Abiding in God’s Providence ~ 4 of 4

Resting in God’s Sovereignty

Abiding in God’s Providence by Mary Silverberg

I take great comfort in God’s providence.  He is good and kind, and a merciful God who only allows what is good to come my way (Romans 8:28).  I trust that He has an honorable purpose in sending diabetes into our lives. I accept it as from His hand, and He enables me to abide with this present affliction. He is how I do it. He is how I manage.  He is how I live, and move, and have my being (Acts 17:28). He is my dearest friend.  All my sorrows are known to Him, and not one comes my way that He does not allow. He is a true friend who never does any wrong. He is always there to ease my burden, and He cares for me (1 Peter 5:7). In times of joy and especially trouble, he is with me, offering His peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7).

It is abiding—that is living abundantly—in Christ, and resting in God’s sovereignty, that enables me to give thanks and praise to God through life’s crises. I remember when Jason was paralyzed from the hips down. I was happy he had an interest in music. He enjoyed piano and especially the violin. If something had happened that had prevented his full recovery, he could still pursue his musical interests and make a profession out of them if necessary. It was a huge blessing, but the Lord also sent many daily gifts our way, and to overlook God’s small mercies would have been a shame.

On one occasion Jason had just been home from the hospital maybe a day or two.  I took the doctor’s prescription to the licensing department and came home with a handicap license tag. “Look what I got!” I said with a smile on my face as I revealed the object that was to ensure a close parking place wherever we went. The whole family, including Jason, cheered as I danced around the living room with the tag. It was a happy time, and very uplifting to rejoice in God’s tender mercies, even in great affliction.

There is no doubt about it. Diabetes has been a trial in our lives, but looking to the Word of God for understanding and comfort has been our stay. When the boys have questioned me as to why they have this disease, or why God allowed this to happen, I am free to tell them that I don’t know why, but I do know that God is in control, and He only does what is right.

When the boys were young, they each had had their moments of distress over this burden, and I didn’t deny their feelings of sadness, but we didn’t complain about it either. I would put my arms around them and hold them. “I am so sorry,” I would console them. “I wish I could make it go away. Yes, it is hard, and I would take it for you if I could.” After some cuddle time, I would pray with them, and we could always think of many things to be thankful for, and we would both be comforted.

I honestly believe it is the influence of the Word of God in our lives that has given the boys such a good attitude concerning their diabetes. All three accept it and live happy, even healthy lives.  I can’t think of one area in their lives that has been denied them because of their disease.

One day I was talking with my oldest son. He is eighteen now and has been diabetic since age two. It’s all he’s ever known. He has done so well with his disease, both physically and emotionally. I suggested to him that he could do a really great job helping others to deal with their diabetes. Maybe he could speak at a support group meeting. His response was definitely not what I expected.  He didn’t think he’d be all that great at it. When I pursued the topic, he said, “I just don’t think it’s that hard. What would I say? Get over it?”

Often I do not understand God’s providence, but there are times when it is clear.  Zachary was born just a year after Jason, and unless you’ve had two children that close together, especially boys, I don’t think you can fully grasp just how hard it is, but I loved them dearly and was so very happy to have them. Zachary was a delight. His personality was very different from Jason’s, and yet they blended so well together.

Jason was still a toddler when he became diabetic, so he never left the house without me or my husband, but the time came when he would have been old enough to play in the backyard, or out in the field, or down by the creek by himself, if it hadn’t been for his diabetes. However, with Zachary so close in age, and experienced with Jason’s insulin reactions, I could send the two of them off together, confident that Zach would help Jason or come get me if needed, and that’s just what he did, on more than one occasion.

