looking through me

Tag: hope

good…always

I backed out of the parking space. My shoulders tensed as I white-knuckled the steering wheel.

Through clenched teeth I murmured, “God, You were good yesterday. You are good today. You will be good tomorrow.”

I needed to hear the words. I needed to remember that the unexpected phone call and the unfolding reality changed nothing about the goodness of God. I repeated the words over and over on my way to the hospital.

Life may have shifted from standard to uncertain in seconds, but God’s goodness remained constant. Circumstances couldn’t—cannot—change it.

Almost two weeks later, I see the increased effects of Dad’s brain tumor diagnosis.

The man with perfect writing can barely use his right hand. He can’t grip a pen. He can’t direct his fingers to the desired letters on a keyboard. He can’t pick up his grandchildren. He eats left-handed. I put his watch on for him and clean his glasses. He wears slip-on shoes to avoid tying laces.

The man with a sonorous bass sat in the congregation on Good Friday instead of in the choir. He slowly shapes slurred words.

The man with a servant’s heart has been banished from helping with dishes in the kitchen or tearing down tables after a party. Instead he hears, “What are you doing? Do you need help? I’ll do that.”

Yet, God is good.

He was good before the tumor was present. He was good when the tumor arrived without symptoms. He was good when the growth and swelling began interfering with normalcy. He is good as we wait for surgical intervention. And He will be good regardless of the clinical outcome.

I roll my tense shoulders back and down. I try to slow my rapid, shallow breaths. Life may not feel good. Life may not be good.

But God is good.

Always.

 


Note: This was written early in the week prior to Dad’s appointment with the neurosurgeon Wednesday morning. After two days taking steroids to reduce the swelling, his speech is nearing normal and his hand is not normal but has regained some function. He has a tentative surgery date of Monday, May 1. We appreciate your prayers in the waiting.

 

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terra firma

Wave after wave sweeps over me:
a friend’s niece with seven days or less to receive a heart transplant,
a dad with young children suffering a series of strokes,
return trips to detox and rehab,
a toddler’s cancer surgery,
early onset Alzheimer’s stealing a family’s mom and grandma,
white blood counts so low chemo can’t be administered
and questions without answers.

In between sets, I find myself treading water and reaching for words like hope and peace and joy.

I reach for them not as life preservers to temporarily keep my head above water—I don’t reach for them with my hands at all. I reach for them with my feet searching for solid ground beneath me.

Because the waves keep coming. The unthinkable situations keep rolling into the lives of those I love. Sometimes they pull us under. But the waves are not all that is real. Terra firma exists.

It is real.

My toes touch it when I sink into truth: “The Lord is near.”

And my feet find their footing.

“The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Hope. Peace. Joy.

Jesus.

Terra firma.