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I have two children (my only daughter and my youngest son) with tree nut and/or peanut allergies.  My son’s peanut allergy is especially severe and potentially life-threatening.  His experience has been almost identical to that of the girl’s described in this article.

The first time Elissa was exposed to peanut butter, at age two, her throat began to close. Since then, she has carried an epi-pen to school to treat her allergy. She is used to asking questions at restaurants about whether her meal is cooked in peanut oil — and worrying.

The story goes on to discuss desensitization treatments being tested at Duke University Medical Center.  It’s an encouraging development for families like mine who deal every day with dangerous food allergies.

My son, who’s now eight, came home a little weepy from school Friday because someone brought snacks for the class, and he couldn’t have any.  He had to sit and watch while everyone had snacks but him.  That’s hard when you’re eight, and even though it’s a trivial thing I still feel sorry for him.  At the same time I believe there are a number of important things he can learn from situations like that, and I try to help him do just that.

It’s also difficult for me in another way.  It’s hard for me to let him go places and do things other kids can, because I can’t be certain that anyone else will watch out for him like I do.

Now, there are a couple of different ways we can try to put things in perspective when we face difficulties in life.  For instance, I can stop and reflect on the fact that our problems are insignificant compared to the crushing heartaches and burdens that many families bear.  And that is sometimes helpful.

But I don’t think it’s the best way to put things in perspective.  A more biblical way of viewing my problems would be this.  Whatever trials my family and I go through now are insignificant compared to the glory that will some day be revealed to us.  In fact, there really is no comparison.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.  (Romans 8:18-19)

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.  (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

As odd as it may sound, life for a Christian consists largely of learning to see clearly things that are unseen.