I remember one day in particular.  Jason and Zach were out playing in the snow while I was at home in the cozy house with my little ones. Zach came storming through the front door, and burst out, “Jason’s low. He needs help!” I ran to the kitchen and grabbed a (sweet) soda, threw on my coat, and slipped my tennis shoes on, not even bothering with socks. I raced after Zach through a snow-covered field, not even feeling the ice on my ankles or the cold air whipping through my unzipped coat. Jason was lying in the snow, not able to get up by himself, let alone walk. As I gently coaxed him to drink the soda, his condition reminded me of a happy drunk. After a few minutes of sipping, I carried him home to finish recovering in the warmth of our house.

I was thankful that Jason and Zach were such good buddies and so close in age, and that I could count on Zach to be there for his brother. I’m afraid Jason might have been a mama’s boy, or at least stuck at home a lot more if it hadn’t been for Zach. If I was ever tempted to wonder why God had given us these boys so close in age, I had my answer. Zach was great for Jason, and Jason in turn for Zach, and later both brothers for Nathan, as they had set such an outstanding example of living with diabetes. After all, he had seen them living a wonderful life.

Nevertheless, I think on the whole, this disease has been the hardest on my youngest son, but I have witnessed Nathan’s childlike faith and believe he has come to accept God’s providence.

For a while, when Nathan was about ten years old, the two of us had gotten into the habit of having a special time together reading the Bible and praying, just the two of us. On one particular occasion it was Nathan’s turn to pray first. He was thanking the Lord, listing usual things small and great, mostly stuff I had heard before, and then he said something so surprising that it seemed to jolt my very being. “And Lord, thank you for my diabetes.” I don’t think I heard the rest of his prayer.  I was so dumbfounded. I could hardly believe my ears. My mind immediately raced back to Sunday’s sermon.

Our pastor had preached on thankfulness in trials and thankfulness for trials because they are meant for our good, and to bring us closer to Christ. Well, I know I heard the sermon, and I think I understood it, but I certainly hadn’t applied it to my life. I had tried to teach my children and set an example of being thankful in all things, but it had never occurred to me to be thankful for the trial of diabetes itself, even after I heard that sermon—at least not until my ten-year-old son had simply prayed a prayer of thankfulness to God for his diabetes.

Now it was my turn to pray, and I had a big lump in my throat. My eyes were tearing up, and I couldn’t speak. I wasn’t able to bring myself to thank God for this trial. Yet, my son had done it, and certainly it was just as trying, if not more so, for him. I remember thinking, I’m the grown-up here. I’m supposed to be more spiritually advanced. How is it that he is okay with this, and I’m not? The hard truth of the matter was I hadn’t totally accepted the affliction, and the Lord chose the prayer of a small child to point that out to me. The silence was growing, and I knew Nathan was waiting for me to pray. I managed to stumble through a short prayer, thanking the Lord for His mercies and asking Him to forgive my sins, and to help me submit to His will, but I really desired time on my own to examine my thoughts and to seek the Lord.

I have since come to peace with God’s providence in sending diabetes into our lives. I take great comfort in knowing that He has a purpose in everything He does. I don’t always understand it, but I do know that His ways are higher than my ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). There are times when this disease seems difficult for me, but I know that God will not tempt me above that which I can bear (1 Corinthians 10:13), and He is faithful to deliver me of my struggles when He sees fit. In times of weakness or despair, I know I can turn to Him who is a friend that is closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24), and I rest in His sovereignty.

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Comments

  1. mary says:

    Mary,

    That was so profound and I learned from it. children can teach us alot through their eyes. I am not strong in my faith and feel stagnant. I long to be where you and your family are in your relationship with our good Lord. I see people around that need help and guidance but I am not adequately equipped to help them. I struggle for the right scripture and words that might encourage them. Thank yoou for writing about yours and your children’s lives. I will pray for them. I’d also encourage them to share their experiences with others because you never know who you are going to help . Just like you just helped me.Thanks and God bless your endeavors.

  2. Debbie says:

    Thank you Mary! Your family and your sacrificial, loving care for each of them has truly touched our lives and inspired us. God bless you guys as you continue to walk courageously in Him with the challenges that you face every day! Love the Taillefer’s

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