This week a chicken nugget led me into a God moment. Yes, that is a sentence I never thought I would write, but here we are.
On Saturday we overcommitted ourselves tremendously and tried to divide and conquer. Jake drove 20 high school boys to a soccer play day that lasted most of the day. I had both kids and had to orchestrate our children’s soccer ministry for 95 kids at the church from 8:30-2. Whenever God calls me to do something He is always faithful to supply the energy needed to do it, and Saturday was no exception. God also sent help my way with our boys which was such a needed blessing.
Malachi and Levi were troopers as they waited patiently for me to finish at the church but their tolerance for the chaos was dwindling by the minute. I had to get them up extra early and they both were very tired and Levi was getting cranky. I decided to go through a drive through and grab him some food to eat so he would have a full belly and nap when we got home.
Levi is still relatively new to eating full meals and we still rely on his g-tube for two daytime feeds and continuous feeds overnight. In his lifetime I think he has only had three happy meals from McDonalds, so it is definitely a special treat for him!
He was so excited about his chicken nuggets and when I pulled them out of the bag to hand him one they were way too hot to eat, so I started blowing on it to cool it down. In a stroke of ingenuity (or maybe just a healthy dose of common sense) I rolled down the window and held the chicken nugget out into the cool breeze. As I drove with that chicken nugget in my outstretched arm I looked at that shriveled, fried chunk of processed meat and got hit with an unexpected wave of thankfulness.
I thought back to the moment the doctor looked into my eyes and told me that Levi’s vocal cords were paralyzed and he wouldn’t be able to breathe or eat without devices/support. I thought back to that day I signed the consent for surgery to place his g-tube, and that feeling of defeat that overcame me. I thought about the hours of feeding therapies, and how God led us to one that took on the risk of treating Levi despite his airway anatomy.
I could almost feel the tension and anxiety from each time I sat in a waiting room as they looked at Levi’s lungs in the operating room to see if he had aspirated his food or water. I thought back to the swallow studies and the discouraging surgeon updates. 27 surgeries and 27 anxiety filled meetings with doctors after.
As I stared at that nugget I saw the faithfulness of God in our journey. It represented Him moving mountains in the path of my son and giving us a miracle. The surgeons in Cincinnati are continually amazed by his ability to learn how to eat food and divert it away from his lungs (his vocal cords do not close to protect the opening when he swallows). They said they have seen adults be able to learn how to do this, but for a child his age to do that is truly astounding. What a gift we have been given by God. Not to mention that beautiful voice that sings praises to God….something doctors told us we would never get to hear.
There is a story in 2 Kings about the prophet, Elisha and his servant. Early that morning the servant awoke and went outside to find the city being circled by horses and chariots specifically there to capture Elisha. The servant said to Elisha, ”Alas, my master! What shall we do?” and Elisha replied ”Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”
2 Kings 2:17 continues: ”Then Elisha prayed and said, ’O Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.’ And the Lord opened the servant’s eyes and he saw; and behold the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”
It is easy to get overwhelmed by the hard things that surround us. It is easy to allow those unknowns to create panic and actions that we often later regret. But we have to remember that our God is for us, and He is behind the scenes surrounding us with His protection and provisions. We may not always get to witness our angel armies, but part of faith is believing that He goes before us.
This week a chicken nugget reminded me of God’s faithfulness to our family, and it also served as a needed reminder to me that I need to continue to cultivate a life of faithfulness to our God (Psalm 37:3).
I pray that God allows me to become more like Elisha and less like his servant, requiring the glimpses of the unseen in order to fuel the trust.
I know this is an unconventional update but that is where God has led me this evening. I hope that God uses these words to speak to your heart tonight!
But before I go, let’s talk about this sweet moment with Malachi as he listened to a man on America’s Got Talent do some amazing jumps in his wheelchair. His excitement was contagious as he listened to the crowd cheer the man on. The older he gets the more representation matters to him.