Sick Again?

There is a joke between my friends that the Slaven kids get sick in November and stay sick until March or April.  This year is proving to be no different and yet it has felt so much worse because they are all old enough to really complain about their infirmities.  Yet, they are still young enough that they feel the need to wake me up at night (my sweet Benjamin) to tell me that they need to go potty.  I have just about had my limit of illness, but my God, who meets all my needs, knows I have so much more to give.  It is at these moments that I cry out to God and beg for His mercy so that in my sleep deprived state I don't say or do the wrong thing to hurt his precious babies.  The amazing thing is that when I do cry out, surrender my will/desires to Him and rest in His strength I make it through the day without feeling like a failure.  The sad thing is that there are many days when I don't surrender to Him and as a result everything falls apart by the time Jonathan gets home from work. On those days,  I bet he takes one step in the house and wishes he could hightail it back to the office or anywhere but here.  Then he quietly takes over and sends me out the door for some quiet time and prayer (maybe I should say sometimes when he is not overwhelmed with work).  I am so blessed to have an understanding husband who is seeking to lead us in a godly direction.

There are blessings in the midst of these illnesses and sometimes I get so bogged down in the surviving that I forget to look for the moments of grace.  One of those moments was when I was having to torture Benjamin and Emily with their eye drops for pink eye.  These eye drops are extremely painful and it is so hard for a little one to understand that what hurts is sometimes good for them.  I was able to talk to Emily and Benjamin about God's great love for us and that there will be times in their lives that God will ask something of them that will be painful, but He sees a much bigger picture than we do.  His desire is to make us Holy and Christlike, not to make us happy.  Sometimes, the tools that God uses to get rid of the yuckies in our hearts are painful just as those eye drops are painful to get rid of the yuckies in their eyes.  I reminded them that if I didn't treat their eyes it would just get worse and they would not be able to see until we used the drops.  I wonder how often God wants to say to me, "Martha, it will hurt for a while, just trust that I know what is best for you."  The beauty is that when I relinquish my desire for ease and seek His face the pain is not that great because He comes along and bears my burdens for me.   His yoke truly is easy and His burden is light, because he caries it all for me - if only I remembered to leave my burdens at His feet.  He is a gracious and loving Father and only desires our best.  What a wonderful place to rest - in the loving arms of my Heavenly Father.

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