His eyes spoke before his mouth did. "It's not good, is it? I said, holding onto the chair for support. "No, baby. I'm sorry." My husband's eyes filled with tears. I forced myself to not let mine fall because our son had gone to the doctor with him, was having a hard time holding himself together. He sat in the chair next to his father, his sweet face looking hopefully at me, waiting for me to say something to lessen his pain, to make the moment seem anything but what it was.
"All the doctors can do now, honey, " my Johnny said," is to make me as comfortable as possible. They told me I need to talk to my family, to make my final wishes known." The river rose higher in his eyes. I saw how he swallowed, took as deep a breath as he could; saw how he tried to sit up straighter, force himself to look directly at me.
When he had cancer we'd held each other for a long time after hearing the news. But this time, having been through this pain before, we sat silent, each of us struggling with our own uncomfortable emotions.
"I am not afraid to die." he said, his voice seeming to echo in the room. "It is just that I don't want to leave you, don't want to leave our other children and grandchildren."
So Lord, just for today, fill me with your strength, your courage, your hope. Let me not embrace self-pity, for that act prevents me from recognizing the blessing behind the trial.
Today, this morning, you gifted me again, with your breath of life, and my Johnny. We are grateful and praise you, Lord, for sustaining us; for placing within our hearts and minds that peace that passes all understanding.
There are so many hurting people in the world today; people going through the same thing we are. Bless them too, Lord. Let them sense your presence, the depth of your love and the warmth of it.
When discouragement finds my hiding place I will remember your words:
"Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord."
"The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him."
"Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand."