Eight teen years ago today, my wife and I welcomed our second child Daniel into this world. As time passed, it became clear that our oldest James would be the student and that Daniel would become the athlete. While James has been blessed with more God given talent, Daniel is more passionate about sports. Whether it was baseball, golf or ultimate frisbee, Daniel always stood out, eventually becoming the best. With one year left of high school, only God knows the chapters left to be written.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope, Jeremiah 29:11.
However, as Paul Harvey shared on the radio for years, the rest of the story reveals what could have been. At the height of his popularity, Daniel’s world came to a halt, almost losing his life to diabetes the summer before his freshman year of high school. There were subtle signs looking back, but I ignored these as needing to hydrate during a hot humid summer. The news of this diagnosis was shocking, especially for a young teenager. As a parent, there is a helpless feeling, unable to undo these events or heal my son to ease his pain. Despite the doctor’s visits, expensive treatments and uncertainty, I am thankful Daniel is alive and well today.
The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps, Proverbs 16:9.
Unless you are diabetic, you can’t relate to the daily shots of insulin needed to stay alive. As technology advances, perhaps someone will create a new device to help ease this burden. Nonetheless, you can’t dwell on what could have been. Rather, for now God is teaching me to focus on what has come to be, a man who is seeking to pursue higher education. Exactly where is still a question mark, but if things proceed as planned, hopefully golf is part of God’s plan. You see, Daniel’s middle name is Payne, in honor of my favorite golfer Payne Stewart. Like a wise king once wrote, “many are the plans in a man’s heart, but the Lord’s purpose previals.”
by Jay Mankus