Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Choosing To Trust

"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7

Anxiety is frequent guest in my heart.  I'm a worrier; always have been.  But I've had more than several occasions in my life to learn to trust God through the big and small upsets, and I really thought I had become quiet proficient in trusting Him in spite of my propensity toward worrying.  Until last week. 

Last week my family's life was turned topsy-turvy when my husband experienced what our doctor now believes was a seizure.  He lost consciousness in the middle of the night, and I honestly thought I could be watching the love of my life die right in front of me.  It was probably the most terrifying experience either one of us has lived through.  After three hours in the ER, we were sent home with no answers and few instructions.  The next night, as both of us attempted rather unsuccessfully to sleep, fear took hold of my heart and refused to let go.  I was terrified that it would happen again and that this time I would be unable to help him.  Scenes from the night before played through my mind as I prayed, begging God not to let it happen again.  If by some miracle I did manage to drift off into semi-sleep, I would jerk myself awake if I felt Scott move or if I heard him make any kind of a noise.  It was a long, miserable night.

Sunday morning I sat at the kitchen table reading a chapter from our Sunday School book, taking advantage of the fact that everyone else in the house was still asleep.  The chapter is titled, "Choosing to Trust God," and it spoke of casting our anxieties on God and trusting him to be sovereign in every situation.  Tears flowed down my face as I read these words:
"We are invited in the words of Peter to 'cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you' (1 Peter 5:7).  God cares for you!  Not only will He never leave you -- that's the negative side of the promise -- but He cares for you.  He is not just there with you; He cares for you.  His care is constant -- not occasional or sporadic.  His care is total -- even the very hairs of your head are numbered. His care is sovereign -- nothing can touch you that He does not allow." (Italics mine.)*

The author then went on to explain that trusting God is a matter of choice; it required a conscious effort.  Trusting God does not come easy.  "It is a vigorous act of the soul by which we choose to lay hold on the promises of God and cling to them despite the adversity that at times seeks to overwhelm us."*  I sat there, exhausted and terrified, knowing that this event could easily overwhelm me and wanting desperately to be able to trust that God would somehow make everything right again.  And from somewhere deep within my soul, this prayer surfaced: "God, I know you don't promise that this won't happen again.  I know you don't promise that everything will be okay.  But God, I pray that you will give us the ability to handle whatever does come.  Oh, how I pray that it WON'T happen again, but if it does, give me the strength to do what I need to do for Scott and for our children."

The coming days and perhaps weeks will be filled with waiting and tests and conversations with the doctors, and each day is a new opportunity to trust God to be sovereign in this and every situation.  God is providing the ability to go about our regular routines and finally last night both Scott and I were able to get a full night's sleep.  There are still so many unanswered questions about what may have caused the seizure, and many may go unanswered forever.  But while I'm waiting for answers I am choosing to trust, refusing to allow fear to paralyze or consume me.  I choose to say, just as David did in Psalm 56:4, "In God I trust; I will not be afraid," and in Psalm 34:4, "I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears."

God, give me the strength to trust.  While my knees may tremble and my stomach may be tied in knots, may my heart not give in to fear.  For You, O Lord, are the rock on which I stand; in You I will place my trust and not be disappointed.

*Quotes are from the book "Is God Really In Control" by Jerry Bridges.

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