My son called us early this morning fully dressed in his army uniform and hat with an anxious expression on his face. I remember that look well. I saw it on his first day of school. I saw it when he was a teenager and had to explain his actions to a police officer. I saw it when he faced things that were scary and unknown. That look of “I don’t know if I can do this.” He’s a grown man, but the boy was there on the screen, wiping away a tear from his eye. He starts the full run of basic combat training. It’s going to be hard. They will break him. The worst part, he said, is he won’t be allowed to call home for the first couple of weeks. Talking to his wife and daughter and mom has gotten him through. But we won’t have us for a while.
This will be the hardest thing he’s ever done, and he’s overwhelmed. Maybe you understand. You might be in the middle of the hardest thing you’ve ever faced right now and you don’t know how you will make it. I will tell you the same thing I told him. This is when you lean hard on God. When grief and sorrow overwhelm you, lean on God. When your body is racked with pain and fever, lean on God. When you walk out of your workplace with your possessions in a box, when the gas tank, the pantry, and your purse are empty, when the one who vowed to love you walks away, when you sit helplessly beside your loved one’s hospital bed . . . lean on God. When you head off to boot camp, lean on God. And when my son wipes away tears of anxiety 425 miles away, I’ve got to lean on God too.
What does that look like? A lot of prayer. A lot of time in the Word of God. And more prayer. And when the wave of anxiety or depression or anger or grief hits I pray more and read more and lean more. Because God is faithful. Every scenario I mentioned, I’ve lived through – or I should say God carried me through. He was with me in every one. He was my strength and my comfort. He was my hope and my peace. And now, I am entrusting my son into His hands. I reminded Troy of that before we signed off the call together. I’m reminding myself of that too. Beloved, whatever you face right now, lean hard on God. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart . . .” (Prov. 3:5). You’re in His hands – and there’s no better place to be.