Hospitals shake my trust.
I wasn’t planning on my grandmother, age 89, going to the emergency room on Thanksgiving evening.
I wasn’t planning on her making a return visit that Monday in the wee hours of the morning. Or on her being admitted to the hospital. Or on her remaining on the cardiac floor for a week. She’s still there. Some days she’s better, others worse. My mom, who has been driving back and forth every day to be with her, never knows what she’s going to find when she gets there, or what medical developments the next day will bring.
But do we ever really know what tomorrow holds?
For the last few months, I’ve been working on getting my career off the ground. I’ve had a plan, set goals, and worked hard. This is good. But, as you’ll notice if you’ve been reading my posts, I have a chronic trust problem. Sometimes my manic planning interrupts me relying on the One who knows my future and already has a plan for it. When I think I’ve got tomorrow under control, I forget that tomorrow belongs to Him. Like the person in James 4:
You who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow.
Ain’t that the truth.
“Normal” life gives me the illusion of control, predictability, security. But when hospital entered the equation early this week, I was reminded of just how hollow that illusion rings. It’s a hologram, a mirage. Even on “routine” days when the alarm rings on time and there’s no traffic on the highway, we never know what will happen. Our PDAs and planners lie to us. We make our plans, but sometimes things happen that blow those plans completely out of the water. And sometimes it’s in that still, scared place when all the plans are gone that I see God without distraction. Sometimes my “normal” has to be shattered for me to remember that God is God, and to pay attention to what really matters: Him. Just Himself.
In the midst of worry and wondering what will happen next, He is a strong and safe refuge. These words from Psalm 46 bring me peace in a time of storm.
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change
and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea…
“Cease striving, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our fortress.
Right now I know less about tomorrow than ever. I’m praying earnestly for my grandma (and entreat your prayers as well). But strangely, when the illusion of “normal” is gone, something better is left. God. He is a secure fortress worthy of my trust; a very present help in trouble.