Is God Near?

We’re entering into an anniversary of sorts.  One year ago this month we began to live life with the realization that our oldest son has an inflammatory bowel disease… ending up with the diagnosis of indeterminate colitis.  It’s chronic.  It’s disruptive.  It’s incredibly inconvenient. But, it’s the place God has us.  We are seeing God “show up” in amazing ways as we walk this journey.


This blog entry is the first in a series where I will try to recount the valley we began to walk last year.  We aren’t to the other side yet.  But, I believe that it’s important that we share this journey in community.   The way a few grains of sand in my shoe drive me batty, sorting stories alone leads to isolation.

But those same grains, when joined with thousands of others, provide a tender and inviting place to walk.  So stories, when shared in community, provide a gentle place to process what God’s doing.  The difference in is in the gathering.

When we share the journey with others, openly, God reveals himself in the process. Not just when everything works out like we hoped.

I’d love to hear your own stories about how God has met you in the midst of unknowing.

_____________________

September 28, 2011

Gathering information is a strength of mine.  It’s my “go to” move when I’m trying to cope.  So, when we learned that Benjamin has “indeterminate colitis”, I consulted my nutrition books and websites looking for answers, looking to fix it.  Unfortunately, there isn’t an “easy fix.”  But what in life worth doing or learning is ever easy?  Even so, information by itself is cold and steril.  In my searching, I craved more than information.  I craved a presence I knew was beyond me.  I needed God near.

You may have heard me speak about the nearness of God.  It’s my favorite thing about Him — that he doesn’t run away in times of trouble, that he celebrates with us in victory, and draws close when we cry.  But I have to say, after many days of Benjamin bleeding, even in the hospital, I started to feel desparate.

One morning, about 10 days into our hospital stay, I needed to be loud with God.  I went on a walk and yelled at him.  OK, God, this has gone on long enough.  Why don’t you do something?  Where are you?  I need you to press in nearer.  You’re not near enough.  I felt desparate.  Many times I sobbed and nearly collapsed.

As I plodded along the nature paths in our neighborhood, the morning silent and misty, a strange thing happened.  Instead of my thoughts swirling in despair, I realized that they had begun to settle on what brings God glory.  I noticed glistening dewed blades of grass, the beautifully haphazard array of wildflowers and weeds, a seasoned stump ringed with age.  Unintentionally, I was thinking about how God was bigger than “indeterminate colitis.”  He gently led me to a place of surrender and I no longer cared about being “delivered.”

Instead of rescue me… rescue Benjamin, my heart whispered do what brings you glory.

I asked him to glorify himself in the midst of our struggle.  I told him that if we could just stand in the radiance of that glory, it would be enough.  I rested there, sweetly.  God drew near.

I can’t say that Benjamin has been healed.  He will most likely have this condition for the rest of his life.  I can’t say that anything I’ve planned has worked out my way.  But, I can say that God isn’t wasting a minute of this.  He is bringing himself glory as he shepherds us in the valley.  He is good and the writer of good stories… and I’m so glad I’m his.

This entry was posted in Health highs and lows, Raising Men and tagged , , , by Julie. Bookmark the permalink.

About Julie

Julie is a wife, mother, daughter, friend, and friend of Jesus. She loves good food, a good book, and talking with good friends late into the night. She admits that she's a huge fan of her husband and her three boys. Her house is filled with their music, legos, books, and artwork. So, if you ever stop by, you're liable to experience all of it.

7 thoughts on “Is God Near?

  1. Julie, when we don’t have a finished, story living happily ever after, you described so beautiful how we are to walk close to God. It reminded me of Psalm 139
    To me, how Mysterious your thoughts,
    the sum of them not to be numbered
    If I count them, they are more than sand:
    to finish, I must be eternal, like you.
    Thank you for sharing how your life’s, problems, pains, can draw all of us closer to the Father.
    God Bless Benjamin with good health and a tremendous strength to follow what he must do for good health.

    • Thank you so much for the encouragement, Carol. I love Ps. 139. You know all too well the road Benjamin is traveling. We (Luke and I) miss you.
      Blessings to you, too, for increased health and strength.

  2. Julie, I have such respect for your God-ward perspective through all of this. I am learning from you, as I sort through my much simpler food allergy symptoms. I have more issues than I originally thought and have not figured it out yet. But God knows. And I hope that I might, like you, point others to Him through it and give Him glory.

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