By Dr. Laila Risgallah Wahba
As we traveled on the bus on our way to a Red Sea vacation, we took an overnight bus with our oldest son who was then 4 years of age. Unlike in the USA, people can smoke on buses. There were so many people smoking on our bus that we could hardly breathe. It was a 6-hour commute and the idea was to take the bus at midnight and arrive at six am the next day.
We slept, but my son was very fidgety. By the time we arrived in Sharm Al Sheikh, one of the most beautiful places in the world, I looked at my son and his right eye was bloodshot.
We immediately took him to the hospital, and the ophthalmologist said that cigarette ashes had stuck to his cornea and he needs to remove it.
“I need to do general anesthesia unless you can hold him very tightly so he does not move while I remove it”. My son had never before taken general anesthesia, and I did not want to risk it at a hospital in a remote area or with an anesthesiologist I didn’t know. “I will hold him tight,” I said.
I held my son who was totally oblivious to what was going on. He immediately rested in my arms as I held him. But, he soon realized that I was holding him much too tight and that he could not move his head. the ophthalmologist put some anesthetic eye drops in my son’s eye so he can remove the cigarette ashes from his eye. I held my son forcefully to prevent him from moving.
I will never forget the look on my son’s face when he realized that I was holding him for – what he thought at the time- the doctor to hurt him.
His look said, ‘You mother? You of all people would let this doctor poke my eye and hurt me?” I started crying silently my tears were falling on my son’s T-shirt.
“No my son,” I wanted to scream. I am holding you out of love and protection, not to cause you harm. I want you to see my love in the tightness of my grip. I would never do anything to hurt you. NEVER”.
I was reminded of this story several times these past few months. We have been going through a time when I wanted to look God in the Face and ask Him the same question, “Why are you allowing us to be so crushed? It seems that we are being punished for having integrity and for walking blamelessly.”
I always felt that Isaiah 53.10 was an oxymoron:
‘Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer.’ Isa 53.10 NIV
‘But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief.’ NLT
‘Yet it pleased Jehovah to bruise him’.ASV
Lord, how can You be pleased to crush Jesus? How can it be Your good plan? How can it be Your will?
This is exactly what has been going on in our lives these past few months. When we thought it couldn’t get any worse, something else would happen that is even worse than before. Lord, Help!
God reminded me of this story with my son.
“Laila, I want you to see My love through it all. I am not a cruel God. I know the plans I have for you, they are always plans for good. As you are crushed, your most valuable scent, the aroma of honor and integrity fills the atmosphere. I will never let you hurt more than you can handle. Remember that I AM Love, this is my identity, it is the very essence of My character. Never forget that”.
Remember that I said, Blessed, are ye when men shall reproach you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Mat 5.11. The pivotal word here is FALSELY.
It is so hard Lord, but I am holding on to you and will not let go.
The song I have been singing daily is,
Through it all, through it all, my eyes are on you
Through it all, through it all it is well.
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