Hospital room thanksgiving. It seems like a misnomer, but I've been feeling it since we were admitted. My wheezing, sad eyed girl sitting up in bed watching the nurses like a hawk as they connected her to all the things.
That was yesterday.
Today I'm watching the snow swirl away out the window when the doctor gently breaks it to me that we won't be going home today - as if I couldn't tell. My baby is still struggling, something as natural as breathing a task she simply can't complete on her own.
I'm in yesterday's clothes sipping a poor excuse for coffee after a long uncomfortable night, but I'm glad we are here. Magnolia will get better. We will leave, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but she will get better and we will go home. This inconvenience will soon be forgotten and life will go on. I wonder if this knowledge is what I base my gratitude on. And if it is, is that really being grateful?
Am I grateful only when I know I will eventually get my way? That, at some point, what I want will come to pass? That seems very thin ice for gratitude and her sister, joy, to skate across.
I remember being a kid and asking my mom why God lets bad things happen. I don't remember her answer, but I'm sure whatever it was must have been good, albeit incomprehensible to me at the time. It's a question I know some of my unbelieving friends struggle with. If God is all goodness, then how? How do cherished babies enter hospitals and never come out again? How are entire villages burned to the ground, entire people groups brutally victimized?
We are living in a culture that pokes fun of the idea of prayer in the face of hardship because it doesn't appear to "do" anything. Bad days keep happening. Sin and hurt prevail. We look for God and wonder where He is in the face of such brokenness.
The balm of prayer may not be in a situation remedied, but in how the people within it are strengthened by the knowledge that someone is holding space for them. Bad things continue to happen, but God is still all good because His good for us has always been the end game. The answer to a world apart from him and all that that entails.
I can give thanks in a hospital for a baby battling a fever and respiratory illness. Not because she will get better, but because even if she doesn't? His plan for her, for us - is the highest and ultimate good. No plans can be fumbled, no days ruined when you realize that what He has for you today? Illness, pain, brokenness just as much as joy and peace and love - is counted. Redeemed. Filled to the brim and overflowing with awesome grace, and the promise of the ultimate victory in and with Him.
My baby breathes deep pure oxygen and I'm breathing easy, too. Knowing that every single thing I face today and tomorrow and as long as I live - is for His glory and my ultimate, eternal good.