Man oh man. I am writing with a humbled heart.
My dear friend is in trouble. She joyfully agreed to marry the man who ‘even I’ couldn’t find a fault with in terms of his love for Jesus. I received my ‘save the date’ and scribbled the wedding date in my planner.
And Wednesday night, as she put together plans for that day, her fiance went to work. He is a navy pilot. Around 3:30 they lost contact with his plane, and called her later that night. Nobody knows what happened. Joe’s copilot’s body has been recovered, but he is still missing. Today is day 6. The air search has been called off. And I don’t know what to do. Which makes me imagine how my dear friend feels.
But in the midst of this weird and awful and surreal situation, God has shown up in might and power. On Friday morning I drove into Houston with a heavy heart. I expected to meet with a teary eyed woman and a family (his) that would be utterly broken. Instead I found myself in the midst of a worship service. I don’t know how else to describe it. They sat around the table reading scriptures, laughing at memories of him, and dreaming about how avidly he must be clinging to our Lord. At one point the room got still and silent and then his mom burst into a worship song – proclaiming the greatness of our God. When I got there they had just learned that the names would be released to the press, and so they asked me to pray for them to have wisdom and to be able to clearly point to Christ if they spoke with the press.
Each navy officer who called was met with the Gospel. His mom had the phone on speaker so I could hear the awkward officer try to graciously manage the fiery woman as she challenged him to talk about his faith. We laughed with that kind of bubbly joy laughter and praised God.
I have never seen faith like this. I have only read about it in the new testament. It wasn’t naivety, it was faith. They weren’t unaware of the gravity of the situation, they were just aware of another reality. They were just aware of the bigness and greatness of our God. And I was reminded, that for all my theology, I still don’t understand what it means to come to God as a Father. I still don’t know what it would look like to trust Him enough to ask boldly for desires. I still try to ‘cover’ for Him in my prayers. I’m still afraid to pray as boldly as this family prays. I’m still afraid to expect God to be God.
My dear friend understands God’s ways are higher than ours. She understands that she is not deserving. But she understands something I don’t – she understands that God is able and good and our Father. She looked me squarely in the eye and said ‘i don’t ask this of God because I’m entitled, but because He is so good’.
And so, on day 6, I come trembling before His throne again. And crawl into the lap of the Creator of Heaven’s and Earth. And ask my Dad for a miracle. I don’t qualify my prayer. I won’t cover for Him. I won’t allow circumstances to convince me that I’m asking too much. I will instead look to the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob. I will look to the one who prompted David to cry out in the Psalms that He would protect his physical life and I will look to the One that answered that prayer.
I will believe with my dear friend. Oh Abba, you know I don’t have her faith. You can see through my ‘theology’ to see that in my very core I am afraid to believe in Your goodness. I don’t come to You because I am worthy, but I come to you because You are worthy. And I don’t know what to pray. I know you have the ability and sovereign power to save him. I know you have the capacity to end this today. Oh and Abba, I know you have the goodness to bring him to his bride. I know you are a God who does not delight to create widows and does not take joy in parents loosing their children. I know you are kind and good and gracious and merciful. I know what I’m asking for is no more of a miracle then what you have already done in Joe’s heart and in mine on the day you made us alive from death.
I ask boldly. No, I ask like your kid; like you’ve told me to ask. Dad. Please. Show us where he is. Make him safe. Make him alive. Make him stand at the altar in less than two months and testify of just how mighty You are.
We will trust You in all things. I know You don’t ask us to doubt what You’re capable of. Put more faith in us. Save Joe, as you saved David – so that the world would look and know that YOU alone are God.
In the words of my dear friend this morning:
“Oh God- it IS darkest before dawn. We cannot know sweet grace without tasting separation’s deepest abyss. Oh Lord be gracious I beg You. I need You. We bow at Your feet & lay on our face. I cannot move from Your presence & will not escape Your ray of hope. Who am I to speak for You created the world & everyone in it– including my Joe. We knew from day 1 that YOU designed us for each other with every last detail in mind. You are my Maker, my God, my Refuge, my Friend, my Provider, my Protector, my Father, my all. I look to You. I ask for rescue. I ask for You to finish what You began & fulfill Your purpose of glory. May Your name be made great among the earth & may all come to know YOU are the God who saves.”