I distinctly remember the first time I called 9-1-1 from my home phone (a landline at the time). In our late 20’s, my wife and I had a 2-year-old daughter in anaphylactic shock after eating a snack. At the time, I didn’t even know what that was. But what I did know was my daughter was in trouble. She had hives all over her body, swollen lips, and a swollen tongue, and was confused and frightened, as were her parents. Stripped down to her diaper, I remember holding her up in my hands, raised to the sky like The Lion King. I wanted to make sure that the sirens of the nearby fire truck knew exactly which driveway was in desperate need of help.
After a shot of epinephrine, our daughter was doing much better in a matter of minutes. It took much longer for Mom and Dad! It obviously changed our lives substantially from that day forward. We identified a couple of potentially deadly food allergies, along with dozens of other concerning allergies. We always made sure that an EpiPen followed our daughter around. We had to become an expert in reading labels. We rarely went out to eat (friendly on the budget and waistline). To her credit, my daughter Brooklyn seemed to take it all in stride. Despite missing out on tons of tasty treats she saw her friends eating, she was rarely bitter or angry. A steady supply of substitute Skittles also helped.
Now finishing her second year of college at Northwest Nazarene University, she texted me and Mrs. K. a picture this week of her first taste of Sushi. She was so excited to be carefully expanding her dietary horizons. The young woman she is becoming, of whom we are very proud of, was shaped very much by her childhood challenges. I know in heaven, if there is food to be eaten, she will want to enjoy some peanut butter for the first time!
The apostle Paul had some unknown “thorn in His flesh.” It was significant enough that He asked God to take it away from Him multiple times. But God confirmed that His “grace was sufficient” for all of Paul’s needs. In fact, He revealed that “God’s power is made perfect in our weakness!” When Paul heard that, he began to “gladly rejoice in his weaknesses, so that Christ’s power could rest upon him.”
All of our children have their own unique weaknesses. What an opportunity to allow God to use them for His good! May we help our children to understand the immeasurable power of God. As they embrace their weaknesses, and allow God’s power to work through them as a result, Jesus Christ becomes not only their Savior, but their Lord as well!