Where have you been? Where are you going? And why?
I don’t want to lose heart! I want to believe as he does! -Robert the Bruce, Braveheart
Paul commented on Deciphering the Huh? Moments, “Being in God’s hands doesn’t spare us from life’s hard questions.” How true. In fact, I think the two can’t even be separated. Being in God’s hands is part of life’s hard questions. As I’ve wrestled with the word cancer and the implications it could have, the thing I’m really grappling with is a question that I thought I had answered: Can the heart of God be trusted? (Is it actually good?)
I’ve read The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. I love Mr. Beaver’s perspective. Aslan isn’t safe, but he’s good. I know, I know. I loved the movie. Peter and the children needed to hear it so badly. Now that I’m living in the movie, I need to find Mr. Beaver. Better yet, I’m longing to hear it from Aslan himself.
I was reading in Luke 18 tonight, half asleep. “And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.” (v.1, italics added) Jesus knows a way for me to pray and not lose heart? Now my attention heightened. Ever since the doctor entered and informed us of my body’s condition, losing heart seemed to be the only reasonable response. As we’ve called and emailed friends and family, the first reaction is not hope, but despair. Even those of you commenting on the blog mentioned praying for me (thank you, by the way, for your prayers). I wonder whether hope or fear is the driving force behind those prayers. I confess that much of my life is lived hoping to avoid tragedy.
Staying with the thought of not losing heart, I cross-referenced Luke 18:1 and flipped to 2 Corinthians 4:16-18.
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
Paul, this time the apostle, calls my physical disease “slight momentary affliction”. This is almost more than I can take. The surgery, doctor’s bills, medication, recovery period, the time and energy devoted to disease, and more tests and news ahead. All of it is called slight momentary affliction. Furthermore, he adds to that. The affliction is purposeful, producing “an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison”. That is hope created by a trust that God has more in store in the future kingdom. Paul trusts.
Can the heart of God be trusted? I thought I had the question answered. I am learning that once we develop a system of life and think we have it answered, God allows change that brings us to a deeper place of having to answer it in a deeper way. Ironically, it could be a way of romancing, further inviting us into His heart. When I trust God’s heart as good, I can pray without losing heart. But oh the pain in the process of being invited to trust.
Back to the movie.