I was cruising around Barnes & Noble yesterday when the Lord taught me a very nice lesson. I had finished looking at Gluten Free Cookbooks (mmm, sounds yummy, huh) and had a feeling that I should look in the children's section before I left. Enjoying a few minutes of mommy time (sans children), I headed that way.
I came across a lady with an infant in a stroller and the baby was wearing a skull molding helmet. I thought...wow, what a bummer! As I browsed for a book on children and celiac's disease, she asked me what I was looking for her. I told her and she immediately pulled a book off the shelf. She had obviously been sitting there for a while. She asked me if my child has celiac's disease and I said yes. She started telling me about her daughter and wondering out loud if she should try a gluten free diet for her. You see, her daughter was 6 and was on the verge of being diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. She had heard somewhere along the way that food allergies can cause very disturbing behavioral problems. I immediately heard the Holy Spirit whispering..."pray for her." I thought...ok,ok, hold on.
We kept talking. Next, she told me that her mother had recently passed away. This was the first death she had ever experienced and she was having a hard time learning how to grieve. This lady had her plate full! She told me that she had been to see a "spiritualist" who was able to receive messages from her mom "on the other side." She had told her children about this and was encouraging them to leave notes and pictures around the house for Grandma to see. By now the Holy Spirit was screaming...PRAY FOR HER! This was a well dressed middle-class normal looking woman who was desperate. I know, I've been there. She was searching for encouragement...from her mother, from anyone who would be her advocate while she watched her child suffer. She explained that her daughter was tearing apart her home...been there too. My heart broke for her as I wondered if I had the courage to witness to her.
I could tell that the conversation was winding down and that she needed to go take care of her baby. I told her my name was Leah and, as she shook my hand, I asked if I could pray for her. She enthusiastically said yes. So I did, right there on the floor of Barnes & Noble. My prayer was not elegant and I probably did not say the right things...but hopefully I planted a seed and I know that the Lord will watch over her and her family in the days ahead.
I came home and, with a few minutes to spare before the children woke up, I decided to do my Bible reading for the day. I was reading from the book of John and came across the following verse:
"Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name."
I thought back to my own troubled heart and the many times I have asked my Father to save me from this trouble - a son with a chronic illness. Why us Lord? Why Him? Am I being punished? Did I somehow bring this on him? Would my God actually cause a child to suffer in this way as punishment for something I had done?
John 9:1-3 tells about a man who was born blind. The disciples asked Jesus, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents that he was born blind?" "Neither this man or his parents," replied Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life."
And all of a sudden it made sense. Who cares what the reason is...or what the outcome is for that matter. But that the name of God might be glorified in our lives! Maybe, just maybe, God put this on our plate so that we might reach others (frustrated, angry, watching their children suffer and getting no support) and direct them to Him. Oh Lord, glorify your name!