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See Part 2 here.
See Part 3 here.
See Part 4 here.
See Part 5 here.
See Part 6 here.
See Part 7 here.
See Part 8 here.
See Part 9 here.
See Part 10 here.
See Part 11 here.
See Part 12 here.
See Part 13 here.
See Part 14 here.
See Part 15 here.
See Part 16 here.
See Part 17 here.
See Part 18 here.
See Part 19 here.
See Part 20 here.
See Part 21 here.
Days after Mother was supposed to have already left the hospital, she finally received a diagnosis. I’m not sure what the medical term is, but the way it was described to my family was that it was as if, “someone dragged razor blades down her throat.”
The diagnosis wasn’t good to hear, and the time it took only served to frustrate my mom and cause heartache to my family.
My sister, the one who originally agreed to take care of Mom in Phoenix, offered to stay in Yuma to help care for Mom. It was a comfort to me to know that Mom had that much support. Mom was weaker and in more pain than ever. I’ll confess that by this point I had thought that any end to her pain, be it through healing or passing, would be a mercy.
I called that weekend. Mom was struggling to do much of anything. I learned that July 19 was an important date. The doctors had decided it was time to ask Mom if she was willing to continue treatment of if she’d had enough. This was more than a week from that phone call.
It was such a struggle. I wanted desperately for my mom to get well, but I understood that in any measurable way, I had no power.
Trust in God doesn’t mean trusting God to do what one wants; it means trusting in His Will. I can say honestly I wanted to have faith, but if I’m being equally honest the truth is I don’t know how good a job I did. What I can say for certain is I reminded myself that God is the shepherd of my life.
As I stared at the calendar and that all-important appointment, I could only pray and trust. The hard part was distinguishing between trust and expectation.
As I reflect on those days, I find myself more frustrated by the Israelites after the Exodus. They had a promise of relocation to a land of milk and honey. They didn’t have the same lack of overt assurance. They were told they’d be delivered, but they still rebelled. They grumbled and turned away at every opportune moment.
Then there’s our Savior Jesus Christ. He was promised only pain, suffering, and death. He was guaranteed these things, but he choose to accept and endure them that we sinners might be saved.
I believe that these examples serve as the extremes, or perhaps more importantly a contrast, of how we Christians should act. Christ, in his perfect wisdom and infinite mercy, suffered willingly for us without turning from his path; however, the Israelites in their foolishness and selfish, fleshly desires wanted instant gratification and eventually dug in their heels so much that ultimately, none of that generation were permitted to see the promised land.
I sadly lacked the Christ-like trust I should have. If I’m being nice to myself, I can feel better knowing that when I grumbled or worried, especially at this point in the journey, I picked up the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, and used it to stab at my temptation to doubt or be anxious.
I’d only need that sword more and more as time passed.
Questions and Revelations
Who can have that much trust?
Other than Christ himself, I’m not sure. I’ve known some who were clearly better examples than I am, and I’ve known others who were more prone to worry. As always, I’m of the opinion that we should strive to be more Christ-like. We’ll fall short until he returns to Earth, but we’re under the law of grace, in which our sincere effort and desire to be so matters.
What verses help?
For starters, somewhere around there, I’d started reading Dr. John MacArthur’s book Anxious for Nothing, which was titled after Philippians 4:6-7. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
I found that verse very affirming in my beliefs. I’ve always felt that we pray in supplication, believe in God’s plan, and trust. That trust becomes difficult in dark times. I’ve failed on numerous occasions, but I remind myself he’s in charge, and I honestly feel better.
I find the Psalms a fantastic resource for comfort and trust in times of crisis. I’ve mentioned a great number of verses I take comfort in, and I have a few I’m reserving for later posts. I would need them more and more as time passed.
If you have other questions regarding my faith or thoughts or actions at this point, feel free to ask, and I’ll add them to the blog. I try to ensure these passages are self reflective. My chaplain told me to take this opportunity to look at myself, but at the moment, those were the only real thoughts going through my mind. Questions might help me remember other thoughts or parts of The Bible I’d overlooked while typing this post.
Thanks for reading