How a Vomiting Child Taught Me a Lesson on Good Friday

An uninterrupted night of sleep is a rare treat these days. My eldest daughter didn’t sleep through the night until about 10 months and my youngest child, age 3, still wakes up periodically from sleep. Tuesday brought one of these nights.

Sleep scurried at the sound of her cry: “Mommy, help me!” I entered her room to find her bed and clothes covered in vomit. This was not a welcomed scene...especially at 4:00 am in the morning.

I husband followed me to the room and I was glad to see him. We divided duties. I undressed and bathed our daughter; I put her in new pajamas and brushed her teeth; he stripped, sanitized, and remade the bed. We put her back down and my husband prayed, thanking God for the opportunity to serve her. We made our way back to bed, groggy but happy with our partnership and patience.

Fifteen minutes later--just as sleep beckoned--her cry came again, testing the said partnership and patience.

Our daughter vomited four times between 4 am and 8 am and nothing stayed in her body until about 7 pm that night. She was diagnosed with a stomach virus and a trip to the grocery store (for Pedialtye), following the doctor’s visit, confirmed the diagnoses when a manager called for “clean-up at register one!”

I was up to my elbows in vomit this week--cleaning the floor, sanitizing, changing and bathing my daughter while also urging my eldest my wash her hands lest the virus spread to her. The gift of motherhood was anything but glamorous. And yet somehow, by God’s grace, the day ended with a reminder of Jesus.

We closed our day with a reading of The Donkey Who Carried a King, a children’s book by Dr. R.C. Sproul. In the story, Davey, a fictional Palm Sunday donkey who takes Jesus into Jerusalem, sees “normal donkey tasks” as offensive in comparison to carrying the King. He sulks and grumbles under sacks of olive until he sees King Jesus marching in the streets Jerusalem, under the weight of a cross. R.C. Sproul writes this:

If you are picked to do something special, don’t get proud like Davey. If you are given a job that doesn’t seem to be so much fun, do your best at your job anyway. Remember that God the Father chose Jesus for the worst job of all, but He did it willingly to please His Father and to save His people [...] He carried their sin and their guilt...He was a King, but He was a servant to His people.[1]

Caring for a sick child is never fun. Yet, for the Christian, caring for a sick child--or aged parent, or struggling neighbor, or discouraged spouse , or grieving friend, or a lonely someone--can remind us of the King who made Himself “nothing” for the sake of our redemption and for the glory of the Father (Philippians 2:5-8).  

Courtney Reissig shares the below in her book, Glory in the Ordinary: Why Your Work in the Home Matters to God:

The work of the home is filled with thousands of little moments that make up our very existence...For all humans, when we engage with these little moment, we are imaging our Creator, who is the author of even the most mundane moments. For Christians, it’s an even greater opportunity to increase the fame of Christ by becoming less, in the form of a servant (Matthew 20:26-28; John 3:30; Philippians 2:7). But it’s not always as readily obvious to us as the more grandiose visions of Christianity and ambition we are accustomed to. While we appreciate at-home work, we--like many in our culture--have a hard time seeing it on the same playing field as the woman who manages an office or the man who operates on a dying patient. But something profound is happening in the midst of our mundane at-home work. Such work is actually very God-like.[2]

Sisters, whether you work at-home with small and needy children or serve a mission outside the house, whether you are married or single, whatever your calling, your labor (even the most mundane task) matters to God. This Good Friday, remember that the Father gave Jesus the worst Job of all. So “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord” of your salvation (Colossians 3:23; 1 Corinthians 10:31).

[1] R.C. Sproul, The Donkey Who Carried a King (Sanford, FL: Reformation Trust, 2012), 30-33.

[2] Courtney Reissig, Glory in the Ordinary: Why Your Work in the Home Matters to God (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2017), 26.