“Take heart.” Since I preached on this Sunday at The Gathering, I’v been thinking about what this means, and what this means to me. One is objective and the second is more subjective…how it changes me. Last night, I posted a quote from the message Sunday on Twitter and Facebook. It was the part where I said, “Take heart! In the middle of your suffering, take heart. In the midst of your pain, take heart. When the storm is blowing all around you and you can’t see beyond the wind-swept sea, take heart! The Great I Am has overcome!”
As soon as I hit “Send,” I went downstairs and met Karen with a troubled look on her face. She said that Andrew had broken out in a rash all over his body and his face was swollen–symptoms listed under the category “rare but dangerous side effects” on the insert that came with the medicine. My comfort level immediately dropped, as well. What were the next few hours about to bring? We called the doctor on call and waited nervously for the phone to ring, watching for any changes or developments in Andrew’s condition. I headed upstairs to get dressed, certain we would be making a trip to the E.R.
When I got upstairs, I walked into the bathroom, glanced in the mirror and it hit me…take heart. I had just written those words multiple times not ten minutes earlier. Was a storm coming? Would something happen that would rock my world? I couldn’t know at that point. What I could determine was whether or not I was going to take heart. Did I really believe what I had written? Did I believe that the Great I Am was there and had this under control? Would He comfort His children? I could not leave that room…I couldn’t walk away from that mirror…until I had determined the answer.
Before long, I walked down the stairs back to where my family was. Concern for my son was still present, but it was only what Andrew might have to deal with in the next few hours. My confidence in the Great I Am was secure. As we talked to the doctor and it was confirmed that he needed to be seen immediately, we headed down to T.C. Thompson Children’s Urgent Care at a relatively elevated rate of speed, but a confidence, nonetheless, that God was going to take care of this. Andrew was going to be fine, regardless of what the next hours looked like.
It turned out that Andrew was fine. Everything checked out fine and the rash and swelling turned out to be related to the Strep rather than the meds…but what would have happened had everything not gone so well? How would we have responded? Honestly, I don’t know. I hope to never know. What I do know is, the grace of God would have met us wherever we ended up. Power and peace would have been provided and, though the storm may have been allowed to blow wild, there would have been peace as He comforted His child.
Taking heart doesn’t mean we don’t suffer, we don’t hurt, we don’t grieve and we don’t cry. It means that in the middle of it, God’s presence is there to provide the peace and strength to ultimately take heart!