For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities;
– Hebrews 4:15 KJV
We often joke in my household that I would never make a good politician because I tell everything about and on myself so there would never be any dirt to dig up…unless you looked under the carpet. I believe the wearing of my heart on my sleeve comes from having a testimony of a loving God that has been too good to me to keep it to myself. I pretty much live an open book. Or so I thought.
My ministry is the often sharing of being joyful in troubled times, trusting God no matter what and believing how He would restore all. Nice, tidy, wonderful sounding inspiration…missing one major detail. Maybe it was pride. Maybe it was fear. Maybe I could not stand to have to utter words aloud that would cause me to think and deal with it or myself.
But recently I was faced with three persons that “outed” me. One was struggling to hold on in faith when modern medicine said “no way.” Another because of past mistakes was wondering how God could ever love her. Finally, the third who had lost the roof over her head due to medical and legal difficulties. Each supposing lack in their faith because they were scared, they were hurt, and they were ashamed of the way they felt.
Normally, I would have an easy answer for their queries of “I don’t understand how you do it?” But God challenged me to pull the last bit from under the rug. It didn’t sound like such a testimony to me, but from each of the “three” I received either a “why didn’t you tell me” or “gee, you hid that well.” Finally I was convicted by “I really needed to hear that….I am normal”.
My secret you ask? It was simply the answer “ME TOO”.
Most of you already know that it has been close to 5 years now since my son simultaneously went deaf and into final stage renal failure. I have not been slack to share most of the experience… highs and lows. What I failed to share… and even now I hesitate to say it…..the day I got mad with God.
You see, after years of countless surgeries, repeated illness and thrice weekly dialysis treatments, a suitable donor match had been found. We immediately went into preparation mode to get the house ready for infection control, not spending a spare dime since I would be out of work for weeks, and tip toeing around family and friends because we wanted to keep the surprise quiet until after the procedure. We cancelled all travel, all vacations and even my participation in what could have been a career changing convention concert.
And then “it” happened! I was in devotions one morning and I clearly heard God say to me “Forget the Back-up Plan…” I didn’t have a clue what that meant at the time, but I knew it meant to trust Him. In my mind’s eyes I immediately applied that thought to my finances, my job and so on and so on. Everything except what would come next.
Just a few days before we were supposed to check into the hospital, I get a cold emotionless call from a third party nurse. She gave no explanation. She would not answer any of my questions. She offered no empathy or sympathy. She simply said a very technical version of “No Go. “
I don’t remember any reports of earthquakes that day. But I felt it. I didn’t know how I was going to tell my son, who was so excited about finally being free from the pain and isolation of dialysis. I was furious. Was God playing with me like a cat with a string? Imagine if you will, me going off by myself because I didn’t want any people to know though I knew in my spiritual mind God had a plan…..my heart and my head was all jacked up. I wanted to know what I had done wrong. I wanted to know what I needed to do better
As if God had not seen me, I reminded Him of all the nights I stood by my son’s bedroom door praying and listening for his breath making sure it was still there. I reminded Him, how we believed through all the extreme body pain when the high dose narcotics wouldn’t do. I reminded Him, how we stayed faithful even when were too tired to function. I even bargain that even if my prayers were no good, then surely somebody amongst all the folks that prayed for our family there had to be one….even just one… whose faith was greater.
My screams were met with simply “Forget the Back-up Plan.”
It became clear that God was telling me to trust Him even when I could not trace Him. We found out later than the donor had a sudden condition that disqualified him. If we had received that kidney, it would have failed us quickly. We would have been in a bigger mess than what we started with. Just like His Word says in Jeremiah 29, He has a plan that has a good and certain end. For our Good and not to harm us.
As I told my three friends, it didn’t happen overnight. Months have passed now and I still jump a little when the phone rings at night. I will be honest and let you know that this piece took days to write because tears started to flow amidst a whole lot of “God I am sorry. “
I reveal all these things to simply let you know that whatever you are going through, You ARE normal. Being faithful and believing is not always easy, but so very worth it. Yes, Philippians 4:4 tells us to “Rejoice in the Lord Always, “ and then goes on to say “Again I say rejoice. “ I surmise that if we have to be told and then reminded to rejoice then apparently it “aint” always easy.
Believe it or not, He knows you hurt. He is not a God so far out that He is not touched with our personal pains (Hebrews 4:15). He is okay with you being honest about it. He will not strike you down for asking questions.
Just remember that it is faith that moves mountains… not tears. Cry but keep pushing!!!!