Friday, August 24, 2007
How Theology Helps Us Cope With Life
My son, Brandon, was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes on Wednesday of this week. He had been drinking like a fish, urinating frequently, having occasional headaches, and he had lost about 5 pounds in the last month. Heather mentioned that she was thinking about having him checked for diabetes, but I blew it off. It's been really hot here, and I just attributed his thirst and urination to normal bodily functions for someone playing outside and getting hot and sweaty.
On Tuesday, we went to the Kentucky State Fair with our friends, Logan and Allison. Heather mentioned Brandon's symptoms to Allison (who just happens to be a nutritionist and used to work with diabetic patients), and she instructed us firmly to consult his doctor as soon as possible.
So, Wednesday, Heather and Brandon visited his pediatrician, and they stopped by my office to give me the results. I asked my son, "So how did it go? What did the doctor tell you today?" He replied in a quivering, frightened voice, "They said I might have type I diabetes." The doctor's office had performed a blood test (ouch), and found that Brandon's blood sugar level was about 450. Four hundred fifty. What does that mean? Next thought; what's normal? So I asked my wife, "What's the normal level?" Normal is 80-100 for a child his age. Heather said, "We're on our way to the endocrinologist; wanna come?"
At one point in the conversation I asked Brandon, "Do you trust God? Because we know that God works all things together for those who trust him." He said, "I do trust God."
We found our way to Dr. Raghavan's office, not far from my workplace. While we waited, I read a Richard Scarry book to Brandon that I am pretty sure I read as a kid. About 1:30p or so, the doctor saw us and we learned that Brandon would have to begin to have his blood tested several times each day, and the results of his blood sugar test would indicate how much insulin he would need.
Heather and Brandon had not had lunch yet, so the doctor sent us to get some lunch. We went through the drive-through at McDonald's and found a shady place to eat in the car. I lead my family in a prayer of thanksgiving for the food and a prayer for strength and courage for the trial we were facing. As we dried our eyes, I asked Brandon again, "Do you still trust God?" Again, he replied, "I trust God, Daddy."
We headed back to the doctor's office for Brandon's shot, some prescriptions, and our instructions for the evening. Brandon was terrified, and I had to restrain him for his shot, but once it was all over, he realized the shots were not too bad. Heather dropped me back off at work, headed home with Brandon to get some clothes, drop off the prescriptions, and then meet me back at the hospital.
As I continue to process what God is doing in our lives, I am thankful I have not been tempted to ask, "Why me? Why my son? Why now?" and on and on. I am thankful that I do not have to develop my theology during the storm. Instead, I get to stand on it during the storm. And it is rock solid. We trust God because he works all things together for those who love him and are called according to his purposes (Romans 8:28). Instead of asking, "Why me?," we are asking, "What are you doing, Father? How, and for what purpose, are you shaping my son (and his mom and dad) for the future?"
I'll continue to post reflections on this as they develop. Please pray for our family to continue to trust in our Heavenly Father.