Antibiotics. My son needed antibiotics. I know, it's really not that big a deal to most people; but to my son it's as big and mean and scary as it gets! Due to some sensory processing issues, he is very selective in what he can eat; and medicines he just will not take, ever, no matter what is going on! So you see, when doctors prescribe medicines I tend to revert to my natural-person panic mode;
"But Doctor, my son doesn't take medicine. Ever."
"Have you tried it in milk?"
"Yoghurt or custard?"
"Yes, to both."
"Hmm, how about ice cream? Most kids love ice cream?"
"Yes most kids do; he does too, just not with cherry-flavoured medicine."
"How about a milkshake?"
"Isn't that the same as chocolate milk?!"
"Hmmm, I suppose. Have you tried to bribe him with something?"
"You've already said yoghurt; still no."
"Hmm. Well I'm not sure what we can do about this, other than you just trying your hardest to get it into him."
I left the doctor's surgery dejected and frustrated. "Why, God? Didn't you hear my prayer? Anything but antibiotics! That's all I asked for, and this is how you respond?! It's not fair."
On this particular night I figured I might as well have the script filled, just in case, by some absolute miracle of miracle he actually decided to take the pink gloop. Daring to be a little bit excited, hoping that today might be the day, I drew up the 5ml in the syringe and approached my boy, coy smile on my face and hands well and truly behind the back.
ďNO! I DONíT LIKE MEDICINE! NOOOOOOOOOOO!!Ē
After several more hours of kicking, screaming and general tantrum-throwing I gave up. I threw my hands up in desperation, and handed the syrup to my hubby to attempt to get into our beloved Mr Stubborn. From the kitchen I could hear the occasional, "No! I don't want it!" followed by, "But it's good for you, you need to have it." And then, out of the blue, I heard it. "Wooooo hooooo!!! You did it!! I am so proud of you!"
What? He'd actually had his medicine?! Are you KIDDING me?!
I expected this to be a once-off thing, but he just kept on taking it, morning and night, until it was gone. No fuss. No arguing. No screaming down the house!
I was ecstatic, and yet somewhat bewildered at his sudden change of attitude, until someone enquired as to what made him change his mind.
And then it all became so very clear - I had been praying the wrong prayer!
I was asking God to protect us from something that was actually good for us; instead, he offered a far better plan, one that would see our son benefit from healthy outcomes:
"Why not ask me to help change the attitude of your son? Sure it's a little out of the box, but hey, I did make him, didnít I?!"
I realized with great clarity that my lack of faith in my son's ability to take medicine didn't stop with him; it was essentially declaring to the world that I doubted my God was in fact, ever-present, all-powerful and all-knowing! My faith was in my son's lack, rather than in my God's abundance.
I have yet to test out this restored faith in my God, well on my son, anyway. But one thing I won't do again is look for flying pigs, when what I should be doing is fixing my eyes on God, and trusting in His wonderful healing power.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight. (NIV)
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