He was only four-years-old.
Already a veteran of numerous tests and procedures, the doctor finally had to recommend sinus surgery. We drove over two hours to the university hospital. The waiting room was full of patients waiting for their own surgeries. We joined them and sat down on the ragged, stained, institutional upholstered chairs. My stomach tight with fear, I stared at the grey, sterile, hospital walls. The sound of doctors and nurses speaking in medical jargon became like white noise to my ears.
We had woken early that morning and brought him straight there in his pajamas. The minutes ticked away. The longer the wait, the more anxious I became. Every few minutes my son asked why we were sitting for so long. I kept saying, “We’re just waiting for them to call your name.”
Too young to understand what the surgery was about, driving so far from home was probably like an adventure to him. All he knew was that the doctor would help him with his nose so that he wouldn’t be so sick all the time. I wondered, did he sense my fear? Did he notice me fight to hold back tears?
We were finally escorted to a room where they prepared him for surgery. Again we waited. The medicine to help him remain calm had already worn off by the time they were finally ready to wheel him away. As they pushed the gurney toward the dark blue double doors marked “staff only” he sat up on the gurney and screamed for me. My husband ended up accompanying them into surgery to help calm him until he was sedated.
I’ve never felt as weak and helpless in my life as I did that day when my son had sinus surgery. I had to leave him in the hands of a surgeon. I had no control over what happened. One wrong move in the sinuses could have caused brain injury.
Truthfully, I cried a lot that day. I worried. I feared. And I prayed.
Even when we are at our weakest, there is hope. There is a source of strength greater than all our worries and fears. “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1
Photo: Courtesy Christina Fox
For God to be our strength in the midst of our weakness, we have to abandon all control. We have to release our hold, giving our worries, burdens, and weaknesses to Him. God then works through us, becoming our strength. The apostle Paul boasted in his own weaknesses because he knew that God’s power was made perfect through his weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9-12)
Sometimes we forget how strong our God is. We get so used to trying to do it all on our own. We whimper and complain under the load of our burdens, forgetting that He has the strength to carry it all.
“Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God”? Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” Isaiah 40:27-28
The Old Testament frequently reminded the Israelites of God’s faithfulness in delivering them from slavery. When they faced challenges, they were to remember His promise that He would be their God and they His people. That day at the hospital, I had to remember all the ways God had delivered me in the past. I had to remember His deep love for me. And then I released my worries into His hands.
Do you ever feel too weak to handle your burdens? Remember His faithfulness in your life. Recall His enduring love and providential care for you. Look to the cross and see the depths to which He will go to rescue you.
Admit your weakness. Give up trying to do it alone. Trust Him today with your burdens and cares. No matter how heavy your burdens, how severe the trial, or how great the battle, God is stronger. He is stronger than even our greatest weakness. He never tires or grows weary. There is no challenge or burden too heavy for Him to bear.
After all, didn’t He bear the sins of the world on His shoulders? And at His final breath, didn’t He cry out, “It is finished!”?
It is finished! We don’t have to bear any burdens. We don’t have to try harder. We don’t have to be good enough. Jesus did it all for us at the cross and freed us from every burden.
Remember. Trust. Hope. And be weak, so He can be strong.
“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31