Ben Thomas has been sick off-and-on for a couple of weeks now. It’s sinus yuck and when Lindsey gets back from the doctor this morning, I imagine they will say it’s an ear infection. He’s also teething. And last week he had his 6-month immunizations. It’s a really crappy time in his little world!
And as BT’s Daddy, when he is unhappy, it breaks my heart. Now–he’s a baby, and there are times when he acts like a baby. There are times when he whines for attention. There are times when he’ll squeal just to get someone to come and pick him up. But I’m not talking about those times…I mean when he is tossing and turning all night long and cannot get comfortable because his ears are killing him, his fever is 101.3 (and has been for 12 hours), and he can’t breathe from all the snot. Those are the times when he really just breaks my heart.
We left our friends’ house early on Saturday night, when we discovered his fever. We alternated ibuprofen and tylenol like we’re supposed to. We put a cool rag on his head/neck. We even gave him a cool bath for a while…but nothing worked. He was miserable and hurting. He laid his little head on my shoulder for a couple of minutes and let out a big sigh, but before long, he was right back to crying. Not a blood-curdling scream, but a cry that said, “I really don’t feel good, Daddy. This stinks!”
Lindsey and I held hands and put our hands on him and prayed a few times and agreed together and asked God to heal him and help him to sleep. The last time we did that was around 5am and while Lindsey rocked my little boy, I went in my room, sat on the bed, face-in-hands, and I cried.
I couldn’t fix it.
I was tired.
I hurt because he was hurting so bad.
I cried. I cried out to my Father and asked Him to make this right.
And I pictured Jesus doing the very same thing. When our sin has us bound, when we are messed up, beat up, and worn out, and we are tossing and turning inside, wanting some relief…I picture Jesus saying, “Come on buddy, just lay your head on my shoulder. Let it out. Just breathe.”
I know Jesus was crying with me.
Steve Austin is an author, speaker, and life coach who is passionate about helping overwhelmed people learn to catch their breath. He is the author of two Amazon bestsellers, "Catching Your Breath," and "From Pastor to a Psych Ward." Steve lives with his wife and two children in Birmingham, Alabama.
Life is hard, and then you die.
Peace, Be Still: Finding Hope in the Midst of Anxiety
Jesus was a Zombie? The Death and Resurrection of My Faith
Love will Never Vote You Out
Pastors and Suicide: What Should I Know?
Why No One Really Cares What You Believe
Jesus was a master at practicing empathy. Here’s why.
Missing Jesus: The Death of My Childhood Faith