I’ve decided our life is like a house of cards. Do you remember ever building one? It takes a bit of skill. You finally think you’ve got the hang of it and then someone bumps the table or a breeze blows through, and you’re back at square one again.
With years of practice, we’ve gotten better at constructing our house of cards. We put barriers around the table to keep it from getting bumped. We attempt to ward away the breezes. We’ve even become more skilled in our “building” techniques. So, when our “house” gets knocked over, each time we know a little better what to do differently the next time. However, none of this makes us feel any less disappointed each time the cards crumble and we’re left with the pieces once again.
Some people think their kids' lives are no different than ours. But I would say that most families are building with Legos. Yes, they can still get knocked over and have to rebuild from time to time, but someone merely bumping the table or the slightest breeze hardly phases them. Even if their “house” gets knocked over, it can be rebuilt fairly quickly.
It may help to picture my kids on a ladder. If their diets have been under control and they have not had any recent illnesses, it’s as if they’re standing near the bottom of the ladder, and the affects of an offending food will not be nearly as severe. However, if anything is the slightest bit off, they’re already standing several rungs up the ladder, and any problem that arises could be all that it takes to throw them over the edge.
When Autumn was younger, when something affected her, whether food or illness, everything went downhill at once. She would revert back to crawling instead of walking, she was unable to communicate, and her sensory processing problems went nuts. Now, when her “house” gets bumped, there are still signs, but not as severe since we’re able to keep her near the bottom of her ladder much of the time these days. Winter can be worse for her, but even that’s been a little better so far this year. I have to watch out for colds or congestion because once it starts, I may not be able to get rid of it until Spring finally arrives.
Silas is a bit more tricky. He can bounce up and down his ladder very quickly, and once he’s messed up, it usually takes a couple weeks for him to fully recover. We’re never dealing with just a cold, virus, etc. We’re always dealing with the current sickness on top of his ongoing health problems. Any illness, especially if it causes him not to eat as much as usual, aggravates the problems with his digestive system and blood sugar. Even after everything starts returning to normal, he’s just not himself for a while and can be very irritable.
So, here I am today. I knew something wasn’t quite right with Silas when he had problems falling asleep last night. He woke up this morning saying his stomach hurt, and he didn’t want any breakfast. He also said he thought he was getting a fever. Not good. A little while ago, his blood sugar was 67, and his ketones were 0.6. Both are not terrible - but not good either. What will happen today? Will we avoid a crisis? Will he get worse? Only time will tell.
In the larger view of things, it doesn’t matter if we feel we’re building our lives out of cards, Legos, or 2x4s. What really matters is what we’re building on. Any of these can be knocked down. When they are, what will you land on?
Matthew 7:24-27 (ESV) states,
Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’” Psalm 91:1-2 (ESV)