Working as a middle school nurse for many (many) years, I’ve come to expect that quite a few—or maybe even more than a few—of the young visitors who come to my office don’t actually want the services I have to offer. Based on my assessment, they can finish their school day with a cough drop, or a Tylenol. And, yes, I make loads of phone calls to parents just to inform them that I’ve seen their child and they might want to recheck their child’s temp that evening as, of course, things do progress. But, for now, I send the student “BTC” (back to class).
It does not make me popular….
…because it was not the “help” they were hoping for or expecting. Ah, growing up is hard to do, as I check the child’s throat while fighting back my own migraine, or offering the good old staple of Saltine crackers while hiding my own stash at my desk after taking a couple of Tums that morning myself. Life is not always as we would want it, kid; let me “help” you start figuring that out now.
Again, not exactly the help they were expecting.
So I’m asking God about this old song of His:
“God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea. Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge!”
I find that word when, not if, very telling. The earthquakes in life are going to happen, period. To all of us. Christian, or not, it’s just a given. What’s optional, however, is the fear. As I learn to rely on Him as my refuge and strength and (here’s that word again) help, the fear no longer gets a foothold.
But what does His help look like? What if His help is the very earthquake that rearranges the foundations of my life?
Or the mountains that are crumbling are the strongholds of my pride and religious arrogance? Now there’s an uncomfortable thought! Allow me to mix some metaphors (‘cuz it’s my blog!)
- Like when the baby cries after getting her immunization to protect her from the ravages of polio.
- Like the surgeon’s knife that cuts away the cancer.
- Like the uncomfortable cast that holds the broken bone in place so it heals properly (twice in my case.)
I’m wanting to discipline my heart to see everything that comes to me through the lens of God’s love. Now, admittedly, that’s tough one. I don’t think it’s disrespectful to say that it’s okay to use my imagination on this, since imagination is part of God’s creative process and therefore an adjunct to faith. Because sometimes, again, many times, God is working things out for His future purposes that are “above and beyond anything I could think or ask”.
Like the mean old school nurse that sends the pre-teenager back to math class…because he’s learning more than math, he just doesn’t know it yet.
Psalm 46:1-3 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.