I knew something was wrong when the pharmacist gasped at the sight of the rash on my arm.
“I have never seen anything that bad,” she said.
I purchased the remedies she suggested, then went home to make an appointment with my doctor.
The next day, I witnessed the same reaction – a gasp, then an exclamation.
Granted, my inflamed arms, legs, and stomach were not the worst she had observed. I was only a “5” on a scale of one to ten.
But she prescribed a steroid cream, to be mixed with the Neosporin the pharmacist had recommended, and Ibuprofen, for the pain.
Which was considerable.
Two days later, when Blaise, our two-year-old grandson, saw my arms, his eyes opened wide and he said, “Big owie!”
He repeated that several times, until I decided to try to turn this into a lesson in faith.
“Yes,” I said, “but we have a BIG GOD, so we should say, ‘Little Owie, BIG GOD.’”
I put the palms of my hands about an inch apart, and said, “Little owie.” Then I stretched my arms as far apart as possible, saying, “BIG GOD!”
“Big owie!” he exclaimed again when I was applying the cream to my chest and stomach.
Once more, I used my hands to make the contrast between our “little owies” and our BIG GOD.
Slowly, he broke into a smile and repeated, “BIG GOD.”
With the tenacity of a two-year-old, he said, “Big owie!” many more times that day and the next, but when I prompted him, he also began to add, “BIG GOD!”
I was pleased with myself for turning his amazement into a teaching moment.
Two days later, at about 4:00 A.M., the itching and pain screamed for attention, so I went into the bathroom to apply the cream.
I have to admit that my attitude was not as cheerful as it had been with my grandson. Now, my “little owie” seemed very BIG, indeed. Self-pity and rather petulant prayer for relief Had replaced brave words.
But then I remembered what I had told Blaise.
“Little owies – BIG GOD,’ I repeated to myself several times.
I remembered what I had told our church when I preached on Isaiah 40 in April: When faced with difficult situations, we must heed the words of the prophet: “Behold your God!”
He is the Creator of the ends of the earth, the King of the universe and Lord of our lives. He knows our situation, and will give strength to those who wait upon him in faith.
I had quoted Hudson Taylor’s saying, “God is the only real circumstance.” We must look to him, not to our troubles.
So, I began to praise God for his greatness and his goodness.
Gradually, my owie seemed much smaller, and God was much bigger.
Thank you, Lord, for using little Blaise to reveal more of yourself to me.