In the summer of 2000, we were living in Virginia for my husband’s PhD program, but visiting my family in Memphis. At 23 weeks, 6 days along in a difficult pregnancy, I was hospitalized with a life-threatening pregnancy complication, one so rare that most doctors will never treat a case of it.
I wasn’t in the hospital long, only a day or two, before the labor started and wasn’t stopping, even with the medication they gave. It was late evening, and I was afraid as my doctors were not there. They moved me back down to labor and delivery, and an anesthesiologist came in and jammed a large size IV into my wrist to prepare for surgery if needed. Things seemed to be moving fast, and I was scared I was going to deliver her. My fear wasn’t helping the situation.
There was a young, sweet nurse there. She came over to my bed. She said something like, “I noticed when you first came in that your husband is studying religious studies,” trying to indicate that she thought I might be a Christian. I can’t remember exactly her next words, but it was, in a loving and encouraging way, something to the effect of, “I think you need to remember what you believe.”
With that, I calmed down, I started to breathe easier, to pray better, and the labor started to slow and subside. There was no surgery that night. But I got the message: Remember what you believe.
You and I have many situations, big and small, day by day, where we need to remember this truth. God’s Word calls us to be a people who remember (Deuteronomy 8, Joshua 4, 1 Samuel 12:24). In this way, we can remember what is known in order to set our minds as we face what is unknown. We can remember who God is and what He has done, that He loves us, that He gives good gifts and has good plans. We aren’t the author of our stories, but our God is in complete control. And in the midst of a broken and unsettled world, aren’t we glad He is? We can stand on the Rock and be stable and steadfast, even with unsteady and unfamiliar circumstances.
Why do I remember this now?
Well, my blog is a place to record my own “stones of remembrance.” If you don’t have a place to do that, a journal of some sort, I encourage you to begin, to record where you see God working in your life. It can be as simple as looking out and seeing the sunrise and remembering that God is speaking to you through creation to tell you of His faithfulness, His loyal love, His covenantal kindness, His hesed. He who has always been faithful will be faithful again.
But also, I find myself going through another far less dangerous, but seemingly rare medical situation. As I consider the recommended surgery and potential risks, even though minor by comparison, will I remember what I believe? Will I take what is known to enable me to face what is unknown? Will I trust my loving Father in heaven who gives us what is good? He gives me every reason to trust and believe Him.
I pray today for you, with whatever you are facing, that you also will trust your unseen, but known God for your future that is unknown, but seen by Him. He is worthy of that trust.
“casting all your cares on Him, because He cares about you.” 1 Peter 5:7