My daily devotional book when I’m in the hospital is called A Different Dream For My Child. It’s by Jolene Philo, who never really explains the nature of her son’s life-threatening birth defect for which he needed several surgeries. I really really liked the first several entries. I’m into the second section of the book now, and I’m finding it more irritating than helpful.

A lot of the entries are more basic, entry-level kind of stuff. “oh, you’re new, you’re overwhelmed, you’ve never been in a hospital before” type stuff. That’s not me.

I do think it will get better, and I know part of the problem is me. I’m in a bad place in my head right now. I’m back in the NICU in my head. Just under my calm exterior is a deep well of panic. I don’t want to know the answers to “what if,” but yet I obsess about them. Where’s the entry on that feeling? It’s not even discussed (or hasn’t been yet), and yet I know I’m not the only parent with this issue. Actually, a friend directed me to Charles Spurgeon’s devotionals, which aren’t specific to childhood illness at all, but seem at times like they might as well start with “Dear Sarah, I wrote this for you.”

This one, for example. (bolds mine)

Click Here to Read the Evening Devotional

“Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands.” –Isaiah 49:16

No doubt a part of the wonder which is concentrated in the word “Behold,” is excited by the unbelieving lamentation of the preceding sentence. Zion said, “The Lord hath forsaken me, and my God hath forgotten me.” How amazed the divine mind seems to be at this wicked unbelief! What can be more astounding than the unfounded doubts and fears of God’s favoured people? The Lord’s loving word of rebuke should make us blush; He cries, “How can I have forgotten thee, when I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands? How darest thou doubt my constant remembrance, when the memorial is set upon my very flesh?” O unbelief, how strange a marvel thou art! We know not which most to wonder at, the faithfulness of God or the unbelief of His people. He keeps His promise a thousand times, and yet the next trial makes us doubt Him. He never faileth; He is never a dry well; He is never as a setting sun, a passing meteor, or a melting vapour; and yet we are as continually vexed with anxieties, molested with suspicions, and disturbed with fears, as if our God were the mirage of the desert. “Behold,” is a word intended to excite admiration. Here, indeed, we have a theme for marvelling. Heaven and earth may well be astonished that rebels should obtain so great a nearness to the heart of infinite love as to be written upon the palms of His hands. “I have graven thee.“It does not say, “Thy name.” The name is there, but that is not all: “I have graven thee.” See the fulness of this! I have graven thy person, thine image, thy case, thy circumstances, thy sins, thy temptations, thy weaknesses, thy wants, thy works; I have graven thee, everything about thee, all that concerns thee; I have put thee altogether there. Wilt thou ever say again that thy God hath forsaken thee when He has graven thee upon His own palms?

Now THAT, my friends, is helpful.


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