This morning I awoke around 6am, fretting in part about my mother’s broken hand. Having looked at the x-ray the other day, and seen that the break was not at all where the doctor in ER had indicated and furthermore that it did not appear very well aligned at all, I was alarmed. As I lay in bed in the morning darkness, thoughts tumbled through my head of our having to see a hand specialist, further surgery, weeks more of incapacitation, etc. Finally aware that once again I’d lost my peace, I made myself stop thinking of all that stuff and focused on the simple fact that God loves me.
At first it almost seemed hard to believe. It’s a truth one can know, can “believe” and yet not really live in. After all, it’s difficult to really get hold of the notion that someone who is invisible loves you. Does that make the love invisible? Well… sort of…
But that’s what Jesus is about, being the one who gives the love shape and substance. Who by His life and death revealed it. Contemplating the fact that He was willing to give up using His deity, step out of heaven and take on the form of a man to go to the cross because He loves me… that’s compelling. If you stop and really consider it. If God was willing to give up His Son for me, turn His back on Him for me, how shall He not also with Him freely give me all things?
Not whatever I want, but what is good, what will truly bless me and give Him glory. If I’m focused on His love, I don’t need to look at the details of my circumstances. God holds every one of them in His hands. He holds every second of every day, each of them known and chosen for my highest and best. Nothing has happened or will happen in my life that takes Him by surprise, or that He’s not already provided for. Thus, contemplating what-ifs and unpleasant scenarios is a total waste of time. Even blasphemous if you get right down to it.
Anyway, to return to the problem of my mother’s broken hand, I took her to see the orthopedic surgeon today, braced for gloom and doom.
Instead, the surgeon asked her to remove the brace, looked at her hand, looked at the x-ray we’d brought and announced with some amusement that she had what is known as a “Boxer’s fracture” — a break in the neck of the fifth metacarpal, just under the knuckle. It most commonly results from punching someone in the face. We all got a laugh out of that.
In any case, after a month of immobilization, it had entirely healed. He said she doesn’t need the brace any more, just some physical therapy. I told him we had therapists coming to her house already and he said that was perfect and wrote an order for them. ..
So. The Big Problem, all the imagined scenarios of doom that were interrupting my morning sleep vanished in an instant like the popping of a soap-bubble.
I wish I could marvel and say, Wow! How amazing!” As if that had never happened before. But the fact is, that’s been a recurring theme in my life of late, with greater and lesser periods of time allowed to elapse between the moment a problem is introduced and the moment God resolves it.
Note I said GOD is the one doing the resolving, not me. I couldn’t in a million years figure out the ways He’s been resolving things. They seem to come out of left field. All I know is, Elisabeth Elliot was right when she said it often seems He lets us get lost just so He can show us how He can find us.
And upon reflection, I realize that of course it’s going to be like that. That’s the whole point. For without faith it is impossible to please God. He introduces the problems precisely so we can trust Him to handle them, and then after a bit of waiting — restfully — get to watch Him fix them. Which brings the glory to Him entirely, not to us.
For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works just as God also rested from His…
If you haven’t rested from your works, then, you haven’t entered His rest. And you rest for the same reason God did back in Genesis: because He’s done all the work and made all the provision and there is literally nothing more to be done…