I have nothing left to say on the Mueller matter. While that news was breaking, something else was happening. In the spirit of the Lenten season, let me just keep this real. For the last three weeks, my wife battled pneumonia. She finally got over that only to wind up in an urgent care facility this past Saturday. A weakened immune system had left her vulnerable. The urgent care doctor called up an ambulance and sent her to an emergency room to be admitted to the hospital.
The emergency room doctor not only did not admit her but sent her home with medicine for a migraine and without antibiotics for the infection she had. On Sunday, I had to call the urgent care facility. They were shocked she was not in the hospital and angry she had no antibiotics. The Mueller report might have been happening, but other things in life were more important. On Monday, we spent all day in a different emergency room and, ultimately, got discharged because there was no doctor available to do a procedure. On Tuesday morning, we got up and went to a different hospital, where there was a doctor who could do the procedure.
I find myself at times like this wondering if God has forgotten about me. Most of me knows he has not. But it is after midnight, and I have been in a hospital all day watching misery all around me. I have had nothing but coffee all day, so I am hangry, and I understand that a lot of people see the misery and conclude there must not be a God.
The mental exhaustion of a day like today lets the worries flow freely, and my personal motto is “Why pray when I can worry?” Having children to tend to, a wife to tend to and a job to do at the same time the Mueller report comes out makes it all overwhelming. I turn on the Christian radio station, and some upbeat song is singing “my fear cannot stand when I stand in the presence of the Lord” or something like that. All it does is make me feel guilty because I am worried for my wife and fearful for the future, so I guess I am not in the presence of the Lord. Thanks, upbeat Christian song!
If I were to write a Christian song right now, the lyrics would be something like this: “Here we are again, God. I keep asking for something else to worry about instead of this, and time and time again, here we are. Are you even listening? Are you even real? Because this kinda sucks right now, and I really could use a break.” No, it doesn’t rhyme, but it rather captures the moment. Life does not always stay in upbeat contemporary Christian music mode.
Times like this are when doctrine matters and shallow faith either gives way or grows deep. Theology eventually meets reality, and people are left to wonder where God is and why we cannot get a break. If we think outside the hangry frame of mind, we do get a real answer. God is there the whole time. He got no break on the cross; we do not get a break from life. Sometimes, we have to get on our knees and force ourselves to pray just to force ourselves through our own moments of doubt and unbelief. It is the natural path of the sinner.
In the quiet moments, we may see the smile of the elderly lady as her husband touches her hand. We may see the nurse doing more than is expected just to provide someone comfort. We may see the woman offering prayer for the stranger she just met. And in all these things, we see the face of God. He may not stop the waves from crashing over us any more than he prevented Christ from dying on a cross. But he keeps us standing firm or picks us back up when we tip over. Belief is no easy thing in a world that drowns out God. Just because we are stressed, overwhelmed or frazzled does not mean he is not there.
To find out more about Erick Erickson and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.