Sick children and frustration

Sickness is one of the many challenges in life we face. I know, as a Christian, that they are designed to bring us closer to our creator as we rely on him. They reveal our own weaknesses and shortcomings, thereby revealing our need for a savior. It can be a beautiful thing when challenges like illnesses drive us into the arms of our great King.

But what does it usually look like in my house?

I’m human. Sickness is something I have zero power over. If it can’t be cured with NyQuil (or at least have the symptoms masked by it), I can’t help you. So when my kids are sick, I get very frustrated. I want nothing more than to see them happy and healthy. I want them well. When they aren’t, it reveals my powerlessness. Being a man, you can imagine how much I love feeling powerless.

Instead of first turning to God and laying all this at his feet, I get mad. My frustration turns into general crankiness. This usually ends when, for the hundredth time in a day, my sick kid comes and tells me they are sick.

“I know you are sick. You have a doctor’s appointment. I can’t do anything else.” Delivered with my usual “Dad’s-in-a-crappy-mood” voice, I end up sounding more than a little mean to a sick child who just wants to be told it’s going to be okay.

That’s the point when I finally take the time to stop, acknowledge I can’t do anything (and that the anger isn’t really helping anyone) and ask God to help. I know these truths, and yet every time it plays out the same. Put one of my kids in the hospital and it’s even worse. It’s no less beautiful when I finally turn to God than if I’d done it from the beginning. In fact it’s probably more so because it reveals even deeper levels of his grace and mercy. But even with that said, it would be nice to get it right the first time for once.

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