Saturday, February 6, 2010

Do You Trust Me?

My father has heart disease. His first heart attack was several years ago, and at that time, he received his first of several subsequent stents. And so while this is not new information for us, it has not yet become easier when news arrives that my father is having chest pain and is now in the hospital.

That was the phone call that I received a couple of days ago. My mother had called early in the morning to notify me that my father had been having chest pain, so they spent the night in the ER where he showed some changes on his EKG, and was soon to be admitted to a hospital bed while his pain continued to be evaluated. But this time was different because he wasn't here, with me, but in another state. My folks moved to Texas at the beginning of this year, and so now my dad was sitting in a hospital over 900 miles away from me. Ever felt helpless?

As my mom was relaying all the information to me on the phone and tears began to pour down my cheeks, what I heard in my heart was a question that I dread to answer. He has asked it of me many times before in my life, and somehow, I have always managed to avoid answering it. Maybe that was answer enough. And yet again, He was pressing in, asking...

Do you trust me?

Well, by head knowledge, this is an easy answer. By head knowledge, I know what I should say. But my heart...I mean, this is my daddy we were talking about.

I worked in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit here in Tucson for over 10 years. I've seen more deaths than I could ever recall. I've carried some of the most precious of God's children to the morgue. I've seen prayers for healing, and the grief and anguish of prayers unanswered. I've seen weeping and wailing as parents cry out for the God of mercy to lay His healing hands on their babies. And I've seen it go unanswered. It all seems so haphazard. No rhyme or reason as to why this one was saved and this one passed. No formula that works and no guarantee that this prayer, this intercession, will "work."

Needless to say, this has become quite a sticky point for me in my walk. How do I pray for healing, how do I step in faith with this request, knowing how unreliable He has seemed through the years? Can I trust You? I don't know. You are so unpredictable.

Ugh. Did I just say God is unreliable? Many times, it seems easier to simply not ask, as it seems that God is going to do what He wills to do, regardless of the pleas of broken hearts and hurting souls. I came across this verse today in 1 Samuel 15:29:

He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not man, that he should change his mind.

It's a sticky point, and I'm sure that there are some great theological answers to this struggle, and great, pat Chistianese-answers that would rebuke me for even asking the questions, but that morning, as I sat on the floor of my bathroom weeping, helplessness overtook me. And my God said, "Do you trust me?" and I replied, "How can I?"

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  1. Interesting that Glen just blogged about this very thing... you can check it out on That will be the sermon topic tonight/tomorrow.

  2. This is breath-takingly raw and honest, and a place that I struggle often.
    For me, the object lesson of a dog, even more than a baby, when you take them to the vet,is my comfort. Whatever that vet is going to do to them will probably hurt them, and they dread it, but they go out of love and trust that you are their master and love them. You do not pleasure in their pain, you know that they don't want to go, but you take them there because even if they don't understand why, you believe that to be what is best for them.
    I hope that isn't a pat answer, because I still struggle with faith and prayer.
    How did Peter and John know that the lame man at the gate would rise, do I not have the same Holy Spirit that they were given? Did they know that this would glorify God, more than my prayers for people and situations do?
    Please don't think that I trivialize your pain, I pray along with you.


Thoughts? Feel welcome to share...