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In a recent post entitled Provision & Praise, I shared God's faithfulness during my son Elijah's emergency room visit several weeks ago. What began as a seemingly acute bout of stomach pain that was rather simple to diagnose and treat, is now much more.

Week one came and went and I thought he turned the corner. He did, but around it was only more pain. And no answers.

Today marks day 22 of my son giving me, that look. Day 22 of him saying, "Mommy, my tummy hurts. Mommy, I don't feel good. Mommy, please help me. Mommy why can't anyone help me? Mommy, please...please...!"

Still nothing definitive after:

Two emergency room visits, repeated lab work, multiple x-rays, ultrasounds, four different medications, visits to his family doctor, pediatrician and now a gastroenterologist.

Each provider has been outstanding and heaven sent. All are trying hard to determine the origin of his illness.

Hoping his pain level would hold out for next Thursday, when he is scheduled to be put under general anesthesia to have an upper and lower scope ran, tonight, his pain escalated.

It was the worst of the 22 days for him, by far. Holding him in my arms, gently stroking his hair, I prayed silently-desperately for him to have relief.

"God, give us wisdom I pray. Oh God, please strengthen our son," I wept as I knelt just outside his room.

A great deal of pain has resurfaced at the sight of my son suffering. I know this look. I saw it in the eyes of my son Isaiah as he suffered through pain I can't even begin to imagine.

I know this place. This place of complete helplessness. When you're the one that's supposed to kiss the boo-boo's away, but you can't.

So the question in my heart tonight is:

What do you do when things don't get better?

Why is this question so important?

Because things don't always get better this side of Heaven.

You've seen it in your own life or in the lives of those you love I'm sure.

What comes of our faith when pain slowly tries to chip away at it?

Because what we do then, is indicative of the true condition of our hearts.

When days turn into weeks, weeks into months and maybe even months into years - what then?

When Isaiah's NICU stay turned from days, to weeks, to months and ultimately to almost a year long stay in NICU, my answer wasn't pretty. In fact, its darkness matched that of my heart.

1 Corinthians 10:12-13 Wherefore let him that thinks he stands, take heed lest he fall.

I acknowledge today, in the midst of my own trial, that without God's grace, I will surely fall. So, I run to his lap and curl up in the safety of his arms.

1 Peter 1:6-7 Wherein you greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, you are in heaviness through manifold temptations. That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.

It is hard to rejoice in seasons of trial. It seems nearly impossible, but when viewed through the lenses of faith, our fires have purpose. Whatever your flames look like today, along with mine, may our faith be found unto praise, honor and glory at our Lord's appearing.

Luke 22:31-32 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not and when thou are converted, strengthen thy brethren.

As I pray for you today, that your faith will fail not in spite of whatever trials you face, would you do the same for me, my husband and our precious son, Elijah? And, after we're converted, may we each go strengthen our brothers and sisters.

Thank you in advance for approaching God's throne on our behalf.

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