Someone asked me today if I could be thankful for Will's illness. I have been asked if I was mad at God. I have been asked how I am handling it all. But I have never been asked if I was thankful.
The question came in context of a conversation regarding the stability of my family. Life is hard. Relationships on every level are struggling. My children are bickering like I have never seen. By nightfall, I am weary and ready for bedtime. Their bedtime. Billy works around the clock and isn't here. I am exhausted on every level.
So thankful for Will's illness...nope. Can't say that I am. Am I giving thanks in every circumstance? Hm. Again, nope. How are you thankful for something that seeps the life out of your child and slowly eats away at your family?
But the more I ponder it, the more I realize that the illness isn't what is eating away at my family. Sin is eating away at my family. Our own ugly hearts are doing a fine job of destruction.
When an area is ravaged with destruction, the fight for survival is immense. You hear stories of people trampling others to death in an effort to obtain food and water. In a family ravaged with destruction, the same thing happens. We are all so busy fighting to survive, that all we see is our own need. The other person's need is irrelevant.
So, the weariness certainly doesn't go away. The hopelessness that life will always be insanely difficult doesn't go away. The feeling of failure in training my children doesn't go away. The loneliness doesn't fade. But can I refocus on Christ and help my children see that, even in this, we rejoice and give thanks? Can I muster the energy to even try?
I honestly don't know. But I do know that with Christ, all things are possible and that helping my children realize that is worth whatever sacrifice is required. Do I believe God is big enough to transform my family? I believe, with my head, but Lord, help the unbelief of my very broken heart.