Marines.Together We Served

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A Lesson on Faith

The past several months have been filled with visits to the hospital for the Roots family.

It all began with the birth of our first grandchild, Alyssa Grace. Due to complications during birth, she was kept in the ICN (Intensive Care Nursery) for nine days, hooked up to electrodes and an IV (intravenous). She came home in early December and has done beautifully. We enjoy her so much!

Then later in December I went to see my doctor about a growing concern I had about some chest discomfort. After a battery of tests I was admitted to the hospital for an angiogram, ultimately having six stents placed in two of the heart’s three arteries.

Then last week in anticipation of the arrival of our youngest daughter’s child we encountered yet another challenging situation. Jenny and her husband, Josh, went to the hospital at 3:30 in the morning anxious for the arrival of Brooklyne Paige Sousa. She finally made her appearance about twelve hours later. However, she was not looking too well and showed signs of not responding to normal stimulus. So, off to ICN for the next three days. Brookie is now home with her parents and is settling in just fine. She has an excellent appetite and sleeps well, though not always at night.

Six months ago I could not have foreseen these three events coming down the pike. In fact, I couldn’t have predicted even one of these things. It’s true that I sensed something was wrong with me physically, but I had no idea of the severity – six major blockages in my heart arteries. I have no family history of heart disease, nor have I ever had any serious health problems. In a word, I was surprised.

I share these events with you because they are excellent opportunities to look to God. But, not to ask the normal question, “Why me, God?” but to say, “Okay, Lord, I’m not sure where this is going, but I’m holding on to you.” It is at times like these when faith is foundational. Allow me to explain: Faith is not an approach to life where you cross your fingers, squeeze your eyes tightly shut, intoning “Please, please, please, please, please, please, please,” imploring God to come to your rescue as though he needed to be convinced to help you out.

Faith is trusting in the one who has made the promise. My wife and I chose two verses from the book of Proverbs as our life verses when we were married nearly thirty-two years ago. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Faith is based upon the character of the one you trust. The more I read the Bible, and the more I walk with the Lord, the more I trust him. I don’t need to understand the complexities of a challenging situation. I don’t need to know how a difficulty is going to work out. Instead, I need to trust in the One who created me and has my best interests at heart. Regardless of how things turn out, I choose to trust God because of who He is!

If I may, it is much like a child’s relationship with a father. A small child places his hand in the larger, stronger hand of his father, perfectly confident that there is nothing that is going to happen that his father cannot handle. Cars may zoom by on the street; bigger boys are kept at bay; crowds melt away as dad passes through. No problems!

God can handle anything in my life. My worrying about problems will not accomplish one positive thing. And it certainly does not help the situation. God does not need my help. I need his. He simply asks me to trust him. And I do.

Our precious granddaughters are now home where they are loved, valued and appreciated as gifts from God. And I’m able to be involved in their young lives instead of a face on a picture with their mom’s saying, “This was your grandfather.”

Even if any one of these situations had turned out otherwise, it would not change the importance of trusting God.

If you haven’t trusted him yet, why not today? Why not right now?

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