Verse of the Day

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

~Romans 8:28

Today's Devotional Thought

March 25, 2013 by Rachel Piferi


Unique Trials, Unique Opportunities

As a parent, you never know what kind of questions your children are going to ask. Some questions are silly and fun. Some questions are deep and meaningful. Some questions make you smile. Some questions make you laugh. Some questions make you wonder what your child was thinking about.

And some questions hurt your heart.

That was the type of question that my youngest daughter asked me last week that stopped me in my tracks and stopped my heart for a moment.

I cannot even remember what we were doing that would prompt such a question. And to be honest, we were doing nothing special. I was in the kitchen and my little girl came up and said,


"Yes honey, what is it?" I replied.

"When you were my age, were you sick like me?"

I didn't know what to say in the moment and the question made me wonder what she meant exactly. And a pang of pain went right through my heart as I anticipated all of the questions that will come unexpectedly like this one in the years coming up.

Was she thinking about her most recent doctor's visit and how she'd like to not have to go all of the time, hoping that when she gets to be my age she will be better?

Was she thinking about the medicine that I give her each day and wondering why no one else has to take it?

Was she thinking about the restrictions on her diet and the hope that maybe someday she would get to eat cheese and chocolate and peanut butter again?

Was she thinking that maybe if I was sick as a child then there was hope for her to outgrow it?

Or was she thinking nothing at all and this question was just a random musing of an almost 5 year old with a chronic disease?

I don't know why she asked it and she seemed quite satisfied with the answer I gave her, running off to play with her dog and balloon as quickly as she ran up to me with the question. And I am quite certain she didn't give it another thought.

But, I did.

In fact, it laid on my heart for a couple of days. On the outside, you would have never guessed I was wrestling with something. But on the inside, my heart hurt with the reminder of the journey my daughter has been given.

A journey I know full well is an absolute blessing from God compared to the journey doctors thought she would take.

But a journey still full of some challenges that I quite simply don't want her to have to endure.

As I wrestled with God over her simple question, I begged him to change my perspective. I don't want to look at her diagnosis through the lens of all of the negative things it introduces to her life. I want to look at her diagnosis as a unique platform that God has given her {and I} to have a very specific impact in other people's lives in a way that many others cannot.

On Friday, I wrote about the many things that we beg God to take from us. Things that are hard to bear and that hurt.

Things like a four year old with a chronic illness.

I wrote about it because I have begged God to heal my daughter. Before each check-up, I pray that he would heal her kidneys and show us another miracle. I cry to him how I don't want my sweet little girl to have to endure this disease.

I beg him to take it from us.

I'm sure you have done it too. We so often beg God to take these hard things in life from us.

And sometimes, God does. And sometimes, God does not.

But do you know what he is showing me through repeated doctor's visits and uncertain futures? He is showing me that if he has not taken it from us, then he has a unique purpose for it - one that we were specifically designed for and placed in to fulfill. One that, although it may hurt and be hard, will also be full of so many blessings and joy. And one that gives us a special way to experience Jesus and share him with others.

I don't know about you, but I don't want to miss out on experiencing Jesus in a new way. And I certainly don't want to miss out on the opportunities that He has given me to share him with others.

I am quite certain that the questions from Isabella have just begun. And as I thought about this one last week, I realized that my job is to help her understand (as she gets older) the very special opportunity she has to experience Jesus on her journey. Then she will get to show him to others who are on a similar journey by sharing her story with them.

We all have a journey that can tell others about Jesus. And each one of our journeys has those hard pieces that make us uniquely positioned to reach out to someone else. Embrace that. Embrace the beauty of your journey and the unique opportunities you have to love others and show Jesus because of this road you're on.

I know it can be tough, sweet sisters. But keep your eyes focused on the good that God can do through you as you walk with perseverance down the road you've been given. That is what I am doing. If I dwell on her question too long, my heart really hurts. So instead, I am focusing on the amazing opportunities she and I will have to introduce Jesus to others because of her life and because of her journey.

And that makes my heart sing.

Memorize this verse today:

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
~Romans 8:28

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