Nobody told me how hard it was going to be.
Nobody told me about the emotional roller-coaster ride I would go on after hearing the words of the emergency room doctor: “Your daughter needs immediate attention at a larger hospital.”
My helpless little baby had had a seizure out of nowhere. I had stood there in the room, watching my wife hold our daughter. “What am I supposed to do?” Thousands of thoughts ran in a million different directions. The adrenaline rushed through my veins, my palms were sweaty, yet my body couldn’t respond. I must have looked pitiful and helpless as a father, frozen in shock. Anger and fear collided as we rushed to the emergency room that Saturday morning.
“Is she okay? What is going on?” No answer.
My wife and I had run out the doors, driving madly to the hospital, our 8-month-old screaming at the top of her lungs. And there was not a single thing we could do to help her.
From the gut of my soul I cried, “Why God?”
Where are you, God, in the midst of my pain? How can I trust your goodness in the midst of this suffering?
Here are two ways God comforted me in my situation:
Christ Is Our Peace in the Midst of the Storm
After spending all day in the emergency room, caught between worry and anxiety, I was reminded by God of His closeness in our lives.
When Christ is the captain of your soul, there is this peace in the midst of the storm of life. While Jesus does not always rebuke the wind and the waves and calm the storm (as He did in Mark 4:35-41), Christ’s sustaining presence never leaves us. God doesn’t necessarily change the circumstances, but He gives us peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7).
When the circumstances and worry hit me like truck, I cried out, “God, why is this happening? Why aren’t You doing anything when I pray?” And God granted me peace simply by being with me in my trials. God reminded my wife and I, “Be not weary and dismayed, I will get this right. Be not bitter and angry, for I your God am in control of it all.” All things have happened by His eternal permission.
Though I lay awake at 2:00 a.m., thinking through the responsibilities at church that I had to carry out in only a few hours, the scriptures I had memorized as a young believer struck me like an avalanche of grace: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).
The grace of God alone allowed me to be able to step away from my family that day to preach, teach, and lead the congregation, as He was the solid rock I stood upon. He used this trial to draw me even closer in Christ-likeness for His glory.
Nothing Can Separate Us From the Love of Christ
When the storm of life hit and I needed to take shelter, these words comforted my soul:
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? . . . For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35, 39)
In the midst of my anxiety, God revealed to me that He is a good and perfect Father. When I thought, “I could have, should have, would have. . .” and felt like a major failure of a father, I trusted instead in the sovereignty of God—who was perfect in all of His ways. When I felt like I couldn’t take another step or take another breath, my Heavenly Father reminded me, “My son, trust Me on this roller-coaster of anxiety. I’ve got you in my righteous right hand.”
After the adrenaline rush, I looked to my wife’s head on my shoulder, and my daughter in my arms, and I was overwhelmed by the reality that was set before me. God granted us the peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7). In the silence of the night, God’s close presence pressed upon our hearts.
God used this suffering of our daughter’s illness for His own glory. Though I was in despair the entire journey, His grace and His infinite power held us tight.
God reminded me that, no matter what happens in our lives, we can place our trust in the Creator of all things and be sustained by His irresistible grace.