Sixteen years ago a son was brought forth from my womb. This morning I am again recalling that day. I remember the pain and the contractions on top of contractions caused by the induction medicine that was administered because he was thought to be several days overdue. I remember the doctor who insisted that I would labor eight hours longer than I did. I remember my mother's hands braiding my hair in an attempt to soothe the pain that was so necessary.
I remember the nurses taking him from my breast shortly after he was born to administer oxygen, a foreshadowing of his life perhaps. I remember my husband stealing him back, refusing to be separated from his firstborn son.
I remember the struggle to feed him from my body over the next several months, and to draw near to him for fear of my intense love that seemed like too much. I remember the battles over his little soul in the years to come. I remember the day of his salvation, the acknowledgement of a Savior's grace, the hope of eternity in the presence of a holy God.
I remember counting his toes again on that hospital bed in the emergency room the day he died, just like the day he was born: one, two, three, all the way to ten. I remember God's grace when He gave and when He took away. This same God, who cared for the Israelites in the desert, who cared that a twelve year old boy needed a Savior, who knows the sound of a mother's falling tears.
I find this pain to be a driving force that pushes me closer to Him, not away, lest I be satisfied here in the temporary, becoming proud and comfortable and ultimately forgetting my God. This beckoning found through suffering, the hurt that penetrates so deep, is an offer to draw near to the Almighty.
The calming words of Scripture from the Sovereign One who intends to carry me all the way until I see His face has assured me that His plans are perfect. I can't see the full eternal worth of this suffering right now, but the God who called me to this trial continues to prove over and over again that He is faithful. He cares for me in the desert. In Him will I be satisfied.