Archive for June 13, 2006

[springlist] Resting in Love

June 13, 2006 Leave a comment

After lying in bed for two hours dreaming that I was sitting my den, I thought I might sit up and dream that I’m back in the bed. In a few short hours, I’ll drive our to the dialysis clinic. Then I’ll go to lunch because you can never go wrong with a right meal. And then, Kelly, Izaak and I will drive over to UT Hospital and check in. We’ll spend the night at UT and then on Wednesday morning, the surgery will begin. I feel like an anxious spaceship as the count down moves closer to blastoff.

Since the surgery was finalized a few weeks ago, I’ve felt a slight anxiety like a child feels before a big vacation. The night before our family packed up the car and headed off for our summer adventure, my sister and I overflowed with jitters. For some reason, on those nights our beds simply couldn’t contain all the jitters and we ended up lying on my parent’s bedroom floor. I say lying because we rarely slept. We simply closed our eyes, rolled around, and looked at the clock every 30 seconds.

This relates to another anxiety I shared with many of my fundamentalist friends. We sometimes feared that the rapture would occur before something really good happened in our lives. So if my family was planning a big trip to Disney World, I might fear that Christ would decide to split the Eastern sky before my big day with Mickey Mouse. Oh the horror that time would end before I got ride Space Mountain.

Of course rapture fears penetrated more than just vacations. On more than one occasion, my folks came to pick me up late from school, and I was certain that Christ had raptured his church, the tribulation was now underway, and I was most definitely “left behind.” With an overactive imagination, I could easily envision multiple terrors unfolding before my very eyes.

The only cure for this unhealthy addiction to terror was and is trust. If I could but simply trust my parents, and the Lord, I could rest that things would work out fine. Trust played a fundamental, unspoken role in so much of my childhood life. I never worried about food (which is good because I like to eat). In fact, I never really thought about how my parents would provide the next meal. My only concern was that the bad taste of the vegetables would not overpower the good taste of the dessert.

I trusted them to provide my every meal because they were trustworthy. Over and over and over and over they provided. They fed me and clothed me and protected me and implicitly taught me that they would unquestionably take care of me. As I reflect on their provision, I think of how the ancient Hebrews understood faith.

For the Hebrews, faith was not an affirmation of some abstract set of ideas. Faith meant to trust in a God who is trustworthy. The weight of trust is on the Lord. Like a sleeping child cradling in the encircling arms of a parent, trust is resting, often unconsciously, in the care of our loving Creator. As they trusted in the trustworthiness of God, they would be changed into an image of that trustworthiness.

In other words, the character of God that makes him absolutely reliable would be stamped into the very fiber of their being. His faithfulness would manifest in their lives, and they would become a faithful, trustworthy people. In spite of their weaknesses, He was still trustworthy.

And even now as I write in the middle of the night, I continue learning the gentle lesson of trust. I continue learning to trust a God who is present but not necessarily visible. He is always and has never not been present. Just as He taught a struggling nation of nomads to trust Him in cloud day and the fire by night, He still teaches His people to trust in His unfailing presence.

On the day I entered the dialysis clinic He was present. On the day I sat at school thinking the rapture had occurred He was present. From the moment of my conception to the day I take my final breath, He was, is and will be present. And all along the way, His Spirit gently, softly teaches me the rest of trust.

We are not all called to the same journey. Some people will scale mountains, some people will build cities and some people may only wash dishes. But each of us is called to rest in His goodness. Each of us has the pleasure of learning to trust in the faithfulness of the Lord.

I’m a slow learner, but I’m learning to delight in His lessons. And even now I lean my head back into the arms of everlasting love.

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