I was asked by a non-Catholic Christian, devout Protestant family that lives not too far from here, if I would pray over their 12-year-old boy who was suffering in the final stages of cancer. When I went there, I had a chance to meet with the Dad. He told me a little bit about their family.
I was really blown away by their faith. He shared with me that, when their first-born child was born, another child of theirs, they were in the hospital. As soon as his wife delivered, there were some immediate complications, they rushed the child away into the emergency room, and performed immediate surgery.
The doctors came out, met with the mother and father and said, “We’re not sure if your child is going to live”. It was their first child, they were been waiting all this time, they were so excited. The doctors said, “these next 24 hours are the most critical. If the child survives these first 24 hours, there’s a good chance he’ll live. But there’s a very strong possibility that he won’t survive 24 hours.”
As soon as the doctor left the room, the man said, “I interiorly did not know how to pray”. I wasn’t sure what he meant by that. He went on and he said, “Because I did not know what God wanted to do in this moment. Did He want to heal my son, perhaps even with a miracle, and leave him here with us, or did He desire to take my little boy home to heaven right then? And so, was I supposed to pray that my child would be healed, or was I supposed to pray for my family, my wife especially, to deal with the suffering of the loss of a child?
“So I waited, and I asked God, ‘How do You want me to pray? Because I only want Your will to be done in your lives. Because Your will is what is best for us.’ “
It just blew me away: A man with that kind of trust in God’s goodness, and the absolute certitude that His will is what is best for us.
So I thought we could just pray for that same grace, to have that trust in God’s goodness, and to know that His will in our lives is always that is what is best for us, even in those times when it might not seem to be: that He really does have a plan in the midst of everything.