My husband, my hero, has never doubted the goodness of God in his life. He has rarely felt alone in his circumstances, as far as I am aware. I, on the other hand, am a walking desert island, keeping curious sailboats at bay with ‘No Vacancy’ signs posted at every port of entry. I don’t actually want to be alone. Which should seem apparent when you realize that the fear which terrorized me during Rob’s heart surgery and ginormous blood clot ordeal last year was that Rob might not live, and alone is exactly what I would be.
Surprisingly, being alone is the way I’ve tried to control the piece of real estate known as Eula-Land. Of course, everyone knows that no matter what the Title Deed says, when this Monopoly game is over everything goes back into the box - the houses, the hat, the shoe and your little dog, too. Ownership isn’t real. Wealth is temporary. And control is an illusion. A lonely illusion.
Though I’ve spent much of my life believing that controlling my life would give me peace, the gargantuan effort such a fruitless task requires brings overwhelming anxiety instead. I’m tired of trying to outrun the Life Who courses through my veins.
Finally I am beginning to see God as my trustworthy Father Who loves me more than anyone ever has or ever will for always. The One Who loves me more than He loves His own life is in control of mine. Maybe, just maybe, that makes Him trustworthy.
I was listening to a Transitions podcast by Wayne Jacobsen recently. He said that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. Finally I heard rhema about my trust dilemma. When people tell you to ‘just trust God’ while you’re in a crisis, not only is it one of the worst things you can say, it’s empty advice. Faith is produced in us when God speaks to us directly. Faith is not produced in a vacuum of communication from Him. Not only don’t I generate faith, I can’t generate it. Faith is a gift from God. Faith survives on the solid surface of truth. And God is our only source of truth. Faith is also a fruit of the Spirit. But when people reduce my anxiety to the pat answer, “just trust God”, it suggests that faith is a fruit of my labor. If I don’t work hard enough then to produce saint qualifying trust, believe me -- condemnation follows in short order.
God doesn’t want my imitation of faith. He doesn’t need me to defend Him to others. He wants me to be still. To know that He is God. To know that He is a rewarder of those Who diligently seek Him. Not of those who diligently act like good Christians should act. Agony puts me on my face before Him, crying out for His mercy, knowing that He is the spring from where it flows. That is faith. And so is standing alone in a hospital corridor, shaking index cards full of Biblical promises in Heaven’s face, reminding God of what He told me. This kind of trust is not painless, but it’s authentic. It’s not fatalistic, it’s not pragmatic, it’s not on display in a wax museum. It’s the real deal, on exhibit in my flesh and blood life.
This may seem startling to some, but it’s a place of relief to me. And I can rest there.