These lyrics by Laura Story have so much truth that it hurts...
We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things
'Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise
What if each trial is a means of walking closer to Him?
That's crazy, right? I mean, how can that be? Isn't God our protector and provider? Isn't He our light and our way? Isn't he our "good good father?"
Yes. He is all of those things but how often do we really cry out to Him when we are grateful and thankful? Beyond the "Dear God, thank you for..." prayers that we say. How often do we weep in gratitude to Him?
Honestly? Almost never do I weep from gratefulness even though I regularly tell my children to "be GRATEFUL DAMNIT!"
Because, I'm the world's best mom. That's why.
So God can be and is ALL of those things and life can still sometimes suck. He isn't out to get us or deceive us, He's out to strengthen us and is begging us to trust Him. Even when the outcome isn't great. Actually, ESPECIALLY when the outcome isn't great.
Dad went to the ER a couple of times for what he thought was pains from a hernia. Turns out it wasn't but the doctors weren't satisfied with just telling him nothing was wrong. So they took some scans and found a small mass on his kidney... something unrelated to what his pains indicated.
God's mercy in disguise. They discovered this tumor because of an unrelated pain. God wanted Dad in that ER so we could face the next trial.
We have two kidneys, right? Except Dad has only one functioning kidney and the mass was on the good one. Because of course it was. His doctor referred him to a local urologist and Mom sent me a text one afternoon, "appointment with Dr. Stewart on Friday."
Hold the phone.
"Dr. STEWART? That's Tyler's dad!!!"
God's mercy in disguise.
I know Dr. Stewart. I adore him, actually. He and his wife raised one of the best kids I've had the opportunity to "lead" in my work - even if he was a Lorena Leopard. The Stewart's are amazing, kind, God-fearing people and all of us were able to relax just a little. Because we were in good hands and clearly still in God's hands.
So Dr. Stewart did some scans and other medical type things and determined that Dad would definitely need surgery to remove the mass. He didn't like the way it looked and wanted it out and while he could do the surgery, he referred Dad to the guy that he would have wanted operating on him.
The appointment was made, the surgery was scheduled and we all waited. That part sucks. The waiting. But the waiting is just another opportunity to weep in gratitude. We had no idea if the mass was cancerous, we all just wanted it gone. But we all prayed for this procedure that was going to remove part of his only working kidney to work but even more, that his kidney would still function. Dad wants to avoid dialysis at all costs.
Last week we all made the trek to Dallas. We were the loud, obnoxious, crazy crew in the waiting room for eight hours. We waited and prayed and delighted in the right now. Dad's surgeon emerged and said some stuff and we were still waiting for four words...
"The kidney is working."
Undisguised mercy. We didn't have to go looking for His gift - He sent it freely in those words.
Dad's not completely out of the woods. The little kidney that could still needs to keep on keeping on, but his doctor is pleased and that gives us confidence. He still has one cyst that we need to watch but... we still have him. And will for a long long time. And he has us and most certainly my momma, a woman that was born to take care of others. I honestly don't know how she does it (and that's not an invitation to find out, sweet Jesus) but she manages to keep moving along like that kidney. Working through the good and the bad, cleaning out all the crap and making us all feel good as new.
His work has never been disguised in her - so thanks, Momma.