Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16
Last night before I slept, I thought I would glance briefly at my email and Facebook page, and I saw a blog story someone had posted called “Pray for Ben” which caught my eye, and I began reading. I never expected that I would continue until almost dawn, nor did I have any idea when I began, that it was a story that would touch my heart so deeply and teach me so much about trusting in God’s mercy and grace.
I was so humbled by this young mother’s words. I have tried to write each day about the goodness and love of God while I have been living in the midst of a season of pure joy – quietly and simply enjoying life with my family and loved ones. How easy it is for me to do so, but this young mother has written with such heartfelt honesty about the struggles of living with a dying child, and amazingly, she has been able to beautifully express God’s goodness in the midst of her family’s pain and sorrow in a way that few of us could. Before I began reading, nothing could have prepared me for the sadness and grief I would experience, and never did I ever imagine the hope, faith, encouragement, inspiration, and praise for our loving God that I would find in her story.
I hope you will go to http://bensauer.blogspot.com/ and read the story of this family’s journey of faith. Look at the pictures of this precious little boy and his family. Read Mindy’s story as she writes about how her family has dealt with the devastating diagnosis of a brain tumor in her son, Ben, at the age of 4. It is heartbreaking to read of her pain at the thought of him being separated in death from his twin, Jack, their 2 year old daughter, Megan, and their family. She writes of the grief she and her husband, Andy, have felt as they have watched their son deteriorate over the last three months, even as she experiences new life growing inside her.
Two weeks before Ben was diagnosed, they received the news that she was pregnant with their 4th child, one they were so looking forward to that would make their family complete with 2 boys and 2 girls. She writes that God clearly had another plan in mind and with His mercy and grace, they are trusting in Him and have found many simple joys along the way. These are some of her own words which have inspired thousands with her story of faith:
“Having God living inside of and all around you makes you think differently. God changes everything. Absolutely everything. Quite honestly, I can’t say that I won’t continue to plead with God to change His mind. To spare Ben’s life and continue his life of ministry here on earth for many many more years. I am still human, and a mom who selfishly wants her healthy four year old back. But I am so much closer to coming to terms with God’s sovereignty than I was before. God is God. He is good. He knows the bigger picture. And He loves us – and Ben – so much more than we can imagine. Having God changes everything. Absolutely everything. Including me.”
“Ben is not mine. He is not Andy’s. He belongs to the Lord. I don’t understand – nor do I think that I will ever understand – why God is allowing us to walk this road. Oh, how I wish we didn’t have to. I’ve prayed time and time again for God to take this cup from us. Nonetheless, here we are.”
“And so we will continue to move forward. We will treasure any amount of time God allows us to have with Benjamin, a little boy who has truly changed our family. And a little boy who I know God will use for big things in the future. No matter which side of heaven he is on.
“Perspective is also the thing that allows me to realize Ben’s circumstance for what it truly is. It is not a death sentence, a punishment for sinful living or something that God gave us just because He enjoys fooling with the faithful. It is an opportunity to see our lives as fleeting, to appreciate all of God’s blessings and soak in His goodness. Because He really has been so good to us.”
“It is by God’s grace I am able to stand and go forward.”
Dear Heavenly Father, our hearts are broken by the story of this young family and their grief. We ask that you continue to be a loving presence in their lives and give them your mercy, grace, and strength to carry them through. Comfort them in the days ahead and fill their hearts with your peace and love. And we know there are many other families who are also suffering through difficult circumstances, and we pray that they will seek your presence, as well. May many hearts be opened to you through the story of their trust and faith in you. Amen