Monday, June 23, 2008

Quiet Moments With God--Valuable Lessons

My husband and I live in the country. We raised our family here. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else, but trouble lurks in the greenery. A succulent green-leafed plant thrives in the forests and lowlands, just waiting for the unsuspecting.

We hadn’t lived here long when I was first introduced to poison oak. I learned, first hand, that beauty sometimes conceals malice. But that’s a topic for another day. Today I want to talk about learning lessons.

I was extremely allergic to poison oak and quickly learned to stay away from it. My son, on the other hand, had to learn his lesson more than once.

Like me, he was tremendously sensitive to the oil on the plant’s leaves and was often covered in the horrible, weeping rash that comes from contact. Some summers it seemed I spent hours every week, dabbing Calamine lotion on the fiery red rashes on my son’s flesh.

One night after tucking him into bed and settling down for prayers, he asked me to pray for his most recent outbreak. Of course I did, but when the rash didn’t immediately disappear he asked, “Why doesn’t God heal me?”

It’s one of those questions that isn’t easily answered. Often, we don’t know why God does or does not heal. That evening, though, I think God gave me a good answer for my son . . . and for me. I told Paul, “If God heals every time you get into the poison oak do you think you’ll learn to stay out of it? Maybe this is His way of teaching you to avoid the plant and some of the other barbs in your life.”

Understanding dawned on his young face and he said with a hint of disappoint, “Yeah, I guess that makes sense.”

After that, I don’t recall him ever having another bad case of poison oak. It seems he learned his lesson.

What about the lessons in our lives? What is God trying to teach us? Are we angry about his teaching tools and therefore missing the point? Over the years, I’ve had to learn a lot of lessons, some numerous times. But when I remember that evening with my son I am reminded that sometimes “fixing” a situation only means I’ll miss important instructions from my Lord.

God doesn’t fix everything and with good cause. And so I offer Him thanks even for things like poison oak.

Grace and peace to you from God.



  1. Thanks for sharing this, Bonnie.

    Sometimes I wonder if I'm ever going to learn the lessons that God has for me, even now as an adult.
    But your story proves that there is hope for all of us.


  2. Beth,

    One of the wonderful things about walking with the Lord is that there is always hope.

    Blessings to you,