For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Cor 4:17-18.
Suffice it to say the last few days have not been good. My mom is losing perspective and hope. My dad hasn't rested but one night in 2.5 weeks. When he doesn't sleep, neither does she. And I can tell you that sleep deprivation can tarnish what little perspective you may have! There have been very few brief moments of clarity, and the rest of the time is filled with nonsensical stories, delusions and agitation. My dad's brain injury seems to fall somewhere between Alzheimer's and a stroke, and my mom feels trapped in the middle. To spend hours in his hospital room is depressing, and to consider his condition is paralyzing. Beyond that, I have no comforting words to offer my mom, but can only give her relief by allowing her to "escape" for a few hours at a time. It's like my dad is trapped in this living hell, somewhere between insanity and pain, but complete insanity would be a relief and he's not allowed to go there. I know my mom is praying for healing, but I contend that would not bring the most glory to God. In my dad's mind that would be his own doing, that he beat the odds. I believe God desires others to grow nearer to Himself, and whatever it takes for that to happen, He will allow, as He deserves all the glory. Yes, bad things happen to good people, but that's not the point. We aren't guaranteed a trouble-free life, even when we are obedient. In fact, it's those struggles, trials and circumstances that are opportunity for growth, and allow us to accept our own dependence. We can have joy, even in the worst circumstances. Why is my dad in so much torment? Why must my mom go through this? I don't know, and I may never know. But I know this is not the end of the story. What if this life were all there is? Thank goodness it's not! God gives us a prize at the end of the race, if we'll just accept it. He's done the hard part, giving His only son for our sins, and all we have to do is choose to accept His gift. Yes, I am a sinner; yes, I need a Savior; yes, Jesus is my Savior and Lord; yes, He died for my sin and was raised on the third day; yes, I trust in Him and I will spend eternity in heaven. Oh, if only I could impart that to my dad. He has been given boundless mercy and grace, and now he needs peace.