In the Midst of Storms

There’s an old Chinese proverb that says, “When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other.”

Yeah, I didn’t get it either.

We all seek some kind of wisdom to help us cope, help us deal, help us learn. Some learned everything they needed to know while in kindergarten.

  1. Share everything and play fair.
  2. Put things back where you found them.
  3. Clean up your own mess.
  4. Don’t take things that are not yours.
  5. Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.
  6. Don’t be a bully. Be a friend.

Then there are those who’ve learned a few things from Noah’s ark:

  1. Don’t miss the boat.
  2. Stay fit – just when you think you’re retired, someone may ask you to do something really big
  3. Always travel with a buddy.
  4. Credentials aren’t everything. Remember, the ark was built by amateurs. The Titanic was built by professionals.
  5. No matter how great the storm, when God is with you, there’s always a rainbow waiting.

We all deal with life lessons everyday. Some are obvious; some are obscure. Some are easy; some are hard. But that’s life. What a wonderful world it would be if we all cleaned up our own messes and put things back where we found them. Where bullies wouldn’t force us to fight conflicts they started. Where everyone knows how to genuinely say sorry or offer forgiveness. Where we put more focus on character rather than credentials. Where we remember to look for rainbows rather than watch the storm clouds.

Last year, as you may well know, my little one was on this list while she was in the hospital. She was initially admitted for an infection that got behind her eye. But we also learned that one of her kidney was not functioning. Her blood pressure was dangerously high. She was in the special care unit and spent some time in ICU after her surgery to remove the abscess behind her eye. And her heart walls were beginning to thicken from working so hard. To us, we were in the midst of a terrible storm and Abigail was taking all the beating. After a month, she came home only to undergo another surgery for her kidney. The doctor told us that we needed to accept that Abigail was going to lose her left kidney. He said there was nothing he could do. So we prayed. We asked that He make a miracle happen. But if He didn’t, we asked that the miracle be in us, that we would be able to deal with whatever happens. A few minutes later, the nurse came out and told us the doctor miraculously was able to perform the operation. Not only was her kidney saved, but after follow ups with the cardiologist and nephrologists. We’ve learned that her heart is back to normal, and her kidney has grown back to normal size. In fact, they both said if they didn’t know her history, they would think everything was normal. She not at a 100% but she’s a miracle.

After giving birth to my third child early this year, I spent a week in the hospital because of my blood pressure. It had gotten unstable and extremely high. I was afraid and angry that I had to miss my newborn because of something I could not control. Now, my mother has suffered a major stroke and is fighting to come back. She’s been through trauma but she’s still here. And as long as she’s here, we’ll keep hoping and praying that she becomes healed and restored.

In a perfect world, Abigail would be perfectly healthy and there would be no need for any kind of Children’s Hospital. But we don’t live in that world. The key isn’t avoiding the storms, but coming through them. We can't control what happens, and we need to accept that. We may not learn those things in kindergarten or even from Noah’s ark. But we do learn them from our personal experience with God. If we don’t seek God, we run the risk of facing them alone. That would be tragic. This world will always have bullies and storms, and we will have to face them. That’s life. We must accept that we will have bruises from the taunts of the bully or damage from poundings of the storm. So we call on God. And until we go to that perfect world in Heaven, we can be assured that in this world, there is always a rainbow waiting.