When our second daughter was a little girl, she was covered with chronic eczema. She had regular hospital and specialist appointments and would often have infections all over her body. We would have to bathe her in special medicated lotions several times a day, then cover her from head to toe in ointments and moisturizer. After soaking bandages in warm water, we would then have to wrap her up like a mummy, finally putting on top of those wet bandages (called wet dressings) a set of dry clothes. She would have to stay in this state for close to an hour.
We chose to do this process four times a day instead of her having to be hospitalized, and there were many days I fought back tears as I carefully applied ointments to her infected, sore little body.
In those years, I learnt to hold onto God’s promises. I learnt that you can’t look at external circumstances or suffering to survive and win, but only at the promises in God’s word. I had to decide to hold onto what God said about our daughter and stand on that.
We also taught her God’s promises; we prayed, spoke what God said, and refused to give up. I would tell her, “find a spot without eczema no matter how small; that beautiful clear, smooth skin is what you are going to have all over you.”
I would speak over her, “people are going to look at you and say, “look what beautiful skin you have”. I was speaking those things that are not, as though they are.
“Abraham acted in faith when he stood in the presence of God, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence things that don’t yet exist.” (Romans 4:17)
In the natural, it seemed ridiculous, but I was looking through the eyes of faith and God’s promises.
Our daughter is 26 now, and you would never know except for two small scars on her arm that she went through as a child. It’s over 15 years since she was discharged from the hospital as an outpatient, and I remember the day she was discharged and her specialist who had cared for her all those years standing back with tears in her eyes and saying, “just look at you”, “look how beautiful you are and how clear and smooth your skin is”.
Yes, I agreed quietly to myself, God is so faithful, and we can hold onto His promises!
There are times in life when our circumstances will not look like they are lining up or at all what we had planned in the midst of the battle. We can be left with more questions than answers and feel confused and disappointed. However, it is really important in this space to acknowledge that we don’t know everything and to seek God for His wisdom and the steps to take on our journey. I’ve learnt that setbacks are temporary and that even though we may lose ground in a skirmish, we will not lose the war.
Today I encourage you to hold on. You may be facing temporary setbacks or even “faith hits’, but this is not the end. Reach out to Jesus, lay hold of His promises, dust yourself off if need be, but don’t concede defeat. It may look impossible, but look again through the eyes of faith and God’s promises and see and speak your breakthrough!
Prayer: Lord, I hold onto your promises. I thank you that you are faithful to your word, and even if I have temporary setbacks, I will not be defeated. I believe what you say about my circumstances – I win. In Jesus name amen.