I hate it when everything seems to be going along fine and suddenly I'm blindsided by some new tragedy so fierce I can scarcely breathe. The kind of event that leaves you perched on the edge of your bed rocking back and forth for ten minutes before you notice what you're doing, thinking, "How am I going to get through this?" What's "this"? "This" is the loss of a loved one, devastating test results, some disappointment too profound for words, some injustice so blatant it makes you physically ill, the loss of health, livelihood, home, life, family, marriage or a child...
Oh sure, I've thought that before about other events that have taken place in my life, and I've obviously made it through so far, so much the worse for wear but more or less intact. But I can't seem to trust precedent any more than I can trust God. I hate the parts of my life where all I have left—all I have to do—is trust God. How sinful is that?? Pretty d***, I'd say. Which comes as no surprise to God.
So God takes the sin away through my baptism into Christ's sacrifice, and now, although I am still certainly a sinner, I am also a saint. And ever so very slowly, I begin to see that all I have to do is trust God. That's all I CAN DO, that's true, and that fact leaves me vulnerable and helpless and afraid and endlessly anxious. But mercifully, it's also all I NEED TO DO. And that fact leaves me right where I ought to be: frightened but faithful. Simultaneously sinner and saint.
In honor of the 495th anniversary of the Reformation, it's only fitting that I quote Martin Luther's statement of both unimaginable power and helplessness, the very same statement I utter today in less heroic circumstances but with a resolute shrug nonetheless: "HERE I STAND. I CAN DO NO OTHER, SO HELP ME GOD. AMEN."
"WE are NOT OF those wHo ShRiNK BACk and are dEstRoYeD, BUT of those who HAVE fAiTH and preserve tHeir SOULS."
Suggested verse to repeat if it's a difficult day is from Hebrews 10:39b
Pain Rehab buddies, remember to breathe!
"We are those -------> 5 count inhale
who have faith." -------> 5 count exhale