Could it Get Any Worse?


Sometimes it is hard to find things to be grateful for.

Our blessings might seem limited.

The truth?

Even as we wonder if things could get any worse, the truth is that it could always be worse.

I remember this truth hitting home for the first time many, many years ago.

My seven-year-old son became paralyzed on the left side of his body.  It started slowly.

We were in a store and he was merrily pushing his little brother around in a shopping cart.  His eyes were bright and shining.  But, only one side of his mouth was smiling.

After an ER visit, tests, and transfer to a children’s hospital in Chicago, we were told we were probably looking at a brain tumor or a stroke.  

I was devastated.

Yet, the little hospital quad he was in taught me a lesson.

One boy, aged twelve, had almost continual seizures and had to be revived multiple times while we were there.  This had been ongoing in his life and no treatments seemed to help.

Another little one, about 7 months old, had spin bifida.  Abandoned by her mom, her grandmother came faithfully, dressed her, took her out in a stroller for a walk in the hallways.  Her grandmother knew the little girl had only months to live.

The last child, a baby, lay silent in a crib next to my son’s bed.  She never moved.  She never cried.  She looked as if she was carved from wax.  She had a shunt in her head.

No one came to see her.

I looked at my son and told God, “Thank You.”

He had a viral brain inflammation that had destroyed nerves in his body - but that would regrow.

I knew it could have been worse.

When my daughter died, I couldn’t think of anything more horrible.

Then, I remembered the mom and dad who lost 6 of their children in a car fire - children dying as they watched.

It can always be worse.

I recently had a similar experience.

I’ve been bemoaning my inability to get out.  Looking at all my limitations, and - yes, having a pity party for myself.

A dear friend forwarded me an article by Joni Tada Erickson, where she spoke about living in a body paralyzed from the neck down.

She spoke of how she felt trapped, but how God allowed her to feel free - by singing to Him.

I can move my body.  I can turn my head.  I can do so many things I’ve not been thankful for.

It can ALWAYS be worse.

Yes, I know our lives could be better sometimes.  But it helps me to remember it can always, always be worse.

And it always gives us something to be grateful for.

(I am linking to a page with Joni’s article on it.  If it is any violation of copyright - I will take the page down.)

 © deni weber 2010-2015