It's been difficult to watch my son in pain. He becomes anxious about eating because he knows it'll cause pain. When he does eat, he's only able to eat little bits of food at a time. As a momma, it's hard to watch. Something in every mom just wants to be able to, at bare minimum, feed her babies.
Together, Lawrence and I pray for wisdom, talk about how to best care for our son and seek to both encourage him and lead him through this trial. One "plan of attack" that my husband recently encouraged me to take with Tucker was two fold:
- provide a lot of reassuring touches. Draw near to Tucker physically, hugging, patting his back, rubbing his back which he loves, etc.
- teach Tucker and remind him often that while he is indeed suffering, he is not suffering to the full extent that he deserves.
I know some may say, "What kind of parents are you? How is that supposed to encourage your son?"
Here's how. Tucker and all of us were created by a Holy Creator God who requires and expects perfect holiness from His creation. We obviously do not live up to that expectation. In fact, we fall short, woefully short of perfection everyday, some of us (me) many, many times a day. The Bible calls that sin. My beautiful children are sinners. I am a sinner. I have not met the demands of God's law. For this, we all deserve God's wrath to be poured out on us. We all deserve to pay the penalty for our sin.
But, God, who is rich in mercy and love toward His creation, sent a Savior, His Son, Jesus who came to earth in human form yet fully God. He lived a perfect life and died an unjust death on our behalf to pay with His own blood a ransom for our sins. HE took the punishment that we deserved so that we could know God's mercy, so that we could experience just forgiveness from God and have eternal fellowship with Him here on earth and one day in Heaven.
So, in light of these truths, we know that while Tucker is suffering with his reflux, he is not suffering as much as he deserves. We know and we tell our children the truth that any suffering we experience here on earth is pale in comparison to the suffering of the punishment of hell that we deserve for our sins. This may sound too deep or ethereal, but it is true hope and peace for those who are willing to embrace it.
We pray daily that our children will embrace these truths. God is providing an opportunity for Tucker to know of His mercy through suffering. It's painful to watch Tucker endure the pains of reflux, but as parents we are grateful for the opportunity it affords for us to point him to the truth: that he is being mercifully treated better than he deserves.