This time last year, we were in Minnesota pleading with the pancreatic transplant team to accept our child who desperately needed a miracle.
After anxiously awaiting an answer, the team came back with a resounding and unanimous “no.”
Rebecca’s body was too sick, too weak, and too compromised to live through such an intense procedure.
The revelation of this decision became my ultimate trial. Not the trial of whether or not I would lose my beloved child, but the trial of whether I trusted and loved this God of mine – regardless of my situation.
In the book, Every Bitter Thing is Sweet, Sara Hagerty wrote, during her struggle to conceive, a simple yet profound statement: “The Lord whispered inside my spirit as I saw it: If you never have a family, will you still love Me?”
So I presented that question from God to myself, “If Rebecca never receives healing, will you still love Me?”
Or was my love for the Lord based upon conditions that were never promised?
I wanted my love to be unconditional.
God deserved for my love to be unconditional.
But was that possible in my sin-filled state of humanity?
Matt Chandler once said in his sermon, “We don’t want Jesus– we just want His stuff.”
I didn’t want my love for God to be about stuff….what He gives me and how I respond accordingly.
In the story of the ten lepers, all ten pleaded with Jesus for healing – and Jesus granted them their desire. But only one came back. Only one wanted to know the real Jesus as opposed to the ‘stuff’ Jesus had to offer them.
I wanted to be the one who came back. I wanted to know the real Jesus.
Over the last few years though, living a state of survival, I noticed a disturbing pattern in human nature: When our lives are going well, we don’t need God. And when our lives fall apart, we are angry with that same God.
A lose-lose for our Creator.
At no point during that cyclical pattern do we thank the Lord simply because.
Could I, without thought to my earthly ‘desires’, my ‘stuff’, or my ‘blessings,’ praise because He is God?
Could I honor Him because He is my Lord and that, and that alone makes Him worthy?
Could I love my Savior even if my child dies?
This ultimate question hung over me – haunting my spirit.
Yet at some point, during my struggling inquisition, I remembered the Lord that created my Rebecca. I remembered the Lord that loved my child enough to sacrifice His only son. And I remembered the Lord that gave her an eternity.
In that moment I knew, with a soul-searching knowledge, that I could love that very God enough to sacrifice my conditions. Even if one of the conditions meant losing a piece of my heart.
My ultimate trial became my unexpected miracle gifting me with the freedom of unconditional love.
Thank you Lord.