Cast all your anxieties on him because he cares for you. – 1 Peter 5:7
As I write this I’m sitting in a waiting room at the Mayo clinic as our son, Evan, is having surgery. Again. Last year they removed a portion of his pancreas. This year they are removing several of his parathyroid glands. It all stems from a genetic condition that afflicts my wife and two of our boys. In our house we talk about tumors like most families discuss weekly grocery shopping. They are just a fact of life.
Every now and again, if I think too much about what they’re doing to our boy at this moment, my pulse quickens and my thoughts grow anxious. Sometimes I feel frustrated that there is absolutely nothing I can do but sit and wait (and apparently write blog posts). But in those moments I remember these words from 1 Peter, “Cast all your anxieties on him because he cares for you.”
Faith is too often misunderstood as an intellectual pursuit, a set of doctrine to which we give intellectual assent. But faith is primarily a relational term. It’s akin to trust. To have faith in the Lord is to entrust oneself to the Lord, to dare to believe that God is, and that God is for you and with you. The God revealed in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus is worthy of that trust.
And so, in these moments I’m putting my faith in the Lord. I’m entrusting myself, and Evan and the doctors and nurses who care for him, to the Lord. I’m casting my anxious thoughts and feelings on God. Does that mean that things will turn out the way I hope? Not necessarily. But it gives me peace in this moment. Just for now. And for now, that’s enough.
What does faith mean to you?
Jeff Marian serves as lead pastor at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Burnsville, MN.
Postscript: Evan’s surgery was successful. He went home the next day and starts his new career as a computer programmer next week. Thanks to many of you for your kind thoughts and prayers.