Friday, November 18, 2011

I Will Trust In You

A sweet friend of mine and precious daughter of the King was recently diagnosed with cancer. Due to circumstances beyond our control, we’ve been unable to speak in person. But we’ve been conversing through emails and cards, and yesterday, we were able to speak to each other over the phone.  As I’m writing this, my friend has most likely already been prepped for surgery.

I have walked this particular path through what author Emilie Barnes refers to as ‘Cancer Land.’ It is NOT an easy nor enjoyable path. It can often be dark and frightening and lonely. So many ‘what ifs.’ It certainly doesn’t help matters that when surgery is eminent, you are presented with information and paperwork to be signed in triplicate regarding Advanced Directives, Living Wills, Do Not Resuscitate Orders and the like.

It DOES help to know that others have walked that path before you and have made it through victoriously to the other side, and are waving you forward, cheering you onward. It helps to know that other people are taking time out of their busy schedules to sit before the LORD God and present your needs to Him. Not that He is unaware or needs reminding. We’re merely being obedient and bringing that person and their needs to the only One Who is Sovereign over them and their circumstances and can actually do something about them. God, as Twila Paris sings, IS in control.

I remember 9 years ago, right around this time, when I was preparing for my surgery. I, of course, had to be at the hospital ridiculously early, and God bless my pastor -- the man showed up to pray for me as my husband and I sat in the waiting room, filling out more of those wonderful forms. I’m sure he didn’t even have time to grab a cup of coffee on his way out the door.

At this time, it was also very early in my walk with the LORD God. I had come from a faith denomination that didn’t encourage their congregation to read the Bible -- apparently, it was only for those uber-holy and elite folk to read. So I didn’t have much of a repertoire of Bible verses stored away in my mind and my heart to encourage and sustain me. But after my pastor had finished praying, he shared a Bible verse with me that he said had helped him through a difficult and scary surgery:

“When I am afraid, I will trust in You.” ~ Psalm 56:3

I had never heard that verse before, but I grabbed onto it and clung to it like a drowning victim clings to a lifeline thrown out to them. I repeated it over and over, even as I lay on the operating table, waiting for the surgery to begin, and this verse has stayed close to my heart over the years.
It came to me as I’ve been praying for my friend, who shared that yes, she has found herself anxious and afraid as the surgery date drew closer. Even though we DO know that the LORD God is with us, we are also only frail and flawed humans, and it can be easy to forget that when we’re staring down into that dark Pit of the Great Unknown.

As I prayed this verse for my friend earlier this morning, another verse came to mind immediately afterwards:

“Be strong and courageous, do not be terrified. Do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you, wherever you go.” ~ Joshua 1:9

Later on, I prayed the verse again for my friend, and once again, a voice within my spirit came back with:

“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you; do not be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with My victorious right hand.” ~ Isaiah 41:10

It reminded me of something I learned in school when I was in choral music class. Our teacher (the incredibly hip and awesome Miss Borne) used a song by the band, Chicago (Oldster alert!), to show us something called ‘call and response.’ For the life of me, I can’t remember the name of the song, but in it, one of the singers would call out in song a particular line, and the other singer would respond to it. Back and forth it went. Even though I don’t remember the song, the concept has obviously stayed with me, oh these many years.

Our life is like a song. Sometimes, it can be a beautiful tune, with our singing out in praise and thanks to the LORD, and He responds; Zephaniah 3:17 tells us that He rejoices over us with singing. But then there are times, as in certain opera arias, when our song turns to one of fear and desperation --

“I’m so afraid!!”

-- and once again, He responds:

“For I am the LORD, your God, Who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, ‘Do not fear; I will help you.” ~ Isaiah 41:13

And we can then say, “When I am afraid, I will trust in You.” 

We call out --

“I feel so anxious and worried!!”

-- and our Jesus responds:

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in Me.” ~ John 14:1

And we can then say: “When I am afraid, I will trust in You.”

We call out --

“I’m all alone!!”

-- and He responds:

“Remember I am with you always.” ~ Matthew 28:20

And we can then say, “When I am afraid, I will trust in You.”

I have learned -- and continue learning -- that trust is KEY in my relationship with my Lord Jesus. I feel sometimes as if He is saying to me, “I JUST want you to TRUST Me!”

I don’t want to spend the remainder of my life paralyzed by fear and anxiety and loneliness and whatever else the enemy sees fit to throw my way.

I want to be:

I want to know I am:
Not alone
Cared for

There is a beautiful picture of the Lord Jesus called, ‘The Divine Mercy.’ The story goes that a young nun, Saint Maria Faustina of Poland, was commanded by the Lord Jesus Himself to have an image of Him painted, an image that He revealed to her. Underneath His image was to be placed this signature:

“Jesus, I trust in You.”
Whenever we are afraid, worried, confused, anxious --
Wherever or whatever kind of situation we may find ourselves in --

May we remember to trust in Him.

Open your eyes
But don’t let go of My hand
Let your tears give way to smiles
See the joy inside the trial
Don’t worry, you’re safe with Me around
Rest assured I’m on your side
I won’t let you hit the ground
But close as it seems...
Trust Me
Though you can’t see
You can trust Me
The way may be steep
You can trust Me
Let me Me ~ Trust Me, by Crystal Lewis

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