When life’s worries catch up to me, I turn to God. They may be my own worries, your worries, or the worries of the world that send me running. I become confident in a God that is “big enough”, “bigger”, the “biggest” – the only one with enough love and power to touch a situation.
When life’s blessings catch up to me, I again turn to God, offering thanks for our family’s health, home, the majesty of nature, and more.
It’s when I am caught somewhere in between that I hesitate to turn to God. Stuck somewhere in between the request for help and the blessing received, I stall out. Yes, my God is the only one I dare ask for such big things, but do I trust that his bigness can really be displayed in the answers? I rationalize that maybe his “answers” are just a coincidence, not the fingers of God at work. (Not always an incorrect assumption, maybe?) I balk because if the answer falls short, what do I do? Blame God? Discount the initial answer? Come face-to-face with my limited understanding of God’s ways? Be left speechless to those who question my faith?
I’m caught in the middle this week, as we celebrate that twins are on the way. As several friends have pointed out, and I’ve thought myself, this double helping of kids is a ridiculous and amazing answer to my laments to God. But I find that rather than exploding with joy, I’m withholding my gratitude until the blessing is complete, and they arrive healthy in the outside world. The risks are many, twins are a natural occurrence (not only divine!), and if I go on about how this is God’s great answer and then something happens…? My doubts are many, woefully holding back my thanksgiving.
As I laid awake in the middle of last night (pregnant hunger pangs!), a random story came to mind. Ten lepers cried out to Jesus to heal them. He sent them to the priest to get healed. Only one returned to say thank you, and he was a foreigner at that. Jesus wondered – “Where are the other nine? Was no one else willing to come back and give glory to God?” (Luke 17:11-19) These men had their lives radically changed – restored physically and then socially into society. Yet they too neglected to return and say “thank you”. Maybe they weren’t so sure that it was really Jesus’ power at work. Maybe they thought they’d give the miracle a few years to “stick” before they gave credit where credit was due. Maybe they just forgot and went out to tackle the next challenge of finding a job. I see myself in their shoes. I want to pause and acknowledge God instead.
God, you are big enough for me to ask things of. You are big enough to answer too, and deserve the credit when you do – and so I thank you for these two little lives. Give me faith and courage to keep returning and saying “thanks”.