It had been six days since the fever started. Not just any fever. Nearly 104 degree fever with violent shakes and chills. And then it would disappear and I'd be left feeling like I'd been hit by a truck...and then run a marathon, only for the fever to return a day or so later. Every bone hurt. I had no breath. No energy. I crawled around the house most days trying to care for my three children, terribly fearful for the one that was growing in me. For 4 months this little one was wrapped in peace and safety in my womb and this illness kept me praying for my little pregnant belly.
The lab tech said I looked horrible and asked if I needed help back to my car. I guess that ticked me off a little because I declined and took on the challenge. At home, I sat in my recliner with my Bible study book and began reading. It was Isaiah 45. At verse 7 I was ready to rip a page out. But instead I just put a big question mark and wrote, "I don't like this."
I am the Lord; there is no other.
I form the light and create darkness,
I bring prosperity and create disaster;
I, the Lord, do all these things.
Nope. Don't like that one bit. You create disaster? No thanks. Whatever this was that was making me so sick it sure felt like a disaster. And when the fever spiked again late that night, I called the after hours line and was told my blood work was "concerning" and I needed to return to the ER immediately. I let my husband take me this time.
It took about 4 hours of ice packs and cool IV fluids, more blood work and lots and lots of questions for the doctor to get a spark of an idea that triggered a question that is seared in my memory. "When you were in Honduras, did you get bitten by any mosquitoes?" I knew immediately that I was lying there, pregnant, in the middle of the United States of America, with malaria. A disaster? Maybe. I still don't like it. And I still don't believe God directed a malaria-infested mosquito to bite me. God knows we struggle with those whys. And so he reminds us who He is...and who we are...just a couple lines later in verse 9.
Doom to the one
who argues with the potter,
as if he were just another clay pot!
Does the clay say to the potter,
"What are you making?"
or "Your work has no handles"?
God works all things together
for the good of those who love Him
who are called according to His purpose.
My happy, healthy baby boy, Jacob, will be 10 in August. And this Sunday I preach at a church in St. Louis telling this gospel-infused story yet again. It has occurred to me that even if my baby would have died, I'd still be telling this story and fighting for mommas on the other side of the ocean who don't have the same opportunity to protect their children that I had to protect mine. God's wholeness and redemption is available to us all. Whatever disaster we have experienced, however it has turned out, Jesus walked this earth turning disaster into healing and restoration. And Jesus reigns as Lord so that we can glimpse His Kingdom right here. There is no malaria in the kingdom of heaven. Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Ten years. Ten dollars. One precious life.
The statistics are heart-wrenching. But they're changing!
Just $10 helps a momma protect her child.