I told you that we sold our old house in Maine in order to move to Florida so my husband could go to Bible school. I am not sure I communicated just how much I did not want to do that, but I did not.
Did I think it was God’s will for my husband to become a pastor?
Yes. But, for a little while, I did not want to do God’s will if it meant selling my house and moving to Florida.
Somehow I new it was not going to be easy.
You have heard lots of miraculous stories in this 31 Day series, because I wanted you to understand how big God really is. I wanted you to know that He still works miracles, that He provides, loves, and cares. He does, and so much more powerfully than any of us can communicate in our stories.
Today I am going to talk about living by faith when it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.
We tend to think that living by faith = an easy ride.
Often living by faith means going through the fire, so you come out on the other side a little more refined.
My house was full of women, there for my Pampered Chef party (I was the pampered chef), when my husband’s truck came screeching into our driveway. Obviously something was very wrong.
He had the kids and the dog out fishing for the evening, so I could host my party.
I saw his truck through the window, excused myself, and ran from the house. My sister-in-law followed.
My husband jumped out of the truck, unbuckled my one year-old daughter from the car seat and threw her at my sister-in-law. Then he dumped the dog in her crate in the front yard.
“Get in.” He yelled. “We have to get John to the hospital.
I jumped in the truck and he began speeding to the hospital.
“What’s wrong?” I asked, looking at my son gasping for air.
“He got bit by some fire ants.”
One a week earlier, my three year-old son was playing in the backyard and got a fire ant bite. His cheeks turned really red and I swore I heard a wheeze when he took a breath. I gave him Benadryl and he seemed to be fine, but I warned my husband that should he ever get stung by a fire ant again, we should watch him.
I lived all my life with crazy-bad allergies. I know that every time you react badly to something, it gets worse and worse.
Thankfully my husband remembered. As soon as he was stung, he made him walk to the truck and noticed he was immediately having problems breathing.
In the five or so minute drive to the hospital, I watched my son swell and become increasingly lifeless.
We ran into the emergency room and the woman at the registration desk picked up the phone and called into the back. My husband was holding my son’s near lifeless body in his arms. He no longer responded to anything.
A doctor and nurse exploded through a side door.
The doctor took one look at my son, grabbed my husband’s arm and starting running into the back. Everything after that is somewhat of a blur. I have never seen doctors and nurses react so quickly. They had an IV in his arm before I even saw a needle come out. Nurses began pumping him with drugs while the doctor shouted orders.
I knew he was extremely bad, but I did not realize how bad until they put an oxygen clip on his finger. It determines the oxygenation of the blood. I’ve had asthma all my life and that clip has been on my finger a thousand times. When I saw the number, my heart broke.
The mask covered his face in a hurry, as everyone worked to save his little life.
He did not make a sound. He did not move.
It wasn’t because he was brave or because the needles did not hurt or the mask was not scary, it was because he was in shock.
I stood in the corner and begged God to save his life.
After the crises passed, the doctor looked at us and said, “I wasn’t sure we would be able to save him. I didn’t think he would come out of it.”
We were all shaken up.
I felt like my house was an island in a sea of fire ants. For the next two years we watched every single step my son took. I reminded Sunday School leaders and preschool teachers over and over again of the danger of a single ant.
I knew he had to live the life of a normal child, but some days, I just wanted to hide him away from the dangers lurking right outside our front door.
We bought bug poison by the case, and spraying Deep Woods off became as routine as putting on his sneakers. We didn’t know if it would repel fire ants, but it made us feel better.
Didn’t God know my son would be allergic to fire ants?
Why did He send us to Florida, knowing?
Sometimes living by faith isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Living by faith is not a promise that every day will be sunshine and flowers. The rain falls on the just and the unjust.
Living by faith does not exclude us from problems or struggles.
Living by faith is not a free pass to success.
Living by faith is not the absence of trouble.
Living by faith is believing God. It is obeying what He has asked us to do no matter the results or circumstances.
God does not judge success by the same measuring stick we use to gauge success or failure. God is not obligated to explain why.
Living by faith means we trust God has a plan and a purpose, no matter how difficult our today may be.
Living by faith is following the voice of an almighty God through good times and bad.
P.S. My son is now allergic to fire ants and bees. Stinging insects are our mortal enemies, but at least he is old enough to carry his own EpiPen and use it should the need arise.