My little one awoke screaming in the middle of the night. Leg cramps. My guess is growing pains. I rolled out of bed, stretched my back, and blindly stumbled into his room. Rubbing the sleep out of my eyes, I glanced down at the clock. 2:30 am. There he was, doubled up in pain on his bed, holding his little leg, rolling back and forth, wailing like he had just shattered a bone. He hadn’t of course, except when you’re five and you have leg cramps in the middle of the night, I am sure it feels that way! I flopped beside him on his bed and started rubbing his back. No results. It merely escalated his screaming. I tried singing to him. He shrieked at me like he was demon-possessed.
This of course prompts my wife to pipe up from the other room.
“Just take him to the bathroom.”
It is her end all solution. Every time. All the time. Apparently relieving yourself has some kind of magical cleansing effect on your entire body in her eyes. So what do I do? I scoop the little guy up and take him to the bathroom. Standing him by the toilet is not the best idea though. He goes boneless. I hook my hands under his armpits to right him straight up, but that is when he decides to christen the rim of the toilet, not to mention the floor, spraying urine like a firehose dousing red hot flames. I finally straighten him out, getting the last few drops actually IN the toilet, but the damage has already been done. Just what I was hoping to do that next morning … scrubbing pee stains off the floor with Comet.
“Come on, buddy,” I try to coax him. “Let’s get your pullup on and go back to bed.”
“Daddy hold you!” he wails, tears streaming down his cheeks.
I hoist him up with my left arm—the little dude is almost getting too big to be carried—and snag a fresh pullup with my right arm. It is back to bed we go. I lay him down lightly, tucking a pillow right below his little head.
“Do you want covers, big guy?” I ask tenderly.
“NOOOOOOOOOO!” he screams at me. “Daddy, my leg still hurts!”
So much for the taking him pee to cure all ailments theory. (No offense, wifey!) I lay myself down next to him and gently rub his leg. His cries soon dissipate to soft whimpers, and I decide to slam it home with a sweet moment of prayer.
“I’m going to pray for you,” I whisper in his ear.
“No, Daddy,” he moans.
But I don’t care. I have learned that giving him the option of prayer entitles him to gain the power, so I simply declare my God-given right to pray. Like it or lump it, buddy, but Daddy is going to pray for you! Continuing to softly massage his little leg, I quiet my soul to speak to our God.
“Lord, Jesus, I pray Your healing touch would come down upon my son. We know You hear his cries, and we know of Your awesome power. Lord, You are the master of all healers, the one true healer who can move mountains. We put our faith in You that You will calm my son, that You will wipe his tears away, and that You will allow him to sleep securely in Your loving arms the rest of the night. It is in Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”
It is like magic! With every word spoken, my son’s sobs melt away into nothing. I move from rubbing his leg to rubbing his back. My son’s favorite. I smile at this moment now, knowing that God’s loving presence is fully present.
“God is with you, Little Buddy,” I whispered. “God is with you, and He will never forsake you.”
Tears began to well up in my eyes. I don’t want this moment to end now. Had you asked me ten minutes earlier whether or not I wanted to be there, the answer would have been a resounding no. But not now. Not after seeing the power of prayer, the power of God, overwhelm that moment. I snuggle up to him and begin to sing him back to sleep. Aaron Shust’s “My Savior My God.” Once again, his favorite. He is out cold before I even get to the second verse.
This tender moment made me wonder the following day. How often do I turn to God in prayer in the heat of the moment? In the eye of the storm, do I have the faith to cast all my cares and fears at the cross, knowing the situation is in complete control of His loving hands? 1 Peter 5: 7 states, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” Philippians 4: 6-7 goes on to say, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” The next time you experience a moment of panic, whether it be at work or at home, live out those words above. Take it to God, and let Him work His magic.
(There is a new song out from Ryan Stevenson called “Eye of the Storm.” Listen to it below and let it remind you who is truly in control.)