Recently, our family went through a serious and scary emergency with our 13-year-old grandson, Elliott. Our son took him to Urgent Care thinking he had a virus. Elliott’s glucose level was over 700, and he was almost in a diabetic coma! Urgent Care called an ambulance and he spent two nights in ICU at Eggleston Children’s Hospital. We had no idea that our grandson is a Type one diabetic. This has dramatically changed Elliott’s world, and his families world. When Elliott (or any of our grandchildren or children) hurts, we hurt.

We were so glad we happened to be in Atlanta at a convention when we received the call from our son. We immediately left the convention to go help in any way we could. We were experiencing fear, anxiety and pain as we drove in bumper to bumper traffic. Elliott’s parents were in pain as they were navigating this news. Why? Because Elliott was in pain, and he is loved dearly. You see Elliott is a part of us. Our DNA runs all through his body.

If we are a believer, the Bible says we are one spirit with Jesus. (I Corinthians 6:17) He resides inside of us. (Romans 8) He feels what we feel. (Hebrews 4) And we have access to His strength when we are weak. (II Corinthians 12:9) I saw at a deeper level, the love of God for His children as I watched Jason and Katie, and all of us, hurt for Elliott. We also stopped everything to offer him our strength, love and encouragement.

God tells us in His Word that he has promised to use ALL things for our good. (Romans 8) There is no doubt that God cares deeply for our grandson, and his parents. He also cares deeply about this Nana and Pop! It’s at times like this that we hold onto our faith. Listen to Hebrews 4:14, “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Next to the verse I have the words written in my bible, “Lean in hard with great confidence.” We were concerned and felt great fear, but I know that I know that I know that God loves Elliott, and all of us. Nothing takes Him by surprise. Our Father was there to help us all through this horrible nightmare. And He is there for you too!

Our true concept of God will surface when hard times arrive. Emotions can override what our brain may have been taught. I may know all of the Bible verses about God’s faithfulness, but am I experiencing the truth? We get most of our concept of God from authority figures that were in our lives. If our parents were uncaring and harsh, we may see God the same way. A dear friend use to say that God’s word tells us that we were made in God’s image. He continued, “And then we turned around and returned the favor.” In other words, we have the tendency to make God into the image that we think he is in our own minds. And many times our view of God is tremendously skewed. I encourage friends to ask God to take them to the root of what they REALLY believe about God, so it can be unearthed, and replaced with the truth. Most are surprised at how they see Him when the pain surfaces. It’s important to see it, so God can change it. He has promised to redeem our heartaches, and use those times for our growth.

As we watched Elliott hurt and experience fear and frustration, our hearts hurt with him. The love of a parent or grandparents for their child cannot even come close to the love our Heavenly Father feels for us. This is why we tell people to lean into Jesus when they are hurting. He is not punishing you. He is not cold to your pain. He cares deeply, and wants to give you peace in the midst of your circumstances.

Matthew 7:9-11 in The Message Version says, “If your child asks for bread, do you trick him with sawdust? If he asks for fish, do you sure him with a live snake on his plate? As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing. You’re at least decent to your own children. So don’t you think the God who conceived you in love will be even better?

If you are struggling with your view of God, ask Him to show you where the distortion started. You may need to spend a little time working through that mental picture. Then ask Him to replace that lie with the truth. So much of our distorted thoughts are sub conscience. But we know a God who works deeply in our hearts and minds. He delights in bringing healing and wholeness into the deepest part of our being. He wants you to know HIS REAL CHARACTER even more than you do. So ask Him who He is. And listen. Don’t miss feeling HIS comforting touch!