June 23, 2013
Sunday, 10:00 p.m.
Letter #283: Fearing the Worst Isn’t the Best
I tell you this: it is much easier to trust God when there isn’t anything really crazy going on at the moment. It’s much easier to not worry and relax peacefully when life is normal and uneventful.
Even though I don’t mind a bit of the unknown or surprises in my life, I like the unknowns to be limited to simpler categories like: dental exams—will I have any cavities? (no) or will Case Manager Cully eventually leave? (yes, a week ago). Beyond these, however, I’m not a huge fan of upheaval, big changes, or things that are beyond my control. I’m fairly certain I’m not alone in this, right?
Well, this week was full of not-what-I’d-expected moments and a beyond-normal need to cry out to God in prayer. As I mentioned in my last letter, I was supposed to have a special weekend visit with my dad, ending today. Then, last Sunday he was feeling so weak that he went to the hospital to see what was wrong. When I called to wish him a Happy Father’s Day, he sounded terribly weak and unsure of what would happen as he told me he was having a bunch of tests run at the hospital.
Over the next couple of days, things sounded worse, with scary terms like congestive heart failure, critically low blood count, and angioplasty being used.
I trust God with my daily need for breath, for my daily essentials, but it is much more difficult to trust Him implicitly with the life of someone I love. I could tell you that I’ve never doubted God’s ability to create: the world in six days, a cancer-free body, healing for broken hearts, wombs, hands, legs, etc. I’ve prayed and trusted my Creator God with each of these and many, many more besides just in the past few years, not to mention years gone by. I have seen Him heal, restore, and touch in ways possible only for Him. And yet, hearing that my dad has yet another serious medical condition … this was difficult. My world was shaken.
I wish my dad were more careful about his health. Major health scares haven’t changed his diet or exercise habits, and he hasn’t been the picture of openness about his health issues.
When I watch so many of my friends lose their loved ones while they are in prison, I can’t help but wonder how much longer I have with those who are closest to me. I’ve encouraged my dad to develop a healthier lifestyle, and I know he wishes—especially at times like these—that he were in better physical shape, but change is difficult. He is an awesome dad and an incredible grandpa, and I want him to be around for all the important events in the future.
With all of this on my mind, I tried to leave my dad’s health in God’s hands. After all, there was nothing I could do. Helplessness and increasing guilt for not being able to be at his bedside crept in, overwhelming me. Guys in my pod could tell something was wrong because I looked worse than normal. I was letting the reports from the hospital get to me, when one guy who recently came to faith in Christ pulled me aside and told me that I needed to stop worrying and simply trust God.
Well, I don’t like to admit that I worry, because I really do trust God’s will in all things … but this one area proved to be tough for me. I finally let go and committed my dad into God’s hands.
He isn’t out of the woods quite yet, but he’s out of the hospital, and I’m thanking God for more hopeful news—and for His patience withe me as I learn to trust Him once again.