Almost immediately, Meg threw up all over the couch. (Thank You, Lord, for slip covers.) She couldn't keep anything down for the next six or seven hours. Dave and I raced into her room five or six times in the first half of the night to hold the bucket, wipe the mouth, smooth the hair. Poor little thing. It was the first time that she's vomited repeatedly--it must be so bewildering for a kid when that happens. What's happening to me??
We were very grateful that she was able to settle down around 1:00 a.m. She slept soundly through the rest of the night, which meant that we did too. Of course, she did wake up with a yucky diaper this morning, as well as--you guessed it--an absolutely terrible rash. And then she threw up again this afternoon right before her nap. We think that the worst of it may be over now, but only time will tell. If our experience with Matthew holds true, I'll spend the next day or so coaxing her appetite back into existence. And of course, there's still the chance that Dave and/or I will get this yucky thing.
This afternoon I was sitting in the kitchen, eating some lunch. I had just finished mopping up the floor where Meg missed the bucket. I was tired. I was thinking about sickness. Why have the kids been sick so much lately? Is there something I should be doing for them that I'm not? Will Meg throw up again in the middle of her nap? How long will this bug last? And I was fretting about what would happen if David or I got sick. I'm already so behind on laundry and cleaning. How will I ever dig out from this mess if I have to spend the next who-knows-how-long bending over the toilet?
And then God, in his perfect sovereignty, broke into my little fret session with this post on Megan Russell's blog. (By the way, if you are a young wife and/or mom of young ones and you don't already read "russell-life" regularly, I highly recommend that you add it to your list. Megan is a treasure trove of resources, both soul-stirring and practical! You will be encouraged!) The following is a quote from John Macduff's The Faithful Promiser.
“My soul! Be still!
You are in the hands of your Covenant God.
Were all the strange circumstances in your history the result of accident, or chance,
you might well be overwhelmed.
But ‘all things,’ and this thing (be what it may) which may be now disquieting you,
is one of these ‘all things’ that are so working mysteriously for your good.
Trust your God!
He will not deceive you — your interests are with Him in safe custody.
When sight says, ‘All these things are against me,’
let faith rebuke the hasty conclusion,
and say, ‘Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?’
How often does God hedge up your way with thorns, to elicit simple trust!
How seldom can we see all things so working for our good?
But it is better discipline to believe it.
Oh! For faith amid frowning providences, to say,
‘I know that Your judgments are good’
and, relying in the dark to exclaim,
‘Though He slays me, yet will I trust Him!’
The same hand that was once nailed to the Cross,
is now wielding the scepter on the throne…
How can I doubt the wisdom, and the faithfulness, and love,
of the most mysterious earthly dealing,
when I know that the Roll of Providence
is thus in the hands of Him
who has given the mightiest pledge Omnipotence could give
of His tender interest in my soul’s well-being,
by giving Himself for me?”
I read it through once, hungrily, too fast. Then I started again and savored it, trying to digest every word. Boy, was that what I needed to hear! As small, as meager a trial as this bout of family illness has been, today I was right at that point of thinking, "All these things are against me!" But oh, let faith indeed " rebuke the hasty conclusion!" Is a few weeks of sickness enough to erase the cross from my mind? Will I let a stomach flu make me forget that God has given me the "mightiest pledge"--the blood of His very own Son for my sins? "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" Or has the One who saved me erred in allowing me a month of coughing and contagion?
No, there is no error here. This sickness, this thing which is "now disquieting me"... it is "working mysteriously for my good." It is, even though I don't see how. "My interests are with Him in safe custody." Hallelujah. Amen.