April 12, 2018

1 Peter 2:21-25

Trevor Watson

Our four-year-old son, David, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in August 2017. His immune system mistakenly attacked his pancreas so that it no longer produces insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar. For the rest of his life, he will be monitoring his blood sugar levels 24 hours a day and injecting or pumping himself with insulin to stay alive.

During the first few months after learning my child has a chronic illness, I went through the five stages of grief. Sometimes I went through all five stages multiple times a day. I’d be heartbroken, knowing he has to endure so many finger pokes and injections. I’d be angry because he can’t eat whatever he wants or run around and play, without a care, like other boys.

One afternoon on my commute home from work, the gravity of it all was weighing down on me. I was sobbing and pleading with God. “Lord, give me this disease, too, so David can watch me take care of myself and have someone to confide in who is going through the same thing he is!” Jesus reminded me I can confide in Him because He knows what I am going through. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses ...” (Hebrews 4:15). The God of the universe put on flesh. Therefore, we can never say to him, “You don’t know what it’s like down here.” He knows and he cares.

Then I prayed, “Lord, please take this illness away from him and give it to me. Please let me have diabetes instead of my son!” Jesus reminded me He feels the same way about my sin. He loved me so much He wanted to take my sin and its consequences away from me just like I wanted to take David’s disease from him. “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed” (1 Peter 2:24).

What started out as a dark moment of sadness and pleading with God, turned into a sweet reminder that our God understands what it’s like to be human and suffer in a fallen world. I was also reminded that my deep love for my son and desire to take his disease away from him is a small echo of our heavenly Father’s love for us and the action He took to take our disease away from us for eternity.