Down the hall from where I sat on the hospital floor, my knees drawn into my chest, a medical team worked diligently to save my son, Bill.
My daughter-in-law turned to me and said, “Bill always tells me ‘Amy, God will sustain us.’” She repeated words that he’d used to encourage her: “Manna for today, Amy. Just manna for today.”
Often, in the days that followed, my husband, Dave, said, “We have what we need for today, let’s just be faithful and rest there.”
It is all too easy to believe in a God based on my own warped and self-centered thinking. But, I want to know God accurately and intimately as he reveals himself in Scripture, because what I believe about God completely influences how I behave and how I hope.
As I surrender to who God truly is, I have learned to ask daily,
LORD fill me with your Holy Spirit, from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet and the full extension of my arms. Teach my mind, control my emotions, and direct my will. I want to know you; to be conformed to the image of your son; to be used by you to bring light and life. It’s your work LORD; I’d be honored to join you in it.
But, there are days and even seasons that I do not feel like God is using me to bring light and life to the world around me. Honestly, there are days that I do not even feel his presence. During those times I have learned what it means to fight for faith, to actively cultivate a daily dependence, and to know truth.
This truth undergirds trust.
The years leading up to the worst November of my life were full of loss. Both of my parents and the sweetest-mother-in-law-ever died, leaving Dave and I with no living parents. One of my sisters lost her struggle with drugs and alcohol. We unsuccessfully fought to save our business. We walked alongside dear friends as they lost a 21-year-old child to brain cancer. Close friends moved away.
There was so much loss.
Then we lost our son, Bill — a pain like no other.
A year later, on the very day that Dave was to speak at a close friend’s funeral, we were told that he himself had cancer which they described as inoperable, metastatic, high-risk, and aggressive.
I have feared that someone looking in on our lives would think that somehow, we had fallen out of favor with God — that surely, we were being punished by God for some major wrongdoing. But, I prayed that God would make himself look good to those watching. That they would see, as I know, that he is perfectly good and so very faithful.
God is sovereign and he knows and loves me personally. There is tension in believing these things. But it is in this tension where trust is developed and dependence is practiced. It is here that I fight daily for my faith:
- Study Scripture: I carefully and humbly seek to know truth with the help of the Holy Spirit and a community of other believers who are brave enough to be honest with me when my thinking gets skewed.
- Reject False Gospels: I actively weigh my thoughts and beliefs, rejecting false gospels and recognizing old voices in my mind, seeking to replace lies with truth.
- Pray as if it Matters: I trust that God the Father loves to hear his children pray, believing that God the Son makes every prayer pleasing and leaning on the Holy Spirit to help me as I pray.
- Focus on the Eternal: I remind myself that temporal events are momentary; eternity is forever (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).
Daily dependence is simply trust in action.
Throughout my day, I verbalize a particular concern and then look at it squarely and say, “Am I going to trust you with this, God?”
The life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ gives me confidence that God loves me; therefore, I can focus on just taking the next right step. As I walk with Jesus, I trust that he is present, aware of every detail, and actively working to fulfill his purposes. He can be trusted. God is my loving father who takes great delight in his children and is completely dependable.
As much as I seek to avoid pain and trouble, I find it easier to cultivate a real daily dependence on God when I am desperate. The ugly truth is that when life is easy, happy, successful, and prosperous I tend to take credit for all the good and forget my need for the indwelling life of Christ.
But, in daily dependence, I find intimacy with Christ. As I set my mind on him, I find hope, joy, and contentment.
My prayer is that you will also find abundant life in Christ and trust in him daily.