I took a deep breath as I entered the labor and delivery wing of our local hospital. I arrived there to visit my dear friend. Walking down the corridor of well-prepared labor and deliver rooms, I wondered how she had navigated the past few hours. How did she cope when admitted to such a sweet and welcoming room, garnished with heat lamps, incubators, baby diapers, and aspirators?
Under normal circumstances this room would have produced an aura of excitement, contented smiles and irritable chatter between contractions. Even the bothersome pokes, IV tubes, and heart monitors would be endured as indicators that the long-awaited day had finally arrived. Baby was on his way!
But for my friend…
This room served to remind of what should have been but, tragically, wouldn’t be for their family or for their precious Gabriel Michael. Her situation was far from celebratory. Just hours prior, during a routine, second trimester, maternity visit to the doctor, the ultra-sound indicated that her baby boy no longer had a heart beat.
My long walk down the well-designed corridor toward her pospartum room caused the dam, holding back my flood of emotions, to weaken. I counted on it to aid me in maintaining a persona of strength for my broken friend. The compromised crack burst and unleashed all its sorrow the moment I caught the picture of her husband leaning over her, stroking her numb and wounded frame in the little post-partum room. The birthing was over, but they had no child to comfort or hold.
The weight of the collective pain was palpable. Words failed and tears ran. We were all united in our sadness and mourned for the boy we would not know this side of eternity. We began to strengthen one another with the promise of God’s resurrection power and the infinite joy we would share for all eternity with little Gabriel.
How do we continue to trust when life betrays us?
How do we reach for God amidst these situations that threaten to suffocate our faith?
In the book, Reaching for the Invisible God, author Philip Yancey tells the story of the Bishop of Turkey, Basil the Great. His daily walk of intimacy with God gave him the fortitude to trust God amidst widespread famine and hardship. He anchored to God’s unfailing strength and taught the suffering to search for God in the midst of great pain.
How? It is what Philip Yancey calls ‘Ambidextrous Faith’. Basil held God’s blessings in his right hand and life’s difficulties in his left, trusting God to use both equally to accomplish his divine purposes in and through him.
My prayer today is that God would give each one of us… Ambidextrous Faith!
Oh how I long to lift the hand filled with life’s hardships with the same dependency and surrender that I lift the one that holds His blessings! These lifted hands become anthems of sincere worship to Him. They echo throughout the heavens with a magnitude no words can muster.
Ambidextrous Faith believes that all circumstances, the painful and the celebratory, will have mutual contribution to accomplishing His eternal purposes in and through our lives.
Today, I have no idea what you may be walking through, but may God supply you with the courage and the trust necessary to exercise Ambidextrous Faith! Bring all of your brokenness and all your joy and offer them to God so that He might work them all together for your good, according to His purposes.
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