I think I've mentioned before that I am in a bible study called BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) and that this year we are studying the life of Moses.
The Book of Deuteronomy is 34 chapters, most of which is Moses speaking to the Israelites as they are about to enter the Promised Land of Canaan after 40 years wandering in the desert. But not just speaking for the purpose of hearing himself speak. When you read these chapters, you can hear Moses' passion to encourage the Israelites to never forget what God had done for them. You can hear him reminding the Israelites how dear they are to the Lord, dear and chosen. "Because he loved your forefathers and chose their descendants after them, he brought you out of Egypt by His Presence and great strength..." (4:37)
And peppered throughout these chapters, you can hear him beseech the people to hold fast to God's commands, even more so to hold fast to God Himself.
"It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him." (13:4)
"Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him." (30:20)
Moses knew he was not long for this world. In fact, God had told him directly that he would die before entering the Promised Land. At 120 years old, Moses didn't figure he deserved a bit of a rest and find a nice oasis to retire beside. He worked and served and exhorted until his last day. He knew what the Israelites faced when they crossed the Jordan River: War, fear, temptation, battles. He also knew the blessings that would be poured out on them if they chose to cling to God. You could say Moses' last task was maybe his most important — etching on the minds and hearts of his people the importance of dabaq.
Dabaq can also be translated to the following phrases:
- to cling
- to stick
- keep close
- follow closely
- to pursue closely
Two young boys I follow through their blogs underwent the Fontan last week. I think this has magnified my fear of Luke's future surgery in my brain. If I think about it too long, I do exactly what God (through Moses) tells the Israelites not to do as they prepare for battle: "... Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not be terrified or give way to panic ..."
One of the beautiful characteristics of God is that He doesn't leave us with just the negative ("do not", etc). In this case, the antidote for "do not be afraid" or "give way to panic" is to "hold fast to Him".
The only way to counteract my fainthearted-ness and terror is to cling to what I know about God: He is sovereign and He is good. Our thinking about God can teeter-totter and waver, but God is still sovereign and good. In my day-to-day thinking about the Fontan, that means that God already knows the date, already knows the outcome and is already preparing to use it for good in our lives.
I also choose to cling to the fact that God is unchanging. The same God Who was faithful to walk with us through Luke's first two years, the surgeries, the uncertainties, the E.R. visits, the 60-some days in the hospital, will walk with us through the next year.
The same God who has brought Luke from this:
will continue His Good story through Luke's heart journey.
I don't think God expects me to feel happy that my son has to undergo a third open-heart surgery. I don't think He would tell us to cling to Him if we were able to muster up our own happiness about the trials in our lives. What I do believe God expects, nay, commands from me is to hold fast to Him so that His Goodness can be seen through our family's circumstances.
I will take a lesson from Luke today. He has had a tough week as Rog and I decided he was ready to go without his "mimi" (pacifier) except for nap and bedtime. Like most two-year-olds, when times get tough, Luke wants his mama. I have been clung to, stuck to, and pursued closely more than usual this week. Today, when I hear "uppa, mama" and "mama carry you", I will choose to say the same to my Father.
And by the way, if I did let Luke type the title of this post, I'm pretty sure it would read, "Tell my mama to give me back my mimi!"