I’m going to be straight up with you- it’s been rough lately. I’ve had this weird cough that comes out at night for weeks, and a muscle spasm in my back for a week straight which isn’t loving the cough, and among all this I’m trying to process and go through the rigors of figuring out what is going on with this tumor I’ve been diagnosed with.
But the regular daily routines continue, and I’m keeping up with them as best I can. Laundry. Dishes. Groceries. Diapers. Children to chase and keep occupied. I am incredibly blessed to have a husband who works from home full time and has prepared 90% of all lunches and dinners for the past- how many years? I don’t know, but he’s a gem, that is for sure.
Almost strangely, by the grace of God I’m sure, I have been ok for the most part. I’m taking one day, one task at a time, and trying to enjoy what I can in this life, as much as I can. Mostly these days, I’m enjoying watching my tiny person start to explore her world, and interact with it. I mean- there was that moment today when I took my eyes off her for 30 seconds and she got into the garbage can, started eating a banana peel, and I kind of lost it, but overall, she is just this tiny little package of contagious joy.
I just love my kids. They make my head spin sometimes and I am crazy tired at the end of the day, but there is nothing I would rather be doing.
I recently shared an article “Worrying About Your Future,” and by the grace of God I have actually stomped my foot down on occasion and said “No. That’s it. Not going there,” put the worries about my future behind me and carried on with my day. I like that groove. It’s working for me. I don’t like to think about things I have no control over. For example, when I had a scheduled C-section last year, I prepared by not reading a single article about C-sections. If there were potential complications, I preferred to remain in the dark, because what could I do about them anyway? But when they brought me into that bright and surprisingly busy room, it suddenly hit me: I have no idea what is happening here. What on earth was I thinking?
I met with the surgeon this week who might be doing my surgery, or might not be. This surgery seems to be more complicated than I would have hoped, and it sounds like she will be involving more people in the matter. There were many more maybes in this appointment than I would like. So many potential things that “might” result, or treatments that they “might” try, or methods that they “might” use to “maybe have to” reconstruct my stomach. Just so many maybes. And I’m supposed to do my research on these maybes, I suppose, so that I’m not surprised by them.
Yuck. Yuck, yuck, yuck. What about the “me” who would just prefer to stay in the dark, thanks? Can’t I just live my life without considering potential threats? Can’t I just be naïve about it until they come knocking on my door, if they do? That is me, and that is how I feel about being forced to think about these things. I guess they call that denial?
So. Here I am, not sure how I am supposed to feel to be honest. I have had to consider some pretty heavy stuff this week, stuff that I don’t want to think about. I’m not supposed to worry, but I guess I am supposed to prepare. How? How do you prepare for a full speed, horn blaring, oncoming future that is loaded with question marks? It feels unreasonable to me. It feels perilous. I think, there are probably so many cliffs I could fall off at this point, and so I pray the Lord would hold me steadfast. I think of these words from the hymn, “Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me.”
Jesus, Savior, pilot me,
Over life’s tempestuous sea;
Unknown waves before me roll,
Hiding rock and treach’rous shoal;
Chart and compass came from Thee:
Jesus, Savior, pilot me.
Satan would have me panic, wouldn’t he? He would be glad to destroy me with doubt, fear, anger, pain- without whatever tool he could. “But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases (Psalm 115:3).” Nothing in heaven or on earth can thwart God’s plans, and His children are securely at His side. Romans 8:35 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?”
It occurred to me this week that every single unbeliever I know is in a far worse position than myself. In Christ I have everything I need for my soul. There is nothing that this world, or sickness, or satan can do to take my salvation and my future from me, ultimately, is there? Nothing. There are many people who will gain all the comfort, pleasure, and stuff they want from this world, and in the end they are going to lose their soul. Jesus said: “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul (Mark 8:36)?” Every unbeliever I know is so much worse off than I am right now. That is heartbreaking. That makes me want to go shout the gospel off my roof top or something. They are walking towards a cliff far more dangerous than any I could stumble over, and they don’t even know it.
So I ask myself, how should I feel about this oncoming trial? And for whatever reason the answer that surfaces to the top of my mind is this: I should feel confident. Such a strange answer.
But sometimes I’m afraid, because I don’t want to face hardship, I really don’t. And then I’m sad, because I want life to be easier, in fact, I’m not sure there are many people I know who desire life to be easy for a season more than I do. So, those are real and normal emotions that do not surprise or turn away my Lord, in fact He’s there for every burden. His presence and power are why I think confidence is what rises to the surface, higher, stronger, and brighter than the rest.
You need to read Psalm 27 in whole, because that is where I am looking to solidify this conclusion. But I will share some pieces of it here:
Psalm 27:1,3-5, 13-14 “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?… Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident. One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple. For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock… I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”
Praise God. Who other than the Christian can have confidence when war rises up against them? Who else can say their greatest treasure cannot be taken from them? Who can take the beauty of the Lord away from you? Who else can lift you up upon a rock and make you triumph when enemies surround you? Who else can make you strong when you are weak? Give you courage when you are faint?
In Christ, we have everything our souls need and desire. Nothing can overcome you, because nothing can overcome Him. We have the victory over sin and death, don’t we?
The world would think us strange to have pervasive confidence in the face of fear, and if God would be so kind as to preserve me, in faith, through His word, then perhaps I can magnify Christ as the ultimate treasure through all this. That is my prayer. I’ll end with some of 2 Corinthians 3, which I think is fitting.
“And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life… And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit (verses 3-5 & 18).”
Alright, and bonus song from Josh Garrels. Enjoy.