Tonight was the first time we have attended church as a family since February. On the night shift, Bryan was working Saturday nights and sleeping on Sunday mornings (he returned home from work around 4am). Sometimes I took the kids to church by myself and other times I caught sermons online, but I felt so disconnected from my church family... I even found myself becoming so busy and distracted that I felt I was drifting away from God. I missed church in a big way! An extra special bonus tonight was that our favorite guest pastor delivered the message. He's always great, and tonight was no exception.
His message was titled "Why worry?" Given our previous week, I was eager to hear what he had to say. As he delivered all the usual stuff, I just kept thinking, "Yeah, but what if your worry is not about material things, or even where the next meal is going to come from, but your kids health? How do we not worry about that?"
Frankly, I am able to surrender most things to God. But as I thought about it, those things that I so easily surrender are things that don't really matter to me to begin with: money, house, cars, jobs. Those things are all replaceable. If we lost them all, we would just start over again. We'd still have each other.
One thing I do not find easy to surrender is my family. If I am worrying, it's most likely about my kids' safety or health. When we first discovered that lump in Luke's neck, I was not okay with the possibility of it being cancer. As we pursued tests to rule out cancer, I was angry with God. My exact words were, "It was one thing for me to lose my childhood, but it is not okay with me for Luke to lose any part of his." At the time it seemed like a completely natural reaction from a mother... But as I've thought about it this evening, I've realized that I was angry that my plans might possibly get interrupted. A serious illness was not in the script; I didn't care what God's plan was. I wasn't interested in seeing what kind of glory He could bring from this; I just did NOT want to be in that situation. As a dear Bible study teacher would say, "I was kicking and screaming" at the prospect of this plan.
Last week a lot of people encouraged me to not be anxious, to be prayerful and to rest in the knowledge that God loves Luke even more than I do. I was so short sighted by my plan for Luke's life that I really struggled to understand what they were saying.
Pastor Randy wrapped up his sermon tonight with three steps to win over worry:
1. Put God first
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." Matt 6:33
2. Take one day at a time
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matt 6:34
3. Trust God
If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow it is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Matt 6:30
The bottom line is that I did not trust God. In fact, I completely rejected his plan if it had anything to do with Luke being ill. I prayed fervently, but I prayed for my will. I could not even consider how this would unfold if it was cancer, because I was certain I could not handle that. But as we sang tonight, I was reminded that...
Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord.
We will wait upon the Lord,
We will wait upon the Lord.
Our God You reign forever,
Our Hope, our strong deliverer.
You are the everlasting God,
The everlasting God.
You do not faint, You won't grow weary.
You're the defender of the weak,
You comfort those in need.
You lift us up on wings like eagles.
I know and love this song. I believe every word of it, but was so caught up in my own fears that I'd temporarily forgotten this truth. I am only strong with Him. He is my hope, my deliverer. He doesn't grow weary... And my favorite - He lifts us up on wings like eagles. Praise God.