The clock on the ER wall displayed 12:00am as I leaned over my dad’s bed, exhaustion was setting in. Off in the distance I heard yelling, doors slamming and I see officers taking someone out in handcuffs. I’m reminded of where we're at when dad asks for stronger meds, the chest pain had increased. My mind spins out of control: fear and fatigue are a deadly combination. At last, the good stuff and he sleeps.
Fast forward to 2:00am my head is resting on my pillow and I replay the events of the past hours. It’s no coincidence that I'm drawn to memorize Isaiah 43:1-2. This passage will bring me comfort in the long hours of the night.
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
2 When you go through deep waters,
I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you. (Is 43:1-2 NLT)
Where do you find hope and courage when real life turns up the heat and emotions are wreaking havoc? Do we find ourselves fearful or strong in our faith?
The prophet Isaiah says, “don’t be afraid”. These three words alone should be enough to sustain us; our everlasting Father is with us in the deep waters, in the rivers of difficulty and in the fire of oppression. To stand in our faith, His Word must penetrate the deep recesses of our hearts. His Word brings a confidence that His companionship will be enough to overcome fear. Faith emerges. When my faith is small, it’s still faith. The hard things bring spiritual maturity, even when I can’t see it. My faith isn’t a perfect faith, but I’m walking through it, not alone, but with the Comforter beside me. His strength IS perfect when mine is gone.
Faith annihilates fear when we take the Word and continue to live It. Not in perfection, not in our own ability but with the promise He's given us for that moment. Take that specific Word, pray over it, write it a bazillion times, meditate on it and live it out.
(photo-taken 1/19/15 a few hours after his heart cath)