My youngest will have surgery this month.
He will go without food and drink for hours before. He will wear a teeny hospital gown that’s still too big for a baby boy’s body.
He will be taken from my arms and carried by another he has never met, and I will watch until I can see him no more.
I will cry, and he probably will, too.
The thought of it all weighs too heavy, so I roll back my shoulders and exhale. He coos now and blows bubbles with his tongue and tries to speak in giggling slurs. Oblivious about what is to come.
A child’s innocence. A child’s assurance. Lack of worry now, enjoyment of today. He turns packs of stacked toilet paper into drums and bangs them, and I watch what I need to see.
Trust. Such a short word – little like he is. And like him, it is a treasure no money could buy.
I’ve heard this word my whole life. I read it more and more often it seems every day. I need it more.
A reminder that we are living in circumstances beyond our control, where trust is required. Trust of what we hold dearest. Trust God’s plan does prevail.
The truth is that we are all endangered. We are threatened every day.
We must do our best to abandon our worry and give thanks that everything does not all depend on us. We can give thanks and find confidence in the only one who is entirely dependable – our God, our Father. Do we know Him?
I have found the only way to live is to live in trust that He created all that is living for a purpose, and it is a purpose that will last somewhere forever. Either with Him or without. The real danger is to forget it or ignore it.
The real danger is to trade today for a worry over this world’s tomorrow, which may never even come.
Trust does not happen without dependence, and there is no dependence on a stranger.
So I will open His word and listen to Him speak:
Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done.” Matthew 21:21
These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith–of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire–may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 1 Peter 1:7
Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God. 1 Peter 1:21
This truth gives them confidence that they have eternal life, which God–who does not lie–promised them before the world began. Titus 1:2
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. 1 Corinthians 16:13
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1
He tells us stories of trust, of faith, of peace. It’s as if He holds the answer to the problems and the sorrows, the loss and the attacks of this world, and He has made us a remedy – if we want it.
The God, the only, Holy man, who told a storm to stop, who raised the dead to walk, who forgave our sins, all the way back to our beginning. He says – trust me. Let me walk with you. Let me carry you. Let me carry your child, in teeny gown or play clothes, well or with a fever, away at college or moved back home. He tells us He is with us. Lean on Him; feel His power. Hold out your hands and take His water. Wash. Drink. Let Him cleanse and purify and give new life.
And there in our bare, we are clean. There, we see our Savior Jesus, and we feel what refreshment means. There is the only place that dirty is not.
And we can trust. We can know that no matter what, He is our assurance. He is our safe place.
And He keeps telling me this truth. He has used His Holy Word. And He has used the young mother living out her last days in hospice, who is savoring her people in her present. He has used the broken mother who hugged her infant son one last time this side of eternity to find out her desire for helping him was different than God’s. She remains His and lifts her arms up in honor and surrender to the One who is holding him until she does again.
He is telling a story I will never understand until — the end.
And He keeps taking us back to trust and savor and truly live. I do not think it is a coincidence. I do not think it is romanticism or a naive notion. Only a deceiver would attempt to take away such a gift, steal such meaning. Don’t let him. I believe all our lives depend on it.
Instead, I choose to trust and live with my God and my people forever. You can, too.
No time to wait. No time to waste.
And one day soon, we will take our son into surgery, armed with an abundance of prayers and trust that He who is able to do immeasurably more than we ever could – is faithful to do it.
In Christ alone,