Stuck Outside

“Take me instead.” he prayed. It would be easier for him to experience the events directly than to sit at his daughter’s bedside and watch her suffering. Unfortunately, he could not take her place. It tortured his soul to be helpless like this. He could not assist her breathing. He could not ease her pain. She looked over at him and smiled. “It will be okay, Dad. God told me I’m going to get better.”

Dad’s heart wrenched at her statement. He did not share the optimism. He knew too much. He understood more of the science than she did. The outlook was grim from his perspective. She clearly did not understand or else she would not be so cheerful. He smiled back and patted her shoulder.

“Dad. I’m serious. Stop worrying. I’m going to be fine.” she insisted.

He couldn’t see it. The outcome was unclear. The unknown future scared him. The fear fed discouragement to his spirit. The strain weighed on him mightily. He struggled to keep the worry from his face. A Bible verse came to his mind unbidden, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1.

That described the situation perfectly to his mind. He could not see past the current situation. It obstructed all views of the future. It loomed over everything and blocked out his hope. Her faith was stronger right now and instead of wallowing in self-pity, she tried to encourage him.

“Dad, trust me. Trust God. It’s going to be okay. He said so. Get more mustard seeds.” she stated. Her reference to Jesus’ words from Matthew 17:20 convicted his heart. “…if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

He remembered hearing that “mountains” symbolized problems in one’s life. She was seeing past the current situation to the promise of a healthy future. There was no mountain in her way. She believed it was already past. He needed to catch up.


Tell us about the experience of being outside, looking in — however you’d like to interpret that.

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