“Curious George”

“Curious George Goes to the Hospital” was the first book I can remember reading (besides the ubiquitous ‘Dick and Jane’ books, moronic even then to my preschool literary taste). I probably remember it even now because I loved it so much.

I related really well to George in that particular adventure. The Man in the Yellow Hat is working a puzzle, and George swallows a piece. Spoiler Alert: George goes to the hospital! I could certainly relate, as I spent a great deal of time in hospitals as a kid. No, I didn’t have an appetite for puzzle pieces…I had a series of corrective surgeries on my crippled right foot. Books and I became friends during those days, and that friendship continues all these decades later.

I could also relate to the ‘curious’ aspect of my simian namesake. I am insatiably curious and have to refrain from letting this get me into more trouble than it usually does.

Case in point. I recently heard a message preached from Isaiah 40:

‘But they who wait for The Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.’

The point of the message is that we all grow weary. We all have seasons where life keeps slamming and what little strength you have runs out like water. Can I tell you ‘been there-done that-got the t-shirt’?

This passage from Isaiah promises that God doesn’t just give us strength; he takes our weakness and transforms it into a strength that is supernatural. The only requirement is to wait.

Waiting. Ugh. I suck at waiting.

It was a good message. When you need that kind of supernatural strength, hearing those words feels like the first rays of the coming day after a long night of wrestling.

Of course, it prompted a question. “How?”

While I didn’t voice this aloud, it was as if the preacher intercepted my thought and answered my unasked question. ‘You just have to accept it.’

I so wanted to stand up and really ask him how do you do that? I know that accepting is the whole basis of faith and trust, trusting God to do what He says.

Have I mentioned I’m not so good with this trusting thing either. Patience AND trust? I’m in trouble…

Of course the folks around me listening to the very same message didn’t seem to react. They either didn’t understand that God’s strength is available, or simply didn’t care. It makes me wonder if those people have ever been in need of such strength.

But that question is beyond my purview. I’m still struggling with ‘how.’

How? How do you really trust?

When you’ve lost your job. When you lose a family member. When your marriage is failing. When you are in danger of losing everything you hold dear…

When your son or daughter is an addict. When the doctor comes back into the room and the news is not good. When life is so overwhelming that your best answer would be a sharp turn of the wheel at 80 mph…

How do you wait when each day is unbearable. When you dread the new day instead of longing for it. How do you wait when you are all alone and the very people who share your faith throw you away like yesterday’s garbage…

We’ve all been there. And will again. It’s not defeat to struggle. It’s defeat when you give up.

But maybe that’s just what God wants. Surrender. It only takes a moment and it really is that simple.

I’m there. I’m weary.

I give up.

Help.

Father…please..??

There is a moment when the Spirit blows through the room. A moment in the still of night when His still small voice whispers the truth of who you are, and who He knows you to be. That moment when the circumstances of life are transformed by the crucible of faith. A moment that changes everything…

I long for those moments. I have experienced more of them than I deserve. Of course, none of us are worthy of those gifts. But God renews more than just strength. He renews faith and hope.

All I can do now is wait…and trust.