Life is a marathon, isn't it? So often I want to sprint through the rough patches and dash out of the storms, but it rarely works that way. And something I've realized as I've come face-to-face with the frailty of my faith, is that there's nothing like a good, stiff trial to shake us out of our spiritual slumber.
Because the enemy knows how to shake us. He knows where to attack for the greatest impact. And he went for my kids.
Thailand has taken a hands-on approach when dealing with the planet's current scourge. They want to process every positive case through the hospital. And they're very strict about protocol being followed. I won't go into those details but where this got us in the gut was when any of our children, American or Thai, tested positive.
Most of the people we have dealt with have been exceptionally kind. God went before us and fought for us. He used one of our Thai friends to help us negotiate with the government hospital to be allowed to stay together since everyone had only mild symptoms. He was merciful and did the heavy lifting.
He fought but I wasn't still.
My heart failed me for fear of imagined worst case scenarios. My mind played and replayed pictures of things that never came to fruition. I wasted precious time worrying over things that God prevented from even happening.
I'm upset with myself for my faithless response but I'm so grateful God allowed me to to see it for what it was. Surely greater trials lie ahead and I want to be armed for them.
The health officer came this morning and tested all the children who hadn't yet had a positive result before they're allowed back at school. We only had 5 people total who hadn't yet had symptoms and one tested positive today. That leaves four. One day this, too, shall pass. In the meantime, I'm determined to learn from it. I recently read something that a friend shared with me when we first landed in Thailand 2 1/2 years ago and Levi was hospitalized. It said...
Never allow yourself to talk in a hopeless, discouraged way. If you do, you will lose much. By looking at appearances and complaining when difficulties and pressures come, you give evidence of a sickly, enfeebled faith. Talk and act as if your faith is invincible. The Lord is rich in resources. He owns the world. Look heavenward in faith. Look to Him who has light and power and efficiency.
This is the experience that I want. Want indicating that I don't presently have it. I think about it, talk about it, stew about it, and stress about it. What I want is to surrender it. I want to be willing to hurt or suffer, or even watch someone I love hurt or suffer, without my heart failing me. Don't get me wrong ... I'm not a legalist who thinks God is going to smite any of us for our human tendency to want to protect our families. Or for experiencing pain when they hurt or suffer. Protecting them is a part of the job description and compassion is a gift from God.
But the best way to protect them is to keep them submitted to His tender care, even when things feel out of control. I believe this experience of submission and surrender is what enabled Enoch to walk with God in the way he did.
I want that same walk. The walk of redemption here and now, not just later.