Sometimes things don’t go as planned.
I’d planned to spend Saturday reading and relaxing with some friends, catching up on some homework and maybe going to see a movie. But around 2 am Saturday morning, I got hit with a stomach bug. What I thought would be a productive day turned out to be a day full of tv, snoozing, and sickness.
Sickness is strange. Some illnesses simply make life uncomfortable without seriously impairing your ability to function. Others keep you homebound, adjusting your schedule until the illness passes. Still others can threaten life itself. In each case, however, sickness reminds us that our bodies are not as reliable as we’d like them to be.
This realization applies to more than just our bodies, however. In some sense, nothing in this world is as reliable as we’d like it to be. No body, no job, no relationship, no authority, no education – nothing can act as an unshakeable foundation or a certain support. All that we see and feel may fail us, meaning these can’t be our source of security.
The weakness of the things of earth helps to remind us of the strength of heaven. As we feel our inability, we long for a certain hope. And we find such a hope in the LORD.
I started reading through the story of Abram again yesterday morning, and I marvel at his faith. He left his homeland at the call of the LORD, hoping in a promise the end of which he couldn’t see. He believed God when God promised him a son, trusted the LORD when the LORD covenanted with him to bring his descendants to the promised land. Though he would not live to see the bondage, plagues, and exodus God foretold in Genesis 15, Abram trusted God and lived by faith.
Abram’s example challenges and encourages me. I often struggle to walk by faith instead of by sight, to trust in God over what I see or feel. Abram reminds me that God is trustworthy. Further, Abram shows me that God is merciful and gracious in our doubts, as seen in Abram and Sarai’s time in Egypt in Genesis 13 and in their pursuit of an heir through Hagar in Genesis 16. Through it all, God remains faithful, fulfilling his word and sustaining Abram.
And God does the same for us. Though all else may fade, he remains. He is trustworthy, good, and kind. He will not leave us or forsake us. In sickness, doubt, and fear, he is our rock, our shield, and our security.