I remember that day so well.
I sat shivering on that slab of ice-cold metal, placed strategically in the middle of a sterile, dismal medical clinic. I wanted to be anywhere but in that place. I was waiting on the results of an image done on my liver. I felt so dependent. And I was glad. I knew I wasn’t alone.
Months before, the images looked somewhat concerning. Anytime they mumble the words, “we found a spot”, your busy world suddenly stops. Crazy how it takes these vulnerable moments to slow down the urgent and suddenly highlight the important.
As I sat there, a month later, all that went through my head and surrounded my heart was a settled peace. I couldn’t really explain it. It was supernatural.
I’ll tell you what I do know. I realized, all too quickly, that my life was not my own that day. The control that I thought I had over my life was only an illusion.
That month of waiting, was a month of releasing and trusting and intense prayer. A sacred time. A refining pause that I would later come to understand more completely.
It was a miserable, messy trust. It wasn’t pretty. I wrestled with God. I cried. I begged. I worried. And then I cried some more. Not like how I imagined my “Godly faith” would manifest in a time of crisis. It was honestly humbling.
But God’s mercy held me.
And His grace rescued my troubled faith. And through this ugly, soul battle, and before I even stepped a foot back into that sterile clinic, my weary, ragged heart gave up the fight. I had lifted a white flag, marked with the indelible word control.
And that is the moment when peace finally invaded. The true battle was finally over. You see, He was mercifully tearing me down just to build me up. And the process was painful. Peace wasn’t something I could create or obtain on my own. It only comes with surrender.
I prayed. I prayed specific, big prayers. For healing. To prove the doctors wrong. I prayed that the follow up test would show nothing.
Deep inside, I wondered if God heard, or cared. But I prayed anyways and asked God to build my messy faith in the process.
I’m convinced that the purpose of prayer isn’t to give us what we want, but to align our will with His.
The miracle of prayer is that it heals our hearts.
When the doctor came in, she said words that I will never forget. She said, “I don’t know why or even how, but this is a complete miracle. This stuff doesn’t happen. They couldn’t find anything. It’s completely gone. It must’ve been God, there is no other way to explain it.”
It was God.
You might say, yes, God was so faithful to answer your prayers for healing. And you would be right to say it. He often does when we have faith that He can.
But I believe that His greater concern was the miracle He accomplished in my heart that month. He knew my greatest fears, my greatest anxieties. He desired to have all of my trust, not just the easy, comfortable faith, the faith that comes when times are good, when things are going well. He wanted me to trust Him with my life, but more importantly, with death.
What is so amazing, is that even in my doubt, my worry and my despair, even in the ugly parts of that month, He was still faithful. And even if He had answered no, the miracle was still accomplished. He gave my heart “eyes to see” that I needed to depend more on Him and less on me.
As my pastor often says, “If dependency is the goal, then weakness is the advantage.”