Fear. It’s something that I am tempted with since Grant’s death. In the quiet of the night, my mind is sometimes filled with things that could happen to my loved ones as they move through their days. In the dark, as I lay there, I remember the vow I made to Grant, at his memorial service. I promised him that in time, I wouldn’t live in constant fear of the next devastating, life changing, phone call. And I am trying. I am trying to live with a sense of trust in God and peace under any circumstance.
I know fear keeps a life small. It drowns out the music, and causes joy to retreat into the dark where it can’t be seen or felt. But there have been other phone calls in my life. I am no stranger to them. “I am afraid tests show, that you are losing them,” said the somber voice on the other end of the line. Our twins, once safely tucked away in my womb, now leaving my body before we could hold them, see them.
Peacefully sitting at the kitchen table working on the grocery list, and a moment later, life forever changed, “Come quickly, there isn’t much time.” Losing my mother, swiftly, prematurely, unexpectedly, when my babe was only 2 months old. The horror.
“It’s a brain tumor,” reported the stranger’s voice. “If you want to see your father while he’s alive, you need to come now.” And three weeks later, after watching him drift away, lose all thought, lose all memory, lose all function, my father was gone. So much loss…
So I am not fooled. I am very well aware that there may be another phone call predestined for me. I don’t necessarily believe that I have had my share of heartache, trouble, or trials. I am acutely aware that I could lose another child, or my husband, or a grand child someday. There are unspeakable tragedies all around me, daily, and there could be another phone call. Such is the frailty of our bodies. The fear can be suffocating, terrorizing. I seek the remedy and realize I have it. The remedy is trust! Trust is everything, it is the cure. But not trust that nothing bad will ever happen again. Scripture is clear that this life is full of hardships, trial, and pain. But I can trust God with the eternal, where it really counts, where it really matters.
God never promises a carefree, trouble free, happy life. That’s the American dream, or lie, rather. The Western civilization I grew up in, created an entitlement mentality. It’s the first culture in History, that is surprised by grief, sorrow, tragedy. It used to be the norm, and still is in most parts of the world today. But the happy, care free, trial free life that America has convinced us that we all deserve, is not a promise from the Lord most high. Again, an honest look at Scripture promises just the opposite. We live in a sin ridden world, and there is unspeakable hardship everywhere. So how do I trust that God will protect me, and my loved ones, from more unbearable pain. I can’t. I don’t.
But that’s because, that’s not what I am supposed to trust Him with! How can I trust Him to deliver on promises He never made? I can’t. He never promised me a fairytale life, free from heartache and despair. But He has promised to never leave me nor forsake me as I walk thru the pain, I can trust him for that! He has promised that all things (even future soul crushing pain) will work together for good, I can trust Him for that! He promises to give me a peace thru this trial, that transcends understanding. I can trust Him for that! I can trust that He loves me, and loves Grant more than I do, even when evidence tries to scream the opposite. I can trust Him with that! He promises, that because Grant died in Christ, I will see him again and we will never again be separated, I can trust God with that! I can trust in the good news of Jesus. I can trust in God’s saving work, even in this moment. I can trust, that if disaster strikes again, He will carry me, as He does now, and bring me safely home to my eternal Heavenly home.
Trust is like a bridge that will take me from yesterday to tomorrow. And because I trust God, for the things He did promise, I can go from the known to the unknown, knowing the bridge will bear my weight. Regardless of what my future here holds for me, I can trust God, because I know what my eternal future holds for me.
This life is a blink, a fleeting breath. And yes, there will be pain and sadness here, sometimes more than seems possible to bear. But the life to come, the life we have with Christ for eternity, is endless joy. No more sorrow, no more pain. That is something I can trust, and that will never change! There will never be a devastating phone call telling me that the gates of Heaven have been closed, or the streets of the Celestial City are full. No, I will not live in fear. And I will not declare you untrustworthy, Lord, because you didn’t make good on promises you never made!