My granddaughter's 11-year-old high-pitched, tear-drenched wail sputtered over 2,000 miles of telephone signal. Its intensity made my heart do one of those funny things, you know, like skip a beat and thud its way into the pit of the stomach.
Immediately I thought, dear God, now what? These loved ones have faced what seems more than a fair share of challenges. (You may even recall when last June I wrote about the family, their daddy having undergone triple-bypass heart surgery only a few weeks following the birth of their baby girl, Allainah - long since healthy, happy, and thriving - the answer to many months of continuous prayer through a life-threatening pregnancy. A "yes" answer to many more prayers resulted in Dad's remarkably swift recovery - there's that prayer thing again.)
But here we are, nine months later: "Allainah fell down the stairs and hit her head. She went to the hospital in the ambulance," sobbed her big sister. Now my daughter, a registered nurse, is not one to rush her children off to the hospital unnecessarily, let alone call for an ambulance.
Though partially carpeted, the stairs in question are long and very steep, and the surface below, onto which the baby had tumbled head-long, is of bare hardwood.
We prayed for divine favor in the precious name of Jesus. We called upon the unwavering prayer warriors of our church's prayer team, by whose faithfulness multitudes have been repeatedly blessed. We prayed some more and elicited prayers from others we know who pray in faith, those who trust that God hears and answers, and that He has only the best interest of His children at heart.
Trust, there's that exercise again. Only 10 minutes before my granddaughter's call, I had briefly wrestled with God. In spite of a lifetime of triumph over tragedy, a million answered prayers and miracles too many to count, my puny human efforts to trust Him fall incredibly short of His glorious faithfulness.
I had just read Psalm 94, in which God says that He will not cast off His children, or forsake them, that without His help our very souls would die, that when we slip His mercy will hold us up, that He is our defense and is the rock of our refuge. The concern about which I had been wrestling was so important I can't even remember what it was.
What I do remember is having perceived God's part in the conversation: "What more do I have to do to show you that I am to be trusted?"
I remember an acquaintance of long ago who said, "If you worry, why pray? If you pray, why worry?"
We prayed for Allainah fervently, entreating God through his own Word, and through the waiting. That waiting - hours of it, in some cases weeks, months and years - stretches, strengthens, and refines our faith, provided we pray and wait in faith. Provided we choose to believe that God is not only able but willing to protect and provide for His beloved children and to bind up our wounds.
Pray, trust, wait, and praise. Always praise. And that prayer thing? Try it, you'll like it!
Allainah's CT scan was negative for brain injury. And had it been otherwise? Always praise, because God alone sees the entire tapestry, and He alone knows how to bring beauty from ashes.
You are welcome to e-mail Dianne Wilson by visiting www.pensepublishing.com.