Finding the silver lining through God’s promises

Published 11:26 pm Saturday, September 19, 2015

It’s rare for me to read anything online that affects me as much as the stories of parents with sick children. As a father, my heart breaks for anyone who has to watch their child suffer.

I’ve known mothers and fathers who have fought childhood cancer alongside their young son or daughter. It’s a terrible thing to watch, and unthinkably horrible to experience I’m sure.

But one such story I read Friday was more inspirational than tragic. Not because the child beat the disease, but because the parents had faith that God’s plan was perfect, even if it meant healing wouldn’t come on earth.

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On Friday, 5-year-old Campbell Dale died. A Twitter account his family set up posted this message: “Campbell finally caught his rainbow. He ran through heaven’s gate and is sitting at the feet of Jesus.”

His parents, Jill and David, knew it was coming. On Thursday, the message was simple: “Pray for peace. Pray for no pain. Pray for comfort. Pray for strength.”

And so many people had prayed for Campbell and his family. His grandparents are locals, and his story undoubtedly touched many here in Lincoln County.

I am in awe of a family that could embrace the promise of Christ in such a dark time. I don’t know that I could. But after reading their story on Caring Bridge, it was clear that Campbell’s family was rooted in the hope that only Christ can offer.

“I’ve cried many tears in the past few days, knowing that Campbell is one day closer to being HOME,” his mother Jill wrote on Thursday. “He sat up in bed last night, and I was talking to him as he was drinking his apple juice. I asked him if he was tired, he nodded yes. I asked him if he was ready to go home, and he said yes. I then asked him if he was ready to see Jesus. He nodded yes. I hugged him tight and told him, not much longer…and then told him that Jesus would take care of him and told him to wait for us.”

“When we were given the news on Aug. 17 that the trial was not working, we were not completely surprised, but still devastated,” she wrote. “But, we found peace that as Campbell’s parents we have done everything we possibly could to help him and give him the best chance at living. I think when we saw the four rainbows that day flying back to Jackson from Memphis was where the peace came from….God reminding us HE is the still the same God that blessed us with these babies, the same God that has carried us throughout this journey and the same God that will continue to carry us all the rest of our days. As hard as it is for us to realize, HIS plan is not ours…that our sweet boy will receive his healing in heaven.”

That’s the kind of faith God asks for, but so rarely gets. Campbell’s story is no doubt one of sorrow and pain and heartache, but it’s also one that glorifies God.

“Our lives will never be the same…we will never be the same because a beautiful, blonde-haired, blue-eyed child will not be by our side,” Jill wrote Thursday. “My heart aches to think about so many things we won’t get to share with him, but then I think about what he will be experiencing in heaven…something so glorious that I can’t even fathom…he will be where I long to be.”



Luke Horton is the publisher of The Daily Leader.