Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Journey of Trust Continues...

Lately I've been reflecting on where we were this time last year.  I was still recovering from surgery, Matt was still feeling his excruciating back pain, with the inability to breathe because his lymph nodes were pressing against his wind pipe. We still didn't know the cause at that point and there was a high probability of it being cancer.  There was so much uncertainty to our future... with the biggest question wondering if Matt was even going to be in it.

We are no longer in that type of survival mode... having to trust Jesus with our very physical lives, and I am extremely grateful for that! Yet, what is interesting to me is how last year prepared us for the type of "survival mode" we find ourselves in this year.  Last year was by far the most difficult of our lives, so why does this one seem harder?

Our previous season came down to one thing: life or death.  That may seem extreme, but if you have experienced that kind of pain before, you know that you think of nothing else.  Plus add in the actual threat of a deadly disease, and well, it actually becomes life or death.  This kind of foundational level of human existence being questioned exposes and cultivates where our hope and reliability actually come from.  For us there was no question.  We relied on the Truth; the Word; the living and breathing Word, Jesus.  If not that, then what?  Ourselves? Ha!  We tried that... it only brought chaos, anger, frustration, anxiety, sadness, and hopelessness.  No thanks!  Our attempt at trying to have some kind of control over a situation that was out of our hands only validated our helplessness.  So instead of focusing on our helplessness we chose to focus on One who is Master over all.

But to take it a step further, although we desperately wanted answers and our situation to change, that was not what we sought.  I think that when we seek His hand, what He can give us, or what He can change, more than simply seeking Him, our hearts might still be in that place of needing to control.  This just leads us to create expectations of God, which if are not met, leads to all those feelings mentioned above, adding to it blaming God because of now feeling abandoned by Him.

Not to say that we shouldn't ask Him for things.  He longs for us to pour out our hearts and desires to Him, but we just need to be aware of our motivation behind the asking.

So this leads me to now.  We are no longer in a life and death, black and white situation.  We have moved deeper in to matters of the heart, and let's face it, that is MESSY!  What I found astonishing is how this seems harder... it is harder to trust because there is so much more complexity to the situation.  Life and death, black and white, this or that, all provide only two options.  Now we are faced with the vast expansion of our unknown future, the uprootedness of our present, and the memories of our past.  TOO MANY OPTIONS! There is so much more chaos to this current circumstance that requires a deeper level of trust -- which I don't know would have been possible for me had I not trusted Him with my very life, and the life of my husband's, last year.  Because we anchored ourselves in Him through our physical pain, we are able to anchor ourselves in Him when our entire life seems unknown.

There are only two things really that can fully numb us in order to run from physical pain, mind altering substances or death.  Choosing reliance on God is a simpler choice (not easy, but simple).  There are so many more options to run from heart pain, especially when you feel completely uprooted in the present.  There are so many more possibilities for us to try and take control.  The temptation is greater than ever.

But, of course, He never ceases to amaze me.  He knew I needed to learn that kind of dependence on Him in order to continue in that same dependence when it no longer is a life and death situation.  It's easier to rely on Him when you have nothing else.  Now the illusion appears that we have more options to escape our situation... to escape this feeling of panic of our unknown future with a disconnected present, especially when it reminds us of our past.  But we must hold fast to Him... put our heads down and stay anchored in Him no matter what.  He has proven Himself faithful EVERY SINGLE TIME... I am positive that will be the one thing that doesn't change... HE is the ONE thing that never changes.

"So God has given us both His promise and His oath.  These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie.  Therefore, we who have fled to Him for refuge can take new courage, for we can hold on to His promise with confidence. This confidence is like a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls.  It leads us through the curtain of heaven into God's inner sanctuary."  Hebrews 6: 18-19 NLT