My youngest son calls out in the middle of the night.
He has leg cramps.
He wears orthotics in his shoes to help correct the form of his feet as they grow. Without this assistance, he would be flat footed – and in more pain – later in life.
But the muscle growth now is marked with spots of significant tension, and if we are not diligent about daily stretching, he wakes up hurting.
I hover over him as he wraps his little arms around my neck and cries.
The tears have run down his neck and wet the collar of his pajamas, so I know I didn’t hear him immediately. He’s been suffering alone in the darkness for some time.
Lord, let the ibuprofen I just gave him kick in soon. Please accelerate its effects. Please.
The Master Physician holds my child in His hands. Even this – this bit of physical pain is allowed for a reason, though I cannot fathom why.
See, I have refined you like silver,
tested you in the furnace of affliction.
We are tested and watched by the silvermaker until all residual character imperfections are burned away. He loves us too much to leave impurities behind.
If I know that this long night is a step on my son’s journey toward God, can I be grateful in this moment?
Lord, give me Your eyes for that – the chance to see – in my little boy – the man You envision…somewhere up ahead.