In the early years of my Christian walk my spiritual history with God took a certain pattern. Crisis would come and I would press in to find Him. I would enjoy sweet times in His presence only to gradually give up my practice of seeking Him once the crisis had passed. I still served Him and loved Him, but let the cares and business of life steer me away from seeking His face. Then another crisis would come and my heart would turn once again to pursuing after the One who had proven Himself faithful in my life so many times.
One such crisis occurred when our son was hospitalized at just one year old. The doctors could not explain why he had such a high fever and had become quickly lethargic. A number of tests were run including a painful spinal tap and the fear of the unknown threatened to totally overwhelm the heart of this young mother. One night as I lay in his hospital room on a cot, listening to his labored breathing and unable to sleep, I picked up a book that I was reading and God pricked my heart and spoke to me concerning the shaky foundation that I had been building for my life.
The chapter talked about "sinkholes" and how in certain areas of our country there were homes built on ground that looked good for all practical purposes, but at any point the homes might suddenly collapse as the ground gave way underneath them. God showed me that my life was as precarious as those homes built on the "sinkholes" and the storms that came to threaten me had the power to cause my spiritual house to come crashing down. There on that cot in a dark hospital room, I tearfully repented of my wishy-washy relationship with Him.
Thankfully, our son improved and was able to leave the hospital a week later. I left that hospital with a determination to live my life in a different way than I had before that time. As a result of this hospital encounter with God, I began to seek to build a foundation for my life that would be unshakable.
It was not long after that I was reading in the Psalms one day and came across a passage which the Lord gently used to remind me of my new commitment:
"Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no
understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle
or they will not come to you". Psalm 32:9
He showed me that I had been like the horse or mule in my relationship with Him, and that He desired my heart to be so in sync with His that I would no longer need the bit or bridle(crisis) to control me. He was looking for a relationship with me that far surpassed the "fair-weather friend" that I had been for so many years.
Did God cause my son to become sick to teach me a lesson? No, I don't believe that God is ever the author of sickness because that is not part of who He is. I do believe however, that He was with me right in the midst of my crisis of faith, waiting to shepherd my heart into a higher place with Him.
Now, many years later, I am still grateful for that difficult lesson learned in the midst of adversity. I can honestly say that I love spending time with Him just as much when things are going well as when I am in the midst of crisis.
I am thankful that my loving heavenly Father loved me enough to correct my negligent attitudes and open for me a door into a lifetime of encounters with Him in the secret place. He is so good!