Keeping my eyes on the road while trying to keep the frustration out of my voice, I assured JJ for the umpteenth time, “The doctor is just going to check you out and make sure you’re strong and healthy. Everything’s going to be just fine, honey.”
We were on our way to JJ’s five-year and Buddy’s two-year well visit at the pediatrician this afternoon. Since their birthdays are only one day apart, and since I had already confirmed that they wouldn’t need any immunizations, I decided to combine their appointments this year to save some time.
Buddy was nestled in his car seat behind me, contentedly watching an Elmo movie. He’s perfectly fine with doctor’s visits. Come to think of it, he’s perfectly fine with pretty much everything.
But JJ is a completely different story. We’re very grateful that, unlike our other children, JJ has no ongoing medical issues. But that blessing presents a small problem: because she hasn’t been around doctors and hospitals much, JJ is very apprehensive about them.
Okay, let’s be honest here: she’s flat-out terrified of going to the doctor.
As we pulled up to the doctor’s office, JJ had worked herself into we Texas gals call “a walleyed fit,” insisting with much weeping and gnashing of teeth that no way was she going to see the doctor today, thank you very much!
It took a little bribery and a lot of patience, but I finally coaxed JJ out of the car.
As the three of us walked into the doctor’s office, she gripped my left hand tightly and peered up at me, her blue eyes wet with worry. “Mama, what’s gonna happen to me?”
“Everything’s going to be just fine, honey,” I assured her, trying not to look as aggravated as I felt at having to answer that question yet again. JJ nodded, clinging desperately to my hand.
Somewhere between balancing my purse and diaper bag on my shoulder, one-handedly pulling out my driver's license and insurance card from my wallet, signing in the kids, and using my leg to block Buddy, who had let go of my right hand and was ready to bolt across the waiting room, it hit me:
How many times have I asked God that same question the past few years?
What’s gonna happen to Boo? Will her eyes ever be okay, or will she lose her vision entirely?
What’s gonna happen to our family when we move out here to start a church with no income?
What’s gonna happen to our kids when they go to school and I’m not there to protect them?
What’s gonna happen when we have our kickoff service this Sunday?
And on and on and on.
Like a worried five-year-old, anxious about a doctor’s visit she doesn’t understand, how many times do we face the unknown future with fear, rather than trust?
And when God takes us through something we don't want to do, how many times do we throw a walleyed fit? Oh, I don’t mean an actual kicking-and-screaming kind of tantrum, like JJ’s (although that might happen!). I mean that dig-in-your-heels kind of attitude that says, No way am I going to do that thing You’re asking me to do, God, thank you very much!
Yet every time we protest, and every time we ask God again, for the umpteenth time, “What’s gonna happen . . .?”—our loving heavenly Father patiently assures us, I’ve got it under control, honey. Trust Me.
I'd like to be able to say that I no longer worry about the future. But the truth is, I do. Especially when it comes to my family. So the next time I’m anxious and afraid, I hope that—like my sweet, worried little JJ—I will reach out and cling desperately to my Father’s hand.
And you know what?
No matter what the future holds, everything’s going to be just fine.