We certainly have had our share of trials over the past couple of years. And each one has brought its own "blessings in disguise," some we are probably not even aware of yet. Recently we've had a couple of new trials, and in each I have been struck by the mercies of the Lord.
A week and a half ago Caleb climbed out of his crib and broke his right arm. As best we can tell, he leaned over the front railing (maybe looking for a toy or paci in the floor), tumbled out, and broke his arm as he was bracing himself for the fall. No parent wants her child to break any bone, but standing in the emergency room I was suddenly aware of how much worse it could have been. As far as breaks go, Caleb's was simple, uncomplicated, and "easy" to fix. No surgery required, no physical therapy, and the cast should be on for no more than three or four weeks total. We clearly have a "climber" on our hands, and this accident served to make us all the more careful in our "toddler-proofing." Our bookcases have been bolted to the wall, we got a crib tent (to prevent further "escapes"), and we don't take our eyes off of him. Perhaps this "trial" has mercifully prevented later, more traumatic injuries.
On Father's Day, my mom was pulling weeds in her flower beds and she ended up with poison ivy. She had to take steroids which caused her to have pancreatitis (who knew steroids can do that, but they apparently can). She had an abdominal CT scan to make sure nothing was wrong with her pancreas, and in the process, discovered a substantially-sized mass on one of her adrenal glands. There was no way to know if it had invaded other internal organs and no way to know (for sure) whether it was cancer unless it came out.
Mom's surgery was this past Tuesday morning and it went very well. The actual surgery lasted only two hours (they expected more like four), and she was able to go straight to a regular room (rather than ICU as was originally planned). She came home three days earlier than expected, and on Friday we got the news that the mass was benign. I think that might be my new favorite word - "benign."
Did God allow us to find the mass early before it became cancer? I don't know. But I do know that the Lord was in that operating room. I know that he brought us all a sense of peace and comfort while we waited for the news. And I know that we are all more aware of what really matters in our lives as a result of this experience. I am certain that this recent trial is God's mercy in disguise. I am so grateful for his protection and provision in my life and the lives of my loved ones, even if we don't understand all that happens this side of heaven.
One of my friends recently posted to Facebook, "What if you woke up tomorrow with only the things you thanked God for today?" That is definitely food for thought...
Count your blessings. They are all around you.