In a recent episode of Your Hope-Filled Perspective podcast, I chatted with Christina Custodio about the time she spent 44 days at the hospital caring for her son, Isaiah, who suffered a brain hemorrhage. If you missed that episode, click here to listen: Hope for Experiencing Joy Despite our Circumstances – Episode 92. Through that experience, Christina came to understand that God is always there.
I asked Christina to share more of her reflections from that time with you here today.
God Is Always There
By Christina Custodio
My son, Isaiah, spent 44 days and nights in the hospital after his brain surgery. I spent 44 days and 42 nights at the hospital with him.
Not long after he was released from the hospital and we were having a conversation with someone about our experience, Isaiah said with a puzzled look on his face, “Mom, you weren’t there.”
I thought he was joking.
I chuckled, “Whatever, Isaiah.”
“What?” he said. “Papa and Nani were there, and dad was there, and Charlie came, but not you.”
Needless to say, I was floored and hurt. I proceeded to have a temper tantrum… I mean a rational conversation.
You have got to be kidding me! I was there every single day! I fed you, slept right next to you every night, and I even wiped your butt!
The person sitting there with us looked at me and said, “Don’t feel bad, it’s just that you were part of his daily surroundings, you probably blended in like medical equipment.”
I thought about it for a minute and felt a little bit better. But really…. how could he not remember the times I fed him, clothed him, cleaned him up, comforted him when he cried? I was there every minute.
Oh wow…. wait a minute…
Isn’t that kind of like our relationship with God?
God is always there taking care of our daily needs, but somehow, we forget during the times when we somehow think we need Him more than any other regular day, that He never left. He is a permanent fixture we ignore until our needs become “bigger,” or more evident, then we “invite” Him to be a part of our lives. We invite Him to carry away our troubles.
But, don’t you know, He’s been there the whole time? The. whole. time.
Maybe today you can stop, take a look around, and SEE Him. If for some reason you can’t see Him, then SEEK Him. I promise He is there feeding you, clothing you, wrapping His arms around you when you cry. Feel His presence.
When you take time to recognize Him you’ll see…. maybe He prompted that friend (or even stranger) who was there when you needed someone to talk to. Maybe he spoke through that person who smiled at you in the grocery line. Maybe He led the doctor who delivered much better news than you expected, or the person who gave you hope and comfort after receiving devastating news.
Maybe He was in the tiny little flower that miraculously shot up in the crack of the sidewalk you were walking on, or the magnificent rainbow glowing through the dark clouds after a storm.
He tells us in Isaiah 41:10,
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Deuteronomy 31:8 says, “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
Do you know how much He loves you? He knows you by name, and He is with you. There is nothing you can do to change His love for you. Think about the worst thing you’ve ever done. Guess what! He STILL loves you. He is just waiting for you to acknowledge Him.
Those bad things that are happening to you, are not his form of punishment. He didn’t do that to you. Those things come from the evil one. The Lord is still waiting for you to fall into His arms of love and acceptance. Nothing can separate you from that.
“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” -Romans 8:38-39
Have you ever experienced a situation that made you stop and think, “I see you God”? We’d love to hear about it in the comments.
About Christina Custodio:
Christina Custodio is a wife, mother, teacher, writer, photographer, and whatever the Lord asks her to be from day to day.
She is an inspirational speaker and writer who shares her own story as well as inspires her audience to share their stories, connecting and becoming a part of the community of Christ.
Connect with Christina here: Website / Facebook / Instagram
Such an encouraging message. Brought back memories of 7 years ago in the hospital with my hubby, as he recovered from brain surgery for a brain bleed and then a couple more times for another surgery and recovery. We truly saw the hand of God moment by moment in the care of medical folks, the doctors and his healing. The night of his brain surgery he was quoting scripture and singing hymns with his nurse! Glory to God! Thank you for this message and the podcast. I was so blessed by both.
Love her story! From huge to small situations, He is there. He was there for me when my daughter was diagnosed with cancer. He was in a small child’s smile used to help me fight depression.
good word! Beautiful reminder on this day in the US, God is there, regardless of the circumstance or the outcome. He is present. Amen! Shared on twitter…figured they could us the hope 🙂
Wow, what an amazing story and application for us. We get so familiar with God taking care of us we don’t even notice all He does. Thank you both.
Christina’s story so blessed me, how many times I walked through suffering and loss wondering where God was, only to later realize He was here the whole time! My faith has increased each time to learn to lean into the suffering to experience His presence! Thank you!!
John Piper speaks about treating God like a raincoat, hanging him in the back of the closet when we don’t need him…
Guilty as charged!
Thanks so much for calling us out on this behavior.