As I prepare to end my month of fasting and prayer, I’ve already seen glimpses of God’s hand at work in my life. I foresee a year of change ahead. Part of me is excited to live out God’s purpose for me in this season of life and part of me is afraid. Afraid I’ll fail, afraid I’ll fall on my face, afraid I’ll take a wrong turn somewhere. I have to keep reminding myself that my life is a journey and when I surrender wholeheartedly to God I can be assured that He will order my steps. Even if I take a wrong turn He has the wisdom to steer me back on track. Even if I fall on my face He will pick me up. Even if I experience fear I will know His peace. So, here I am… still believin’ no matter what.
In November, 2002, about a week before I was scheduled for brain surgery I was reading John, chapter 17, one of the last prayers of Jesus before He went to the Cross. He first prayed for Himself, “The time has come. Glorify Your Son…” Then, He prayed for His disciples, “I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those You have given Me, for they are Yours…Holy Father, protect them by the power of Your name–the name You gave Me–so that they may be one as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name You gave Me…”
I read the chapter over and over again with tears streaming down my face because my spirit was responding to the words of Jesus and I was deeply troubled. I asked God, “Are You telling me that I’m going to die? What about my family?”
His response was, “What if you did? Could you trust Me with your family? I’m what they need the most and I can go to the places in their hearts that not even you can go.”
A great peace came over me and I realized what God wanted from me more than anything was to hear me say, “Whether I live or die, You are Sovereign and You will be glorified in life or death. I’ve done what I could. There rest is up to You. I give You my family.”
In essence, this is what Jesus was saying to God…”the time has come…I’ve done all that You’ve asked of Me…the rest is up to You. Now glorify Your Son.” Jesus went so far as to pray in the Garden before the soldiers came to take Him away, “Father, if You are willing, take this cup from Me; yet not MY will, but Yours be done.”
How many of us who claim to know and believe that God is perfect and perfect in all of His ways can really pray like this? Yes, I was able to pray something similar before I allowed a neurosurgeon to slice into my skull and perform the very tedious task of cutting a tumor away from the nerves of my brain, but if I’m completely honest with you and with God I don’t always surrender so willingly to the trusting hand of the One who keeps my heart beating every minute of every day.
As much as the child of God wants to know what tomorrow brings, there is always a moment of truth when faced with the unknown when we are genuinely seeking God: Can I trust in the Sovereignty of God no matter the outcome? Somehow, I think when we can answer with a resounding “Yes!” to this question we have reached a pivotal moment in our faith journey. No longer are we weighed down by doubt and unbelief. We can trust in the power and goodness of God. That goodness will always prevail. Love will always rule where hearts are completely and totally surrendered to the work of His hand. To those who can say, “I’ve done all that You’ve asked of me. There’s nothing else I can do. No matter what, I will always love You. I will always trust You because You’re faithful.” It’s such a beautiful place to be.
How can we trust God with some things and not all things? Scripture tells us He doesn’t change. He’s not capable of changing. He’s the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. He will always be faithful, He will always be trustworthy, He will always be good. When we doubt, worry and try to take over where only God can rule, in a way, we try to dethrone Him. I’m sorry, but that just can’t be done.
So, I’m still trustin’ and believin’ in the redeeming grace of God to save, no matter what. Sometimes I have to surrender again and again, but that’s ok. My heart remembers the Garden and my spirit responds to the words of Jesus because His words will never fade, never pass away and I’m comforted. I can do this. Life isn’t meant to be lived in fear of our tomorrows. After all, I’m still livin’ and breathin’ on this earth. Our worst fear could turn out to be our greatest miracle. You never know.
Can I hear an “Amen”, please?
“Because he loves Me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges My name. He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him My salvation.” Psalm 91:14-16