Years ago when my son was very sick. It was sudden and scary. I called it a wilderness journey from the beginning because I knew we could not avoid it. It was unknown territory. The length of the journey was uncertain, but we knew it would end.
We could not take a detour or ignore it. It had to be faced and actions taken. It could not be rushed. The rest of life went on – work, school, church, buying groceries, cooking meals, and doing dishes. The illness was always there. I know his experience was tougher than mine. Yet it was hard as a parent to see my child ill and not be able to take it away. Even take it into myself.
Luckily my faith muscle was strong from years of prayer, Bible study, and friends. We spent so much time together in those months of doctor visits and hospitals. I was grateful for the blessings in that time, in spite of the heaviness of the reason.
Good things happened during wilderness time as well. My boss allowed me to work varied hours and the job was interesting. The evening college classes I taught went well. We trusted the doctors and the results were good.
ELW Evening Prayer for Vision (based on Hebrews 11:8-10 (received at a women’s retreat):
“Lord God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”
The best venture for me has been as a mom. When we were first married, we agreed that we did not want children. It was 1970 and we believed the atomic bomb could drop at any time so why add to the population? In my mid-twenties, the proverbial “clock” started ticking for me. I love my children. I knew that my mom adored and loved me. What a blessing she was to me and I still miss her yet feel her spirit so often. But it wasn’t until I had children that I really understood that love more deeply.
We all bear different types of fruit. What fruit will you bear? This is how people know your faith and your character. The people we meet, even briefly may being bearing heavy burdens so a kind word from us or a smile can briefly lighten the load.