Sarah talked about the impact of Krystal illness on each member of the family. David her 16 year old son became intensely angry at God for bringing such horrible suffering on his little sister. He had always been active in the youth program of the church and was considered one of its leaders. His sister’s illness changed all that. For some time he refused to talk about the situation but was always attendant to his little sister. Over time Sarah began to notice a change on David, He seemed less angry and smiled more often. One day he came into the room where Sarah was attending to Krystal. She sensed he wanted to say something and put her arm around him. With tears he explained how his sister’s suffering had impacted his faith and made him angry and hateful towards God. However what softened his heart and caused him to reevaluate his attitude was his sister’s demeanor through such suffering. Krystal never complained and up until she was unable to speak or communicate meaningfully, her daily prayers inevitably consisted of thanking God for her family and for blessing her. In the days that followed, David became even more attentive with Krystal and shared with his youth group how his sister’s illness had helped him to realize that a just and loving God did not always mean we would be preserved from suffering. Further, our own attitude during trials shape the way we experience it.
Her husband Jake for the most part remained spiritually strong but had some days when he felt like giving up. These were days he felt overcome by his own helplessness to change the outcome for his daughter or alter the circumstances in any way.
Despite such a devastating prognosis for her child Sarah spoke glowingly of her faith in God and her fervent belief she would see her beautiful daughter again. Her faith saw through the present to a greater and more permanent reality. I stood quietly listening as she spoke movingly of her faith that though tested still held strong. As I listened the words of the apostle Paul came to mind, “Even though on the outside we are wasting away, on the inside we are being renewed every day, … for we do not look on the things that seen but on the things that are not seen. The things that are seen are temporary, the things that are not seen are eternal” (1 Corinthians 4: 15, 17). As we prayed together around the wheel chair in which the child sat, I sensed the presence of God. I came away from that encounter feeling strangely uplifted and strengthened.
How about you? Have you had an encounter that impacted your life?