“Then Job replied to the Lord: ‘I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.” (Job 42:1-3)
Anxiety rises as fear threatens to destroy our hope. We become afraid of an objectionable outcome. We want what we want … without problems … and we want it now. We pray, but fear of the undesirable causes a cold paralysis of our faith and seizes our prayers. Can we trust God to give us the desires of our heart?
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.” (Proverbs [13:12])
Hope offers the promise of something better. We hope for no pain, no problems. But can we hope for God’s plan, regardless of the outcome we will experience?
Gracie’s holding up her right rear leg while she runs on the remaining three legs. My mind panics as I imagine the worst. Has she torn her ACL? What will life look like with this injury? With those anxious thoughts, fear grips my heart.
Our border collie/lab mix is my buddy. She and I take walks, go to the dog park, run errands, and snuggle together.
One of Gracie’s favorite games is to run the perimeter of our privacy-fenced yard. Since she can’t see who is walking on the other side of the fence, she runs parallel to the sound of walkers. At the end of the property, she jumps against the fence with a thud as if to say: “there, I know you walked by.” Is this intense running and sharp turning how she injured her leg?
Fear of the vet’s possible diagnosis clutches my heart. I don’t want to hear the worst because I will be disappointed. No, I will be shattered. More tears roll down my cheeks. Anxiety enters. Fear destroys my hope. My peace is shaken.
Putting on my brave face, I told her (Yes, I talk to my Gracie like a person.) that I’d be taking her to the vet tomorrow. In the meantime, she must rest that leg. That exerting herself to these limits has put a kink in her active lifestyle. I further explained to her that while she doesn’t understand why her activity is curbed, she simply must trust that I’m acting in her best interest.
As my advice to Gracie left my mouth, it suddenly struck me. Perhaps this is a good example of God and me. I don’t understand why He won’t allow me to partake of certain activities. Could it be that He cares so deeply for me, and that His plan is better than mine? Sometimes God limits me so that He can act in my best interest.
At this moment, trusting God is very difficult. However, God wrote Gracie’s and my stories. As the author of our lives, He has everything under control. Understanding God’s plan was never part of His promise. He did promise to give me peace that will transcend my understanding and guard my heart if I will trust Him (Proverbs 3:5-6).
It’s tomorrow. The vet said Gracie’s injury is not located even close to her ACL. She has a very slight fracture near her foot. Resting her foot, as we have already been doing, is the correct action. She will be on a leash-only regimen for three weeks. My heart was pounding with joy, and tears of thankfulness rolled down my face.
A Tighter Bond
As I pondered these events, I realized my Master used this opportunity to cultivate a tight bond between us. The fear I felt at the possibility of either expensive surgery or possible euthanasia was numbing. It was also another opportunity to use my Trust the Master cornerstone.
Experiential trust in God’s love cannot be replaced by mere lecture. Sometimes He gives us exactly what we hope for. Other times He gives us something that doesn’t seem to fit the need.
We must trust the Master … He is a good Father.
“What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead of a fish?” (Luke [11:11] HCS)
What storms are you facing? Is anxiety and fear destroying your hope? Will you choose to trust the Master?
“I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow. I will feast the soul of the priests with abundance, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah [31:13]b-14)