I scuttled out of bed to cross the room and feel his forehead. As I suspected, he was very warm.
I made my way through the quiet house to put another big pot of water on the stove to boil and then got busy gathering the towels I’d need for the fomentation treatment I knew he’d benefit from.
I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I was tired and what I wanted most was a night of uninterrupted sleep. I wanted to break open a bottle of cough syrup and some ibuprofen and call it good.
But I could hear God calling to my heart.
Quinn had been sick more than he’d been well since we moved in December. Instead of medicating him in my weariness, God was asking me to pray, put in the work, and search out the root cause of all this struggle.
Was it something in the house, as a friend suggested we look into? Was it something that’s recently been added into his diet that hadn’t been there before? Was it something I was doing wrong or that he wasn’t doing right?
I know so little about natural treatments and what I did know, I don’t have easy access to in this country. I kept using that as an excuse when the kids would get sick and I found myself turning more and more to doctors and drugs to try to get rid of the symptoms.
But I was suddenly convicted that I was trusting in the practice of medicine more than I was trusting in God. I felt a little sick at the realization.
After I’d gathered the needed supplies and was waiting for the water to boil, I sat down and opened our laptop. I searched a website I trust for some clue to things I could do that might help.
Finding a few, I made the determination to see this illness through without resorting to pharmaceuticals, unless God made it clear I needed to.
I spent an hour or so that night doing water therapy on his chest and back and put him back to bed with onions secured to his feet. He’s a good little patient and never complains or refuses anything we ask him to do or take.
Soon he was asleep with some relief from his persistent cough, but the fever continued.
Several days went by and his symptoms didn’t improve. The fever stole his appetite and his already thin frame grew slightly thinner. I began to waver. I was doing everything I knew, just like last time. But last time we ended up with a 5 day hospital stay and we were only a month and a half out from his discharge.
Knowing I needed support if I was going to remain strong, I reached out to a friend and fellow missionary, Brenda.
She shared her best advice for the circumstances and we sought out the herbs she mentioned (available in Thailand), increased his vitamin c, and continued praying.
Last night he slept fever-free for the first time in 5 or so days. He still has symptoms but we seem to have rounded a corner.
But God keeps pressing the lessons from this to the forefront of my mind.
Because we tend to want one-size-fits-all answers. We want the road without turns or forks or sudden drops. We want black and white when so much of life is gray.
I saw in these past days, however, that the gray is there because God wants us to learn to listen for the quiet prompting of the Spirit instead of only the information we have stored in our minds.
Perhaps at another time, under different circumstances, the Lord would have been impressing us that Quinn needed medical treatment only available at a hospital. Even if the trip to the hospital was only really for the purpose of encountering someone to encourage that we wouldn’t encounter otherwise.
When He says go, the safest thing to do is go. And when He says stay, there’d be more danger in going.
I’ve been exhausted from the lack of sleep and the strange hours I’ve been keeping but I have a peace that we’ve stayed the right course. Quinn’s body is being given a chance to fight. I’m learning treatments and methods I didn’t know previously and so God is giving me on-the-job training for free that others pay handsomely for.
My eyes are being opened to some more expansive health changes we need to make and without this experience they may not have been.
God is good. He’s kind and creative. He wastes no opportunity and never gives us a trial that doesn’t serve some purpose for good.
We’d do well to learn to praise Him in the storm rather than always asking that the storm might quickly pass.