I wanted to post a reflection yesterday, but I took my almost two year old to a pediatric cardiologist. My little one has given us quite the scare, and now is the time when my faith is tested the most. It is easy to trust God for myself, always has been. Going through the trauma of hospitalization and a congenital heart defect in my baby…the trust is a little harder to employ. I find myself asking the usual questions that parents must ask in these situations and wondering why.
I find it very hard to trust when it is my baby that is in danger, and this is one of those times when we dig out the lament Psalms and ask God why again. I answer back to the voice that comes from Job’s whirlwind saying “How dare you ask?” with “Because I love.” God replies, “Me too, just wanting to make sure you remember why you ask.” I don’t have any answers. The limbo state when we are still going through tests, waiting for results, and hoping the meds actually help is the hardest. Having definitive answers and a plan of action can be so much less troubling, but that isn’t where I am yet. I still worry.
Having to trust and trusting are two very different things. When I have to trust, it is because that trust is being challenged and something is happening that feels like the trust may be broken or misplaced. Now, this might come as a bit of a shock, but pastors doubt too. (We might even doubt more if we are isolated.) Right now, I echo the cry of the parent who came to Jesus seeking healing for his child “I believe! Help my unbelief.” My well of emotional energy has run dry and this means that I have to depend on others to believe for me. This is why it is so crucial for us to have honest faith communities around us. There are times when our well runs dry and we need to go borrow water from someone whose well is full.
I share with you the queries that are in my spirit and hope you can sit with them as a way to prepare yourself for challenging times. So take a few minutes and write out your responses and please revisit these questions to keep your mind up to date on the answers.
Who can you rely on when your emotional, physical, or spiritual wells run dry? What practices are life giving or recharging to you?
I hope you never have to face into the fires of doubt and fear, but you probably will and I am here if you need me.