9 out of every 10 couples I know have it pretty easy. Kids are healthy, roof over their heads, source of income, and all that. Sure, there’s a new trial every day, but most of them are manageable.
Then there’s my friends Jon and Lauren. Two years ago their daughter Allie was born with a rare genetic disorder called I-Cell disease. The disease is terminal, with most children not living to see their 7th birthday.
And just when they thought life couldn’t get much more difficult, in February they received some devastating news. I’ll let them tell you in their own words…
We showed this video at church on Sunday, and when it ended Lauren sang “The Desert Song” by Brooke Fraser. Needless to say, it was a very emotional moment. Up on stage playing guitar, I couldn’t sing along or even look up from my music. I don’t even know how she got through it.
The Desert Song by Brooke Fraser
This is my prayer in the desert And all that’s within me feels dry
This is my prayer in the hunger in me My God is a God who provides
And this is my prayer in the fire In weakness or trial or pain
There is a faith proved Of more worth than gold
So refine me Lord through the flames
And I will bring praise, I will bring praise
No weapon forged against me shall remain
I will rejoice, I will declare
God is my victory and He is here
And this is my prayer in the battle And triumph is still on it’s way
I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ So firm on His promise I’ll stand
All of my life, In every season
You are still God, I have a reason to sing
I have a reason to worship
This is my prayer in the harvest, When favor and providence flow
I know I’m filled to be emptied again, The seed I’ve received I will sow
In the LOST finale last week Ben said “What about me?” to the God-like character. “I’ve been through so much pain and hurt and sacrifice! What’s in it for me?” And when he doesn’t get an answer he likes, he strikes out with the intent to kill.
For Jon and Lauren, there have been a lot of answers from God that they have absolutely hated. I can’t even imagine the doubt and pain that they have struggled through these last few years. And as Lauren said on Sunday, there’s been tears, pain, and angry questioning of God as well. Yet through it all, in front of their church family they stood up and said, “You are still God and I have a reason to worship” and they worshiped him.
Next time you think of Jon and Lauren (and maybe even right now), say a prayer for them, for baby Allie, and not-yet-born baby Taylor. And be inspired by their raw and honest faith.
Their testimony is a reminder that the question isn’t “what about me?”, it’s “what about God?”. And whether you’re in the harvest or the desert, the answer is the same: God is worthy to be praised.