The other night I began another journal. This one is just for scripture. Words I want hidden in my heart and impressed on my mind.
The first scripture I wrote in there was Isaiah 43:1-2,4,7
Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through the fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you…Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you…everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.
I love those words, but honestly at the time I wondered why God led me to them. I didn’t feel like I was facing fear or walking through anymore fire than usually. There are always a few burning coals at my feet, but I’m a bit of a ninja when it comes to walking on them.
Then the next day I got a call from the doctor’s office. Have to go for additional tests. This is the second set of additional tests I’ve had. The first set was for one thing…this is for another. And honestly, the call kind of rocked my world. Again.
It is a fear of mine (one of a few) that I will get sick and not be able to provide for my family…not be able to take care of my children. Lose my job. My house. My life. Sometimes it feels a bit irrational…well, a lot irrational.
But today, it feels a little too real for my tastes. A little too in my face. It still might be irrational. It’s just additional tests. Tests don’t always mean bad things.
Being a teacher, I know that giving a test is a lot easier than taking a test. There is no dread with giving, but a fair amount with taking.
I know that the likelihood of my being seriously ill is not huge…well, maybe I shouldn’t say that. I have no idea. I know that I haven’t been the most diligent in caring for myself for the last few years. Little exercise. Little sleep. Lotta stress. And a few too many Coca-Colas.
I’m trying to get healthy. I’ve stopped soda. I’ve cut down sugar. The sugar isn’t hard because I don’t have a sweet-tooth. I have a salt and grease tooth. Give me a 5-Guys burger and fries and I’m a very happy camper. Add a Coke and I’m pretty much in heaven. But the dessert afterwards…ehhhh, I can take it or leave it.
My kids tease me that if I was a super hero I’d be “Saltina” – I guess my nemesis would have to be giant slugs. (Well, I do have teenagers…)
Anywho, I digress. Getting healthy. Need to do it.
The whole fear thing.
I found a journal a few days ago that had an entry from a while back. I was expressing my fear of never being loved or being able to trust again. God has shown me that that isn’t true. He lavishes love on me through others often. And trust? God continually shows me that I can trust Him. Learning to trust again by trusting Him. That’s the way I can start.
Do I trust God with my health? He’s shown me often that I can trust Him with so much, why not this?
The beauty of Isaiah 43 is
Who He says I am – His. Called by His name. Created for His glory. Precious in His eyes. Honored. Loved.
Where He says I am – with Him
What He says will happen – I will not be overwhelmed. I will not be burned. I will not be consumed.
I think of how I feel about my children…selfish, flawed, and tired me. I love them completely. I would do anything for them. And God? Selfless, perfect, ever diligent God. He loves me completely – lavishly. He would do anything for me. But only the best anything.
Ask and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! Matthew 7:7-11
Maybe this is just the kick in my rear that is going to make me take better care of myself. Maybe this is the “Girly, do you truly trust me with everything?” thing. Maybe this is the “watch me walk you through it” thing.
I can’t say that I’m still not heading into all this with great trepidation, but I do trust. It might be a trembling trust, but it is trust nonetheless.
Again I’m like that father in Mark 9, “I believe, help my unbelief!”
I love that interchange between the father and Jesus. The father says, “But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” Jesus responds, “If you can! All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!”
It sounds funny but the exclamation points jump out at me! I hear Jesus saying, “If you can!?!?” Not in an unkind way, but rather an encouraging way. It’s as if He is saying to this devastated father, “Dear one, if you can! There is no “if” when it comes to my ability. There is no “if” when it comes to my power. It is all possible for one who believes. Believe.”
So what do I believe? I believe that God is able. I believe that God will never leave me. I believe that I can trust Him. I believe.
So bring on stupid additional tests. Bring on whatever.
He and I…we got this.