What a week. (And it’s only Wednesday!) I had a colonoscopy on Monday with some unexpected results. The doctor told us it could be nothing, or – worst case scenario – it could be the C-word. The short version of the story is that I went to a specialist on Tuesday morning, and he is 99% sure that it is nothing. I’ll go back to see him next month. I also had a polyp removed, and we’re waiting for the biopsy results from that, but the doctor said he wasn’t worried about it.
So between all the nasty preparation I had to do on Sunday for this exam and all the waiting, having one meal of solid food between Saturday night and Tuesday afternoon, then the relief of good news from the specialist – I’m wiped out! Actually, I’m feeling the need for some serious, concentrated snuggle time with my family.
I realized in my half-drugged state that I still had an article to write for MOPS on Friday, so I begged my muse for anything, and this is what he came up with…
We have rabbits in our house. Scary rabbits. In my son’s closet. Which is why, of course, we have to be sure to close the closet door every night before bedtime because who knows what scary rabbits can do while 6 year old boys are sleeping?
I’ve seen scary rabbits all over the place. You can’t avoid them or escape them or even ignore them. Some of our rabbits are relatively tame, albeit annoying. A whiny 3 year old. An irritating neighbor. An unsympathetic teacher. A frustratingly involved mother-in-law. Those pesky rabbits get in our gardens and eat all our vegetables. Blasted rabbits.
Other rabbits are terrifying. They take the form of a medical diagnosis, a job loss, a betrayal, a disappointment. Sometimes we think we see the rabbits lurking outside our garden gates, and just the thought of them coming in is as frightening as if they were already there. Those darn rabbits are everywhere.
My friend, Gracie, has faced a huge scary rabbit, and it’s sticking around for a while. Her daughter, Libby, was born with a fatal heart defect, and last week this precious 3 year old girl underwent her third major heart surgery. She’s hooked up to all kinds of lines and tubes and monitors, and although she is doing very well, she’ll probably be there for several weeks longer. Gracie (and I say this without an ounce of triteness or cliché) is my hero. I hold so much admiration for her courage and her faith because watching her and her family deal with such a horrible situation has taught me more about who God is than anyone else in the short history of my life. God finally drilled into my brain what He means when He says (over and over again throughout scripture) “Do not be afraid, for I am with you.”
Do we realize the magnitude of those nine simple words? Do we know what it means to have Emmanuel – God With Us? You are never alone! No matter what you face, no matter what the doctor tells you, no matter how hurt you are, God is with you! He will never leave you, nor turn against you. He walks with you, even when you don’t realize He is there. He gives indescribable, illogical peace when we truly believe that He is who He says He is.
I’ve seen others face their scary rabbits without Him. I’ve done it myself. Wow. There is panic and fear and irrationality. It’s not pretty, and it’s not admirable. But more than that, it’s very, very sad. We don’t have to walk alone. We don’t have to live in fear. We have a Friend who is always with us.
I know this truth takes time to soak in and make your own. We can grow up in church and hear this all our lives and still not get it. I certainly didn’t.
If you know it, cling to it. Believe it. Remind yourself of it. Hold on to it like nothing else. He is with you! If you don’t know it yet, I pray that you will, and that it will set you free from fear and set you free to be all that God has purposed you to be. The rabbits are scary, and they don’t always go away, but we’re not alone in facing them…and the One who is with us is much bigger than any ol’ nasty rabbit.