When we were in the adoption process for Madeleine my worries centered around her emotional well-being and comfort. Was somebody cuddling her when she cried? Did someone get up at night with her when she had a nightmare and speak reassuring words of peace to her heart? Does she know what it is to be cared for?
With Benjamin, it's different. With Benjamin I wonder if he's breathing. What is his oxygen saturation level? Was he able to eat enough today without having a "spell"? Is his little fighting heart still beating?
Last night when I was feeling the most overwhelmed with worry, I saw a post on Facebook posted by Kay Warren. Kay Warren's son committed suicide on April 5th. Since the news broke about Matthew, her son, I have followed along as Kay and her husband, Rick, have dealt publicly with this tragedy. They have been posting consistently on Twitter and Facebook both words of encouragement and requests for prayer. Yesterday's Facebook post by Kay was significantly longer than any of her other posts had been and dealt specifically with the issue of fear and honestly about what she is facing each day as she navigates the repercussions of her son's death. (I have reposted her status update below.)
Reading the words of this grieving mother brought to surface all the fear I have been wrestling with when it comes to Benjamin. Her vulnerability helped to move my heart to the place where I could then pray that prayer along with her.Nights are hard for us - it's easy to forget all of God's powerful promises in the darkness. So wherever you are in the world at this moment - whether in bright sunshine, gray clouds or the cloudless hours of the night - God's Word to us is real....it's true...it's reliable....it is our HOPE. "With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God." Mark 10:27 Pray this ...with me: Father, there are circumstances that are threatening my faith, my stability, my hope for healing, hope for better days. Your Word says that nothing is impossible with You - so I bring ________ to you right now - and I ask for You - the Impossibility-Defeating God of the Universe do what no one else can do. Release the prisoner. Heal the sick. Revive the depressed. Renew hope. Bring back the smile. Comfort the broken. Befriend the lonely. Sustain those in terrible physical pain. Hear our cries for mercy. Unleash those bound by forces beyond their ability to cope. Help us long for Heaven while living fully here and now. Open our hearts to all who grieve. I TRUST YOU. In Jesus' name - the name i love above all others - Amen."
You see, I believe in God. I believe he is sovereign. What is hard for me is hearing from other Christians the exhortation to "not fear" because perfect love casts out fear, God has not given us a spirit of fear, God is in control, everything will be ok if I just trust God. My spirit just wasn't buying it. I've seen far too many feared possibilities become realities in my life and in the lives of those I love. I want to trust God but the fact is that doesn't mean everything will be ok.
What makes the difference to me is not the (although good-intentioned) suggestion that I just "not fear". It is the underlying promise (not possibility; promise) that whatever happens...whatever happens, it will be for my good and His glory. That is something I can hold on to when I'm wondering if my son will live. Not that God will "make everything better" but that God will take the skubala and redeem it. He doesn't promise sunshine and rainbows. He does promise that he will cause all things to work together for my good. (Romans 8:28 ESV) And even though we might not catch a glimpse of that good while in the midst of the suffering, we can be "fully convinced that God is able to do what He has promised." (Romans 4:21 ESV)
So today I am relying on the God of Joseph, who suffered much at the hands of men but God redeemed his adversities in order to save many lives. I am relying on the God of Abraham, who in hope believed against hope that God would do what He promised. I'm holding my fear up to my God, the God who redeems... the God who does what He promises... for my good and His glory.
Where is your faith/fear struggle today? Is there a particular promise from God that helps you through those times of crisis? Share it in the comments!