Part your heavens, O Lord, and come down . . . Psalm 144:5
I wake up to another new day to battle the ultimate question: do I trust God?
Written on a sermon note tucked in my Bible from who-knows how long ago, the question is asked again in black and white: do I really trust God? It's one I've been repeating to myself for fifteen months. One I have pondered deeper this past week when the news came that yet another teen-ager died in an accident in our little community.
I wonder why we got the "good story" of a son who professed faith in Jesus Christ. I wonder how the unsaved grieve without the hope of God. I wonder the ultimate question of how you would grieve a loved one who did not know Christ. I feel the paralyzing numbness longing to take over rather than feeling the emotions or asking the questions.
I read on to the end of the notes: The Isrealites stumbled and fell because of their unbelief. Their main sin was unbelief. We stand by our faith, and that alone. Not by sight, but faith.
I repeat the promises found in Scripture that I have known so long: those who call on the name of the Lord Jesus will be saved; we are victors in Christ; those God predestined he will also glorify; to be absent from the body is to be present with Christ; Jesus is coming soon and His reward is with Him.
"Keep looking forward, don't look around," I wrote weeks ago as the concluding line.
I look around and see only two boys going fishing with their dad instead of three. I look around and pack only four bags instead of five for an upcoming camping trip. I look around and feel the consuming pain of grief that steals the joy from every simple event.
For the joy set before Him, Jesus endured the cross. For the joy set before me, I walk this walk by faith. I try to imagine the glory of God; the unbelievable magnitude of heaven; the first glimpse of standing face to face with my Creator.
A kind lady called a few days ago to tell me how she was blessed to read How My Savior Leads Me. She went on to tell me about when her husband died she realized after a few months that along with the pain of his loss, she was actually more jealous. Jealous that her Johnnie was in the presence of God, without sin.
Randy Alcorn writes in his book, Heaven, that "For the Christian, death is not the end of the adventure but a doorway from a world where dreams and adventures shrink, to a world where dreams and adventures forever expand."
Do I trust God and the plans He has for my life, and my son's life? Yes. Do I long to be there with him? A resounding yes. But again I wake up with the same thought: Here I am still, Lord, please use me then today for your glory.
Listen to my cry [O Lord] for I am in desperate need. Psalm 142:6
I spread out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. Psalm 143:6
Set me free from my prison that I may praise your name. Psalm 142:7