Towards the end of my dad’s battle with cancer he lost the ability to walk or even stand up. While I was sitting with him watching TV, I would watch him struggle to lift himself out of his chair, just to plop down 6 inches away to the bed. I’d tell him, “Dad, just let me help you” But he would always refuse. At first it was his pride that prohibited him from accepting my help to do something that he “should” be able to do on his own.
As the weeks went on his ego seemed to become less and less important to him. His answer eventually changed from, “I want to do it myself”, to, “No way, you are gonna drop me!”
I’d laugh when he would say this, not because his fear amused me, but more because I didn’t know what else to do. I have never seen my dad so helpless…. so vulnerable.
One evening as he was struggling, he finally asked, “Do you still want to help me?”…. I’ll never forget the look on his face when he said that to me. His face was filled with such defeat…. Such humiliation, embarrassment and frustration pouring out of his eyes. No matter how hard he tried to play it off as nothing, the reality of his pain was like a kick right in my stomach.
I smiled at him, and said “Absolutely pops, I got you.”
As I stood up I heard him take a deep breath and say, “Man, you better not drop me”. I walked over and positioned myself so I was stable. I bent down and wrapped my arms around him…. I had such firm footing…. I had a grip on my father that I would not lose.
As I am lifting him up and all of his weight is under me, we were face to face, in my arms with his eyes locked with mine. Completely panicked, he started pleading, “Please don’t drop me!, Don’t drop me, I’LL fall, I can’t catch myself, don’t drop me!!!”.
The fear in his eyes…… I will carry with me for the rest of my life.
I smiled at him in the midst of his panic, with all of the peace I could muster. In his fear and without a thought…. without hesitation I whispered to him “I’ve got you, trust me… I will not drop you”.
Suddenly the fear melted away as he looked at me…. studying my face for a moment and said, Ok, thanks”
God’s got us in His grip. In the thick of our fears….. when life feels like it is slipping away and all that’s left is helplessness and pain. His grip on us is so tight…. His footing is unshakeable….
Can you hear Him?
… “trust Me, I got you”
Just like my dad, we hear these words, but the fear takes hold. The helplessness washes over until it is all we can see.
It is irrelevant how we feel, because it doesn’t change the truth….. He’s got us, and when the fear… or dare I say, the horror consumes us. We must study the face of God, and say “Ok, I’ll trust you”.
“For I am the Lord your God
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
I will help you.” -Isaiah 41:13
“They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the LORD.” -Psalm 112:7
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in You” -Psalm 56:3
Photo from: http://www.susanltuttle.com/2012/01/his-hand.html