I awoke in the night to find my husband, Marty, gently rocking our baby son, Noah.
I stood for a moment in the doorway, watching this amazing man with whom I was so blessed to share my life, lovingly stroke Noah’s fat pink cheeks in an effort to comfort him.
I felt in my heart that something was seriously wrong with Noah. This was one of several nights Noah had been up, burning with a high fever.
Tears filled my eyes as I watched my beautiful husband move Noah’s little cheek up against his own chest, so that Noah could feel the vibrations of his voice. Noah is deaf. Learning to comfort him has brought on a whole new way of thinking for us. We relied on our voices, a soothing lullaby, audio toys, and music to comfort our other children. But with Noah, we need to use touch, his soft blankie, sight, the feel of our voices, and most importantly, the use of sign language to communicate emotions and a sense of comfort to him. My husband made the sign for “I love you” with his hand and I saw a tear roll down his cheek as he placed Noah’s tiny, weak hand on top of his.
We had taken Noah to the doctor more times than I can remember. It had been a week and a half and Noah’s fever remained very high and very dangerous, despite everything the doctor or we had tried. I knew in my soul the way only a mother can know, that Noah was in trouble.
I gently touched my husband’s shoulder and we looked into each other’s eyes with the same fear and knowledge that Noah’s wasn’t getting any better. I offered to take over for him, but he shook his head, and once again, I was amazed at this wonderful man who is the father of my children. When many fathers would have gladly handed over the parenting duties for some much needed sleep, my husband stayed stubbornly and resolutely with our child.
When morning finally came, we called the doctor and were told to bring him in again. We already knew that he would probably put Noah in the hospital. So, we made arrangements for the other children, packed bags for all three of us, and tearfully drove to the doctor’s office once again. Our hearts filled with dread, we waited in a small room, different from the usual examining room we had become used to. Our doctor finally came in, looked Noah over, and told us the news we expected. Noah had to be admitted to the hospital. Now.
The drive to the hospital in a neighboring town seemed surreal. I couldn’t focus on anything, couldn’t think, couldn’t stop crying. My husband reassured me that he felt in his heart that Noah would be okay. We admitted Noah and were taken to his room right away. It was a tortuous night, filled with horrible tests that made my son’s tiny little voice echo through the halls as he screamed over and over.
I felt as if I were shattering from the inside out. My husband never wavered in his faith. He comforted me and Noah, and everyone who called to check on Noah. He was a rock.
When the first batch of tests were done, the nurse informed us that a spinal tap would be performed soon. Meningitis was suspected. Marty and I had prayer together with Noah. Our hands intertwined, we held our son and the love of my life lifted his voice to the Lord, telling him how grateful we were for this awesome little spirit with whom he had entrusted us. With tears streaming down his face, he humbly asked the Lord to heal our son. My heart filled with comfort and gratitude.
A short time later, the resident doctor came in. He told us that Noah’s first results were back, and that he had Influenza A. No spinal tap was needed! Noah would recover and soon be back to his zesty, tornado little self. And Noah was already standing up in the hospital crib, bouncing like he was on a trampoline. My husband’s talk with the Lord was already being answered.
Marty and I grinned at each other through our tears, and waited for Noah to be released from the hospital. Finally, in the middle of the night, our own doctor came in and told us that it was fine to take Noah home. We couldn’t pack fast enough!
A few days later, I was cooking dinner. Noah was healing, slowly but surely. I felt at peace and knew my husband was the greatest father I could ever want for my children. I peeked around the corner into the living room, and chuckled at the picture I saw. There was my husband, sitting in his “daddy chair”, Noah in his lap. They were reading a book, dad taking Noah’s teeny hands to help him form the signs for the words in the book. They both looked up and caught me watching them, and my husband and I simultaneously signed “I love you” to each other, then to Noah. And then Noah put his little arm up, trying to shape his tiny hand in his own effort to sign “I love you” to his daddy. I watched with tears as my husband carefully helped him form his tiny fingers into the sign with his own gentle hands. Daddy hands.
By Susan Fahncke: Academic Tips. org.
Read 2 Thessalonians 3:5-15to see the value God’s Word places on a strong work ethic.
What are some current challenges you’re facing in your employment? What truths in God’s Word can help you face these hurdles?
More than “another day, another dollar,” work for the believer is an opportunity to live out our God-given talents. At the same time, our jobs can be a significant source of stress. As we’re responding to different personalities or economic challenges in the workplace, our responsibility as believers is the same regardless of location or job description: Love and reflect Jesus well.
Because Jesus is the “visible image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15), we, His followers, should be like Jesus and reveal Him to the world. When we “set [our] sights on the realities of heaven,” everything becomes an opportunity for worship—including our work (Colossians 3:1). Here are some practical ways to engage workplace challenges:
• Not every opinion we have should be voiced. What we say should be “gracious and attractive” (Colossians 4:6).
• When our leaders make decisions that we don’t like, we must discern between true issues of right or wrong and those things that are simply an inconvenience for us (Hebrews 13:17).
• We should understand where our responsibility begins and ends. We’re accountable for our choices, not those of others (Romans 12:18).
Ultimately, how we work should show that we belong to and love Jesus. Because we’ve been “made . . . alive with Christ,” this reality should pervade everything we do—even our jobs (Colossians 2:13).
“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it” 1 Corinthians 10:13
Daddy, can I help you?” It was my four-year-old son, Matt, who was watching me carry cartons of empty pop bottles to the car. Back then you could return them for a dime apiece, so after months of stacking them up in the garage, I was off to collect the cash bonanza.
I said, “Sure, Matt,” and he picked up a carton of bottles and put them in the car. When we got to the store, he grabbed his carton of bottles and shuffled along next to me across the big parking lot. About half way to the store, obviously exhausted, he looked up and said, “Dad, I can’t carry this anymore.”
Count on it, I didn’t say, “Listen, Kid, you started this, so pick up that carton right now and finish what you started!” Of course not!
I took the carton out of his hands, because I knew it was too heavy for him to handle. As his earthly father, I understood what his limits were and helped him carry the load.
Thankfully, our heavenly Father understands our load limit and comes alongside to help. It’s hard to stick it out during difficult times when the trouble in our lives seems far too heavy and there is no end in sight. It’s in times like these that we feel like giving up—like we can’t go on. But God’s Word reminds us that “God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). It’s important to note that this verse is talking about more than just bearing up under temptation. In the original Greek, the word temptation actually means “all kinds of trials.”
Ever feel like you’re in the middle of all kinds of trials? The problem with problems is that they have a tendency to drain us of our strength—physically, emotionally, and spiritually. And that’s when our adversary likes to launch his attack. When we’re weak, he haunts us with thoughts like: How could a loving God allow this to happen? and God has brought you to this place and has just left you here. Or, You’re beyond help—God can’t help you now. But when you start thinking these thoughts, you need to know that they are flat out lies from the pit. You can be sure that they don’t reflect God’s heart for you during difficult times.
In the Old Testament, one of God’s names is Jehovah Jireh—our provider—and He always lives up to His name. He stands ready to provide abundant grace so that we can bear up until He has finished His work in the trial (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). He gives us a peace that passes understanding as we trust and rely on Him with a grateful heart (Philippians 4:6-7). He gives wisdom to see our tough times from His point of view (James 1:5). He gives us the assurance that He will stick it out with us and not leave or forsake us, so that we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What man can do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6).
So, chin up! Our troubles and trials have not escaped the notice of the One who comes alongside to help when it seems like the load is too much to bear.
The One who knows your load limit promises to limit your load!