Saturday, May 14, 2016

"You of Little Faith"

Matthew 14:25-31 (NASB)

"...in the fourth watch of the night [Jesus] came to them, walking on the sea. When the disciples saw Him, they were terrified, and said, 'It is a ghost!' And they cried out in fear.

But immediately Jesus spoke to them saying, 'Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.'

Peter said to Him, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water."

And He said, "Come!" And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus.

But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried, "Lord, save me!"

Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, "You of little faith, why did you doubt?"


I am going to confess to you that I relate to the Peter I meet here...maybe because I find myself so much like him. And I love the Jesus I encounter here. I am that one of little faith who asks Jesus to do big things. I hear Him answer, so I excitedly get out of the boat, step out of the place of safety in the storm to move towards the Anchor that holds. Then, my eyes waver and my focus turns to the impossible circumstances instead of remaining steady on the Savior who has called me out of the place of seeming security to His side. Fear overwhelms my heart and I begin to sink...the water begins to overtake me and I know that all is lost. Except for this one thing...I cry out to Jesus and He stretches out His hand and takes hold of me. Immediately He answered the ones frightened in the boat. Immediately He reached out and grabbed a hold of Peter's hand when he cried out in fear. Those are comforting words to me, especially when I know that I am drowning...especially when I know that I can not save myself. And He is no different today. I sink, He saves. I cry out, He answers. I need, He provides. I am broken, He heals. Some days, I forget, but that does not change HIM. He still acts according to His character. Thankful for His faithfulness today!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

And us? We Pray

And so the doctor calls me in to that little examination room, the room with Putt-Putt, the bright purple car from the computer game my kid used to play when he was four, happily driving around the upper rim of the room. She points to the seat in front of her and as I sit, she says, "I am sending you immediately to the hospital for an ultrasound. Your son has a fluid filled pocket that I am concerned about." My heart skips a beat, but a fluid filled pocket? A cyst? Okay, we can deal with this. Then she looks steady in my eyes, flashes a quick smile, and assures me, "At this time, I am not too worried that it is cancer. Still, we need to make sure of what it is." The heart...cancer? Now, why mention that word? "I want to assure you, the location, the fluid....it is a relatively low risk of cancer." There it is again...that word that springs fear in this mama's heart. "Most likely it is..."she gives an explanation of several different things it could be, all benign and jumbled in my head.

And so this mama rushes her sixteen year old to the hospital for an ultrasound, STAT...whatever that means. The technician slides him to the head of the line. The older people? Yeah, they complain and they question while this mama waits with her heart in her throat and knees bent in prayer. When it's over, the technician stammers, "Ummm...I know the results were STAT, but...well..you will not get them today." Me?
I think that thought of thanks - how bad can it be if they aren't telling us today? Phew.

But the phone rings the next morning. It is the calm voice of the pediatrician. Everything is okay in this mama...my heart has come before Jesus and has asked His good intention and will. He has steadied me. Then the doctor begins, "The ultrasound is not what I hoped. Still, I want to stress, this is a relatively low risk of cancer." Then she begins to explain the results...if you can call them that. "Your son has a mass...an indeterminate mass...the first available surgical appointment is Monday, January 11. Is that okay? The surgeons only have office hours on Monday and Wednesday...and today is Thursday....we need to get in there and find out what this is quickly..likely need emergency surgery...I think it is a low probability of cancer..." And the words blur on in my head. She gives me a list of possibilities...but only one thing matters...what it really is. That and this: Our God is the mighty Healer. He is the One who grants life, numbers our days and heals the body, the mind, the soul. And so I fall into Abba, Father's hands, and I cry...cry out to Him while we wait.

Waiting...this waiting. It has to be the worst thing. The imagination wakes me up in the night. The "What if.." cries loud in my head. But the steady, sure voice of God reminds me that He is near. He is here. None of this is unknown to Him. God loves my son more than I do. And the question constant in my ear, "Do you trust me?' "Yes, Lord. I trust You. In the midst of uncertainty, when the heart aches and my world crashes...I know that You hold this mama's boy in Your hand." And then, to reassure the sixteen year old who is trying to figure this out...who worries about things like, "Mom, how are you and Dad going to pay for this? I mean, I am okay - God's got this...but...what about you and Dad? I know how hard things are right now, money-wise..." And me? I want to cry because who cares about money when your boy's health is in question?

We see the surgeon, a gentle older man with experience written in the lines on his face. He reads the ultrasound, mutters something about how useless they are - ultrasounds, that is. And he examines my nearly full-grown baby...two minutes, that is all it takes for him to give an easy smile and assure us that this indeterminate mass is nothing more nor less than a hernia - one he was born with, nonetheless. It does require surgery...but of all the "what if's", this is the one that relieves this mama's heart and the son's fears.

And so, that night, during family worship we give thanks...tearful, overwhelming thanks for this undeserved gift. It is the husband who looks at me, tears in his eyes, and says, "My heart...I just can not stop thinking about all the other kids and their mamas in that waiting room...the ones who did not get good news...who hear it isn't a hernia but is..." I see the tears as his voice breaks and we both cry. We both bow heads and ask God for something more...something bigger...healing for these ones whom we don't know, but He does. My God knows their names, the news they are receiving, the hope they need...He knows and He loves and He cares. And us? We pray.