“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).
One family that is heavy on my heart as I write this is the family of a girl we met during Austin’s first inpatient chemotherapy treatment. Sydney was first diagnosed with leukemia when she was only three years old, and here she was six years later and it had come back yet again. This time, she would need a bone marrow transplant. Today, Sydney is in the hospital recovering from the surgery and subsequent infections. It’s been months since she has slept in her own bed. Her parents alternate staying with her and caring for their family at home. And my heart breaks for them. I read their social media posts/updates and I pray, but I don’t know what to say. So, I offer hugs and smiles when I can, and I pray, pray, pray. Lord, please heal Sydney. Do a miracle in her family! And I know that He can.
If I could find the right words and given the right opportunity, I would want them to have this hope—there will be an end to the suffering. I cannot tell you what it is like to watch your child suffer. One mom began to break down talking about how she had promised her little girl to always protect her. Then, when her daughter was diagnosed with a rare disease and multiple complications, she couldn’t, and she is so afraid that in the up-coming procedures her sweet girl won’t understand why her mom is letting the doctors poke and prod at her (again). I am praying that the suffering of these two precious girls would end soon. I don’t know what tomorrow holds, but I do know that there will come an end to suffering. This life, here and now, feels so long some days, but it is terribly short. “For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” (James 4:14 NKJV). Heaven doesn’t have wheelchair ramps and hospital beds. There aren’t any IV poles to drag around, and there won’t be a need for doctors. Hallelujah! There is no sickness, no brokenness, no fear, no more suffering in Heaven! As parents, we want so badly to keep our children from harm, to see them smile and grow up into fine young men and women, but we can’t keep them from the troubles of this life. We can offer them the hope of something better, something that far outweighs the anguish we find here and something that lasts throughout eternity. Does this truth take away the pain of now? No, but I do believe it gives us hope, and hope helps us persevere through it.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope . . . [or as the King James Version puts it] to give you an expected end” (Jeremiah 29:11).