“Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm. He said: Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?” Job 38:2
Oh, how guilty I am of explaining, rationalizing, and boxing God in with words without knowledge. When I decide what He can and cannot do, I’ve spoken words without knowledge. When unanswered prayers are seen as a lack of faith, not fasting enough, or hidden sin, I revealed my words without knowledge.
On a cold Sunday morning in February 2011, my six-year-old (C) awoke in pain and not able to put weight on his left knee. On Monday our pediatrician ordered x-rays and blood work. The x-rays showed no breaks and while his white blood count was elevated, it was not seriously high. When the condition of his knee began to worsen on Thursday, she set up an appointment with a pediatric orthopedic.
By the time we arrived at the orthopedic physician’s office, my full-of-energy boy was having trouble with both knees. He could not walk far and was in excruciating pain. The orthopedic ordered a set of x-rays for the back of his legs, fitted him for braces to stabilize his knees and help him walk, and told me to buy a stroller. A stroller? I thought those days were behind us and I’d given away not one, but two in the past year!
The new set of x-rays showed a cyst in his femur bone plus multiple holes across the backside of both knees. The physician said, “it’s like a mouse has been nibbling on his knees.” When blood work revealed that C was auto-immune, the primary “mouse” suspects were osteochondritis or rheumatoid arthritis.
Because we live in a major city, finding a pediatric rheumatoid group should not have been difficult. Yet, it was. One pediatric group–considered the best–scheduled only six months in advance. The earliest C could be seen was August. It was Feburary.
Our pediatrician called the rheumatoid group and pleaded for a six-year-old in pain to be seen quickly. The answer was the same. For days we (family and the intercessory prayer group at church) prayed for God’s favor to get an appointment and for C’s healing. I researched the doctors online and laid my hands on the computer screen, asking if it was the Lord’s will to please arrange for C to see a specific doctor.
Within days the orthopedic physician called and said, “C has an appointment! It was luck. We were just lucky.” (Let me insert: to God be all the glory! Luck had nothing to do with it.) The physician said he was on the phone with the rheumatoid group’s receptionist when he heard someone in the background say, “we’ve had a cancellation.” He immediately asked for the appointment for C. That was Tuesday. On Friday morning C and I walked into the office of the very doctor I had prayed for! A seemingly impossible appointment–except for God’s intervention.
C had begun to feel much better and was trying to play catch-up on all the days of missed play. The doctor did not see obvious signs of arthritis in his poking and prodding of C’s joints. His diagnosis was osteochondritis (OCD) and we were told that if C had a flare-up (stiff or painful joints) to come back to see him.
I left the rheumatologist with a heavy heart. It did not matter whether it was OCD or arthritis, both were equally hard to swallow. We drove across town for C’s MRI and more x-rays. The rheumatoid doctor said the final word would be this round of x-rays. If C had arthritis, it would show on the MRIs.
Four days later the orthopedic physician called. I recognized the number and wanted to answer and ignore the call at the same time.
[Editor’s Note: This is part one of a two-part series that will conclude in tomorrow’s post.]