Wednesday, April 16, 2014

...who is learning about trust?

It's midnight...

Three months ago I experienced the most difficult night of my life.

I spent the entire night watching my beloved best friend struggle intensely for each and every breath...and I could do nothing to relieve his suffering.

I held his hand, I stroked his brow, I turned up the oxygen as instructed, I spoke soft words of encouragement, I read text messages that expressed prayer support, I selected soft music to play on his phone...
I cried.
I prayed.
I surrendered.

He was leaving me. He was no longer the man with whom I had talked late into the night before. He was disoriented and incoherent...he thrashed around in panic as he struggled to find a position that would ease his breathing yet didn't cause more pain.

I hope he knew I was there. I hope he didn't feel alone. Oh, I pray he didn't feel alone!

As the memories surge through my heart and mind sucking all sense of sane reasoning from my being, I pray he felt my intense love for him...

More than that, though, I hope he sensed the blessed, serene comfort of our sweet, precious Jesus just as I did that most memorable of nights.

Because Jesus didn't abandon us.
He was right there with me...holding me up, granting me peace, calming my fears, drying my tears, keeping me strong...

Jesus never once left my side.

And now, as tears pour forth from some endless inner wellspring and debilitating pain takes control of my bruised heart and weary body once again, I cling with desperate passion to that Presence once more. Because I won't survive this new life without that Presence...

I try to focus. 
I wrestle this thought to the forefront of my mind: if Jesus was with me then, He's with me now.

I can trust Jesus.....I can trust Jesus!!!! 
He never once has failed to meet my needs.
He is my strong tower, the strength in my weakest hour.
I can trust Jesus, He takes care of me.

That beautiful song continues into its second verse with these precious words:

I have prayed some prayers and felt they never were heard.
But I held to God's hand and kept right on trusting in His Word.
My wants and God's desires don't always agree.
But I lean on His will for He always knows what's best for me.
         ~Gerald Crabb

Jesus does know.
He knows my heart.
He knows my pain.
He knows my strengths.
He knows my weaknesses.
He knows my tears.
He knows my joys.
He knows how much I need Him.
He knows the plan He has for me.
He knows...

And because He is God,

I can trust Him... the grief that snatches away my breath and emotional control in unsuspected moments... the pain that squeezes my heart with an almost physical ache...
  the fear that sometimes haunts me with overwhelming intensity and darkness...
      the moments that sometimes surprise me with joy and hope for the future...
                    ....with the well-being of our family...
                         ...with the minds, hearts, and souls of my children...
                             ...with the plans He has for our future...
                                 ...with my all.

"My heavenly Father watches over me..."

The valley may be dark, the shadows deep
But O, The Shepherd guards His lonely sheep;
And thru the gloom, He'll lead me home
My heav'nly Father watches over me

I trust in God, I know He cares for me,
On mountain bleak or on the stormy sea;
Tho' billows roll, He keeps my soul,
My heavn'ly Father watches over me.
~William C. Martin

What blessed encouragement can be found in these songs! What balm for the weary soul!

And these precious thoughts from Psalm 86 wrap my heart in a warm blanket of comfort tonight...

"Be gracious to me, O Lord,
For to You I cry all day long.
Make glad the soul of Your servant,
For to You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive,
And abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon You.
Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer;
And give heed to the voice of my supplications!
In the day of my trouble I shall call upon You,
For You will answer me...
All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord,
And they shall glorify Your name.
For You are great and do wondrous deeds;
You alone are God...
But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious,
Slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness and truth.
...You, O Lord, have helped me and comforted me."

Now I go to rest...I will sleep the sweet sleep of the child who knows she is cared for by her Father.
And I will awake in the morning with the knowledge that in the gift of a new day lies opportunity to once again place my trust in the God of the universe!

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