I like structure. I’m the kind of person who would ideally like to be well informed before I take a decision, or well briefed/read before I approach a problem. I’m pretty sure most of us out there would identify with that. I mean who wouldn’t like a blueprint of what lies ahead right? Like a map, with directions and best of all, a safe path to follow.
As doctors, we are trained that way. We get the information we want from our overworked juniors or whoever is on the floor that day before we have even seen a particular patient. We like being informed, we like knowing the percentages, the best treatment options,the prognosis. We like having an approach. Nothing wrong with that. But as doctors, one would also realise that on the flip side, sometimes nothing goes according to plan. Ask a medical friend, and he/ she would testify to the number of times they have seen patients defy percentages, textbook descriptions or grave outcomes.
Somehow that’s the way with life in general. Despite our greatest efforts to be as prepped as possible, most times, life does take us by surprise.
I was sitting in the OPD the other day, wheeling under the happenings over the past couple of weeks, thinking and overthinking and then overthinking what I’d already overthought. I called in the next patient, and as they settled down, this six month old chubby fellow kept edging out of his mommy’s lap towards me. He kept reaching out and looking into my eyes till I finally took him onto mine. The next thing he did was what I hadn’t seen coming. He turned around, tried standing up and gave me a wobbly warm hug. And then just stayed there. Hanging onto my neck. I don’t know how to describe in words what I really felt at that moment. The warmth of that gesture translated into a certain kind of warmth deep in my soul. Ever thought of what it would feel like if you were in an elevator and suddenly it’s chain got cut? ( Now I know it’s not what normal people think about. Excuse me.) You become weightless. ‘Cos the elevator and you inside would be at the mercy of gravity.
That’s something like what I felt then. The anxious thoughts that were rolling around in my mind suddenly disappeared. And all I could think of was – Freely falling. Yes, I’d been following him up since he took his first breath till now; but that doesn’t give a baby any reason to remember the doc who resuscitated him at birth. He decided to give me some love that day, and he jolly well did!
As his mother and him walked away, God was speaking to my heart. Can you rest in my embrace like that child? Without fear. Casting away anxiety. Trusting. Freely falling.
Oh I was struggling. I needed more information, I needed a better picture, I needed more clarity, I needed a roadmap, I needed……. In all that noise in my head, a more firm still Voice was telling me, ” All you need is to let go. Underneath are the everlasting arms.”
‘The eternal God is your dwelling place,
and underneath are the everlasting arms.’ ( Deuteronomy 33:27)
Dear friend, been in that place? Of strife? Of crippling anxiety? Of restlessness?
Sometimes we don’t have all the answers, most times we do not have as much information as we’d like to have, many times the picture we paint in our heads doesn’t match the one we actually see, and almost always, we can never be prepared enough for the days ahead. But you and I can do this one thing- trust in the God who holds the universe. In the One whose arms are holding you. You can let go.
Because He’s got this. You don’t need to know everything.
Remember the psalmist said, Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path (Ps 119:105)? He never mentioned ‘ a floodlight on all my days ahead’. No. We’re called to fall- fall back on Him.
Take it from this control freak, whom God has mercifully kept from being able to control anything significant in her life. The greatest blessings are the ones I’ve received with open trusting hands, unexpected, with faith the size of a mustard seed.
That’s what I’ve been asking for the grace to do these past few weeks. To be able to hang on to Him like that baby was hanging on to me. To free-fall.
Moving on into another year, let go. Freely fall back on Him.
“And the arms that hold the universe
Are holding you tonight
You can rest inside
It’s gonna be alright
And the voice that calmed the raging sea
Is calling you His child
So be still and know He’s in control
He will never let you go” (Hope rising, Fee)