When was the last time you made a promise? Do you remember the last time someone made you one? Did they keep it?
My dad has always told me that a person’s word is invaluable. He has always shown my brother, sister and I how to be one who follows through on what they say, someone you can count on. “A person’s only as good as their word.”
These last couple of months have been wrought with unanswered questions, health scares that are drawn out and slow, devastation of both the natural and relational across our country and here among my family and beloved friends.
It’s in these times that we can run to whatever types of shelter we have built. In our family, that shelter is built on a solid rock and is known by one name, the Word of God. Our one defense against anxiety and despair are the promises found there. They are both faithful and true.
Things get sticky though, when we confuse our wants with what He promises.
When he speaks about who he is, he says that in Him, all things hold together. What he doesn’t promise us is that it won’t feel sometimes like all things are falling apart.
He does not promise that some days we will feel completely out of control. He does promise that a moment has never and will never pass in which He was not sovereign over all things.
He does not promise that we won’t have trouble. In fact, he promises we will and he promises to never leave us, never forget us, and that he has overcome the world.
He does not promise that we won’t wait or have unanswered questions or feel helpless. But he does promise that He is good, that He will never change, that He knows all our days before they come to be and that He works all things together for his glorious purpose…which is for our good!
He does not promise that there will not be suffering, times of hunger, destitution, danger, low lows, or even death. But He does promise that there is NOTHING that can separate us from His love.
In the past couple of months, my family has spent more time in hospital waiting rooms than we’d wish on anyone. Really, if I’m honest, that’s been the modus operandi for my family for the last two years. I have learned that when the nurse comes in with a somber face and says the doctor will be coming in to speak with you…it’s rarely to provide good news. I have learned that there is community unlike anything I have experienced elsewhere found in that ICU waiting room. I have learned what it means to celebrate every small victory and mourn every loss whether it’s for “us” or for “them”…Because really those victories and losses were truly just OURS.
In this season (please let it be a season because that means it changes), my dad’s value of keeping one’s word meant a whole lot of him pointing me to the One whose word never fails.
As I type this, friends, a clot about 3 peppercorns wide (that’s the way the cardiologist described it) is residing in my dad’s heart. It feels more like a tiny time bomb than it does pepper, but that’s just me. It came to be due to his heart being out of normal rhythm. To reset the rhythm, we wait. We wait on the clot to dissolve and pray God keeps it right smack dab where it is. And if you missed the operative word in this paragraph..it’s WAIT. It is slow work. Dependent. It’s a palms-wide-open-helplessly-desperate type of waiting.
During this time of waiting, we remember the promises of God are not our wants. They are truer and more steadfast than our deceptively sinful hearts’ desires.
I don’t know what you’re waiting on right now. Maybe it’s the child you desperately long for, or the spouse who you feel will complete you, or the job that would solve all the problems. In our lack of the things we are waiting on, we have a choice to make. We can choose to focus our eyes on what we do not have or on what is already ours in the promises of our Creator. He is GOD. And He chose to be GOD WITH US. The Creator of the universe promises to never leave us. He died and rose conquering death to secure that promise of position for us. The position of being right there WITH HIM.
For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaimed among you, Silvanus and Timothy and I, was not Yes and No, but in him it is always Yes. For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory. It is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.
:: 2 Corinthians 1:19-22 ::