May 25, 2023
When Questions Are Many and Answers Are Few
Friend to Friend
As the basketball game heated up and the man-to-man coverage got up close and personal, he took an elbow to the ear. Seconds later his world went silent on the traumatized side. Stunned, he continued to play and pointed to his ear as he ran down the court telling his coach about the situation.
“I can’t hear in my left ear!”
Wait, what? I read his lips from the stands and wondered if I accurately interpreted what my son had just communicated. (My stomach did the I-hate-when-my-kids-get-hurt twist.)
“I think he just told the coach that he can’t hear out of his left ear!?” I said to the friend beside me.
My guess proved to be accurate. Preston came out of the game and spoke with the athletic trainer. She listened to the recap of what happened, evaluated his ear, and then allowed him to go back in the game since he wasn’t in pain and no bleeding was visible. He finished the game in an oddly muted reality.
We got home late with our tall, tired teen and decided that we would get him in to see a doctor if his hearing didn’t come back or improve by the next day. Morning did not bring the healing we had hoped for, so we headed to the urgent care.
The doctor listened to the accident recap and then looked inside Preston’s ear. He saw through the tympanic membrane and quickly identified the source of the silence: bloody fluid had puddled on the other side of his eardrum due to the blunt force of the trauma.
The bad news? There was no immediate solution for the hearing loss. An invasive procedure could be done by a specialist but wasn’t recommended.
The good news? He said that Preston’s hearing should return, and his ear would eventually heal. His body would absorb the fluids over time. We’d just have to wait. It could take a few days. Possibly even a few months.
The diagnosis was as much sweet as it was bitter, but honestly, we were hoping for a quicker solution. A speedier healing. A faster resolution.
When our hearts are wounded from unexpected relationship traumas, we often want to click a simple prayer button and make everything whole and well.
When questions are many and answers are few, we want vision for a mile but often get just enough sight for the next step.
When our overspending choices slash us like falling prices, we try to throw a little sanitizing scripture on the gash of our debt and get out of it in the microwave minute of extended credit.
But life doesn’t work that way. Freedom doesn’t work that way. Quick faith fixes are not a Biblical guarantee. Healing often takes time… and sometimes it doesn’t look like we want it to look. The way we think it should look.
The writer of Hebrews had this to say, "Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see" (Hebrews 11:1).
Yes. God does sometimes rescue and bring us healing immediately, but He’s not obligated to. He’s God, He’s able, and He’s sovereign. Remembering this helps me to trust Him when life gets scary and stressful.
I think about this, and a barrage of questions flood my mind.
Are there lessons to be learned in this lingering?
What if God wants to use the strains, stains, and disappointments we face to refine us – restore us – strengthen us – and draw us to His side in our desperation?
What if God plans to teach us to know Him in new ways as we struggle to hear, to hope, and to heal?
What if instant healing or quick answers would rob me of greater depth?
If these “what if” wonderings are on point, then I’m all for the waiting. Because I really do want to be a woman of depth. Don’t you? Isn’t that what faith is all about?
If I always get what I hope for right away and can always see clearly, then how will my faith grow?
While Preston waited on his healing, I prayed that the lessons we learned would be rich along the way. In the waiting of each trial, you and I will grow in faith as we lean in closely to listen to the whispers of the One who is trustworthy in all things seen and unseen.
Dear Lord, You are all-knowing and all-powerful. All wisdom, grace, compassion, and strength are Yours. Please, forgive me for the times when I tell You how to fix me. I need You, Lord, and I choose right now to trust the plan of healing You have for me and my loved ones. Thank You, Father. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
What trial has your faith stretched and strained right now?
Meet us in the comments section to share your heart and pray for one another.
More From the Girlfriends
Today’s post is an excerpt from Gwen Smith’s book, I Want It ALL. Ready to narrow the gap between ordinary faith and the not-so-ordinary promises of God found in His Word? Order yours today from Amazon, Gwen’s website or from your favorite retailer.
© 2023 by Gwen Smith. All rights reserved.