Throwback Thursday With Cole

Sometime in April 2009, I wrote the bulletin article below. It was a time when I wrestled and struggled with the health difficulties ever present in Cole’s life. Like every parent of a handicapped child, there were lots of implications and heartaches. Mine often took a spiritual direction.

Two weeks from today would have been Cole’s twenty-fourth birthday.
While I am glad he is now free from pain and struggle, I miss him so.
And, as it turns out, I still need to be reminded of the last few paragraphs I wrote what seems like so very long ago…

I Am Waiting

I will admit it. I don’t understand.

Sometimes my not understanding leads me to anger and sometimes to despair.

Truthfully, there are also times—more numerous than I want to admit where my not understanding leads me to a numbness of the soul where my spirituality isn’t really alive and vital—more of a going through the motions.

And yes, the theologian in me likes to think I do know the answer, but the answer I know—intellectually—isn’t always very satisfying emotionally, spiritually, and physically.

And it’s not like I don’t pray. And it’s not like it’s beyond God’s ability to answer my specific prayers in ways that would astound the world and give him all the glory.

Maybe you understand what I mean from your own unique perspective. However, my perspective is for our son, Cole.

I don’t understand why he has to go through 19 years of life with all of the difficulties, frustrations, and challenges he faces.
I don’t understand why we have to go through test after test and can’t seem to get any definitive answer.
I don’t understand why God doesn’t see fit to heal him completely…now.
I don’t understand why our prayers for his anger and out-of-control behavior seem as if they never rise above the roof.
I don’t understand why it seems at times we cannot get a single moment of peace.

Theologically, I understand sickness, disease, and death are by-products of living in a broken world.

Theologically, I understand the question isn’t “why me” but “why not me.”

Spiritually, emotionally, and physically, I am tired of that answer. But I am waiting. And as I wait, I pray that my attitude, actions, and life will reflect the words of John Waller’s song…

I’m waiting 
I’m waiting on You, Lord 
And I am hopeful 
I’m waiting on You, Lord 
Though it is painful 
But patiently, I will wait 

I will move ahead, bold and confident 
Taking every step in obedience 
While I’m waiting 
I will serve You 
While I’m waiting 
I will worship 
While I’m waiting 
I will not faint 
I’ll be running the race 
Even while I wait

In Mark 9, Jesus is presented with a healing opportunity—a boy with an evil spirit. As he talks with the boy’s father, Jesus says “Everything is possible for him who believes.” And the father’s answer has to be mine, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

I am waiting, Lord, sometimes impatiently, sometimes angrily, sometimes with a deep, deep numbness. But I am waiting. Help me over come my waiting that really isn’t.

May God help each of us move through life bold and confident, even when we are waiting…

Les, Jr.

4 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday With Cole

  1. Yes. I can echo those words. Two years ago my son was rushed into hospitalat death’s door in severe diabetic ketoacidosis after being misdiagnosed several times, and was finally diagnosed with Type 1 Autoimmune Diabetes. Every day since, the reality of this disease makes me cry and wonder and question why there is so little healing, and so little comfort while we wait for healing.

  2. Les, The echoes of your heart are beautifully, sincerely written. Any of us who have stood by watching a child of ours or any loved one of ours suffering day after day asks God why He doesn’t step in and answer our prayers. The human suffering aspect of life is so hard. Having watched my sister struggle for her every breath for years until her death at age 13 brings so many emotions to the forefront again for me. I don’t understand……..and “because we live in a broken world” sometimes just doesn’t do it for me. Thank you for your honesty and openness. Belief in God is the easy part. Understanding God’s role in our lives isn’t always so easy (for me). Again, thank you for your thoughts. I hope you have many beautiful memories of Cole that fill your soul with smiles today.

  3. Thanks. This really spoke to me today. I appreciate you sharing feelings and making the effort to put feelings into words. Sometimes I feel like you make me understand what I can’t express.

  4. God DID answer that prayer Les. Just not in the way any of us expected. He took HIS child home and restored him to perfection. What satan intended for evil, God has used for so much good and will continue to do so for all who ever knew you and your family. Don’t torment yourself with those questions about their last moments. Whatever fleeting thoughts, fears, pain there might have been has been released upon their passing into the Father’s arms. Absent from the body, present with the Lord. The bible tells us they have no awareness now of anything before their time in heaven – because there are no tears, no pain, no sadness. Perfect peace and incredible love like nothing ever known to them before that day. Rejoice in the knowledge they are with the only One who could possibly love them more than you. Oh the sweet glory!

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