In my faith, there’s much I don’t understand. But I guess that’s why it’s called faith — seeing without believing. Within Scripture, it’s easy to the beauty in suffering. It strengthens us as people. It draws us nearer to Christ. Suffering brings the Holy Spirit into our midsts. It requires us to surrender. The beauty of suffering is what it does for our relationship with the risen Savior. But when it’s our own suffering or the suffering of someone we love, it’s difficult to see the beauty and the growing, the stretching and the molding. It’s hard to lean into the arms of Jesus when our hearts are shattering.
Right now, I long to see the beauty in suffering. I want to see God’s love and tender mercy in the Schuhmaker’s story. But I’m struggling to see it. My heart breaks for this family in such a powerful way. Many weeks ago, I blogged about the Schuhmakers and the journey they had just embarked on. I asked you to pray for them, too, and I know some of you did just that. Some of you, outside of the diabetes network, have asked about them along the way. So now, I ask you to lift your voices in prayer for this family once again.
Ryan and Meri received bad news after Ryan’s last scan. Instead of tumors shrinking or disappearing, there are more. The family’s last chance for a miracle will come by way of a new drug. According to Meri, Ryan is confident he will be fine. But statistics are looming and confidence is fading.
But today, I approach the throne of God boldly and with great confidence. I ask for healing through His hand. May the power of the Holy Spirit prevail. I ask for peace and gentleness over this family. I don’t understand all things. And while I know my treasure is in heaven and not on earth, there are people I’d like to share the journey. Ryan, is one of those people.
Father God, I humbly bow before You as someone who doesn’t have the answers. Not all. Not even a few. But what I do have is Your word. I have Your promise in Scripture. In Matthew 13, You tell us the parable of the man who recognized heaven as a treasure. He took his treasure, buried it in a field and then sold everything he owned to buy the field. Oh Father, it’s my genuine prayer to see Heaven that way — to risk everything to have the treasures You’ve promised there. I know this life is fleeting; it is but a blink in Your continuum of time. Lord, may we look to heaven with a longing gaze and with an understanding that to be with You is our final and ultimate goal. Father God, that You might be our treasure. I ask for You to make Isaiah 61 my heart’s prayer. That when I don’t understand things, and I have questions in life, that I lean on You to heal my heart, to set me free and to turn my mourning into dancing. Lord, I pray for physical healing for Ryan. I pray that through You and Your hand, this medicine will work. That it will do what it’s supposed to, and that Ryan’s tumors will shrink; that his cancer disappear. Lord, as much as I pray for healing on earth, I pray Your will be done above all else. I don’t begin to understand Your power or Your might, but I pray for Your will because I recognize Your sovereignty. God, please find Your glory even here. May the faith of those involved in this battle remain strong and true. May You be the guiding light behind the hope and promise of our futures. I praise You for Your faithfulness, even in the midst of despair. Lord, in 2 Corinthians You remind us we are hard-pressed on every side, but not crushed; persecuted but not destroyed. So Lord, I pray for Your tender hand of mercy over this family. Lift them up, give them fight and strength for the road ahead. Give them a peace that surpasses all understanding. Be their rock, their fortress and their salvation. Wrap Your loving arms around them and hold them tight. Lift them up, Jesus. Lift them up. Let them see Your beauty in the suffering. Let them be a light to others. Amen.
Ryan and Meri are the parents of four fantastic boys, three of whom have type 1 diabetes. Sunday, Sept. 2, has been marked as a day of prayer and fasting for this family. If you feel led, please join us as we lift up the Schuhmaker’s on this day. There is also a fund where anyone can contribute to the family. You can donate by clicking here. You can also follow the family’s journey through Facebook here.