Pro 3:5-6 NIV - "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight."
As Randi and I wrestle through this new struggle in our lives, the common theme that has arisen in both of us is that our God is TRUSTWORTHY. We shared this with YL kids on Monday night as we reminded them of Psalm 55:22 NASB - "Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken." The next day, Anthony, a YL kid, showed up at our house with this shirt on! It brought my sweet wife to tears (and I never thought I could look so good in pink)!
As I looked at this verse on the back of the shirt a thought came to my mind: how can this ordeal not shake someone? This is so heavy; this is so hard. My wife is the most precious woman in the world to me and the thought of her experiencing any pain burdens my heart and saddens my soul. Then, as I was listening to the radio this week, I heard this comment by one of my favorite men to listen to "When you hit rock bottom, it is because God wants you to know that He is the Rock at the bottom!" What a precious reminder to my soul. When my feet are planted on The Rock, it is much harder for my world to be rocked. I have a firm foundation upon which to stand, an anchor in our storm, a hope in the despair. He will sustain me, and He will not allow me to be shaken. Notice that I didn't say that my circumstances wouldn't be shaken, but that I wouldn't be shaken. I was also reminded of what I had found on the bottom of an In and Out Burger cup: Nahum 1:7 NIV - "The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him." How grateful I am that I have a God that cares for me, even as I am learning at a deeper level what it means to trust in Him. For me, the question is not 'is God trustworthy?' for in my life and in many others He has overwhelmingly shown Himself to be so, but rather 'am I trusting in Him?' On my way home from work today, I was swamped in the mire of the reality that we find ourselves sinking into ever so quickly. Randi had a conversation with a sweet lady who was a year out from first finding out that she has cancer with pretty much the same diagnosis and with the same doctors. She let Randi know that she will be out of commission for quite a while after surgery, at least a couple of weeks. For Randi and myself this was hard news to hear. Randi will not be able to pick McKinley up to put her in her car seat, in her chair to eat, or in her bed to sleep. Randi won't even be able to turn a steering wheel. I immediately thought what can I do to "fix" this, and I was overwhelmed. Naturally, I was trusting in myself to solve our circumstances; my inadequacies engulfed me. Then a stinging rebuke came into my ears over the airwaves and through the radio. The following list was read to me and I am so grateful for it:
When you choose to worry, you do not trust God.
When you try to fix the complicated, you do not trust God.
When you think you can handle the impossible, you do not trust God.
When you hurry ahead and do not wait for Him, you do not trust God.
When you lay awake twisting and turning on your bed, you do not trust God.
When you doubt Biblical precepts and principals and promises, you do not trust God.
When you listen to human counsel and give it higher priority than Holy Scripture, you do not trust God.
When you manipulate and maneuver to get your way, you do not trust God.
When you step in and take charge without praying or being led clearly to do so, you do not trust God.
When you resist leaning on God and you promote yourself so that others will notice, and you rely on your own ingenuity and creativity to become known, you do not trust God.
When you cling to others in order to feel secured and loved and needed, you do not trust God.
When you struggle with God’s leading and fight the change and resist His plan, you do not trust God.
When you understand His word, but though, you know what to do, you don’t do it, you do not trust God.
When death takes someone significant from you and you continue to think that you should have done this or that to prolong their life, you do not trust God.
What do you find yourself trusting in today? As for me, I will trust God - even in the face of cancer. I was overwhelmed by our circumstances, now I am overwhelmed by His Grace. The response of friends to help during this difficult time has been amazing and humbling. So many of you have offered to help, stay at our house, cook meals, and pray for us. Like I said, our God is TRUSTWORTHY. As my wife so often reminds me "When you can't trace God's hand of purpose, you must trust His heart of love." Trust God!