This story is one of a series of stories that begin with the title “Out of the Mouths of Babes.” These stories celebrate the Wisdom of God that can be ours when we listen to and reflect on the words that lead to worship and thanksgiving, words spoken by children. For, as Psalm 8:2-3 tells us, “ O Lord, our Lord, how awesome is your name through all the earth! I will sing of your majesty above the heavens with the mouths of babes and infants...”
After another night in which our toddler cried, tugging at his ears, our family doctor recommended we take him to an ear specialist.
Stunned by the results of the ear examination, we heard the news that our son had two punctured ear drums.
“We’ll put him on antibiotics and recheck him in about a week. Antibiotics likely will not heal the tears. We’ll most likely have to do a surgical procedure, implanting tubes to prevent further ear drum damage.”
On the drive home, I reminded our son, “Jesus loves the little children. Ask Him please to make your ears better.”
And modeling for our son, I prayed, “Jesus, please heal his ears. Thank You, Amen.”
Then, I asked him to pray, “Jesus, please heal my ears. Thank You. Amen,” which our son did.
Each day we prayed that the Lord would heal His ears.
Did I believe that such a "miraculous" healing was possible? I absolutely did and do believe that Jesus can do any physical healing He Wills. Did I believe that He would heal our son’s ears in a miraculous way? I hoped so (hoped as in wished, rather than as in trusted). I honestly did not know if He would.
On the return trip to the ear specialist’s office, I admit I held my breath as the doctor examined our son’s ears, not really wanting to hear about the need for ear surgery—even if the procedure was relatively commonplace.
After what seemed like a long time, the doctor said, “I have good news. This doesn’t usually happen with antibiotics alone. His ear drums have completely healed. We’ll hold off on the stint. We’ll just monitor to see if he gets another ear infection.”
Euphoric! Jubilant! Relieved! All I could think of was—no surgery! He won’t need surgery—at least not this time! Hooray! No surgery!
Somewhere on the drive home, halfway between the doctor’s office and home, from my front passenger seat vantage, I turned to our son, belted into his back seat car seat, and I said, “Oh, no! We never thanked Jesus! We better do that right now!”
And our son stopped me with just three words, “I already did.”
Surely, there is a very strong connection between Jesus and little children. While I was babbling on in the front seat, verbally celebrating our son’s healed ear drums, there in the back seat, without any prompting, he was thanking Jesus—or maybe he had even done that in the doctor’s office…I never asked how or where or when he “already did.”
When I say “without any prompting,” I have to admit that although I hadn’t done any prompting, maybe his guardian angel had prompted him. How privileged our children—and we!—are to have a guardian angel that Jesus said continually looks upon the Face of His Heavenly Father (Cf. Matt. 18:10).
Regardless of who inspired him, our toddler reminded us that we need to thank Jesus--right away!
Do I think that Jesus healed his ears? I do! …He healed him through the ear specialist, through the medicine, and possibly even directly! ….Not because of me, my prayers. But because of our son’s thankfulness, which Jesus knew from all eternity would be the child’s reaction.
“I already did.”
Truthfully, in many ways since our son’s ear drum gratefulness, I still ask the Lord with more intensity than I thank Him. And, unfortunately, too, there still is too long a delayed reaction between the good work of the Lord and my thankfulness….And every time I forget to thank or I take too long to thank, I am convicted by the twenty-eight month old voice I still hear in my memory: I already did.
Here are some challenging Scripture quotes to keep in mind during this Year of Mercy, perhaps they will prompt us to be promptly grateful.
“Give thanks to the Lord for He is Good; His Mercy endures forever.” (Ps. 107:1)
“Give thanks to him, bless his name.” (Ps. 100:4)
“Bless the Lord, my soul; and do not forget all his gifts.” (Ps. 103:2)
“Give thanks to the Lord, invoke his name; make known among the peoples his deeds! Sing praise to him; play music; proclaim all his wondrous deeds!” (Ps. 105:1-2)
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again; rejoice! Your kindness should be known to all. The Lord is near. Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:4-7)
Amen. Thank You, Most Merciful Jesus, for what You have already done, are doing, and will do for us—forever.