," says the Lord.
"For as the heavens are higher than the the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways,
and my thoughts than your thoughts."
Isaiah 55:8-9

I bet if I could sit down and have a talk with some of the saints in heaven, they would probably tell me to calm down. To relax. To trust Him. That He really does know what He's doing. They would probably smile when they talked about the trials they walked through, and that the pain they experienced was well worth seeing God's will worked out in their lives. In their children's lives. That it was all for their good. And, they would tell me that they wouldn't change any of it. They would say, "Cheri, if you only knew... If you could only see..."

And, one day I will.

But for now...

Our schedule with Ethan today includes a doctor's visit, an appointment with the occupational therapist and getting an EKG. I'd rather be going to my Bible study, or the beach, or packing up the car to go see Seth. I'd rather be watching Ethan play golf or hearing about his new career.

But still, God has promised me good.

Three times.

And I think, for at least today, I'm gonna try to take Him up on it.

1 comment:

  1. I hear you and thank you again for sharing your thoughts and verses with me. I love you. Mary Jo