Faith and Fear

Last summer, my teenaged son, Eric, needed “next-to-the-brain” surgery. Numbness in his hands led to the discovery that his spinal column was being pinched because the opening at the base of his skull was too small. The opening had to be enlarged to allow more room for his brain.

Within a week he was in surgery. I don't think I've ever been so scared. I feared that the surgeon's knife would slip and Eric would suffer a debilitating injury. Irrational fear? Probably. But I couldn’t help but fear what might happen as Eric’s brain was exposed during the procedure.

I managed not to cry until Eric was being wheeled down the hall in the hospital bed toward surgery. Then I couldn't hold back the tears. I sobbed.

I told myself all the things I knew to be true about the situation. Eric was strong, able to handle the procedure. The surgeon was skilled and experienced. And beyond all those things, there was God. The God who loved Eric, loved our family, and was in perfect control of all things. Whatever the outcome, it was all in God's hands. But I was still afraid.

Eric's surgery went perfectly. My fears were for naught.

During my times of fear surrounding Eric’s surgery I found myself praying a familiar prayer from the New Testament:

I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief! (Mark 9:24 NIV).  

I smiled when I remembered that prayer had been uttered by a man asking Jesus to heal his son.

Jesus healed the boy, even though the father’s faith was imperfect. Jesus showed the same compassion to me, an unsure parent, desperate for His healing power to be expressed toward my child.

I still wish I could have faced the situation with a fearless faith. I feel like I would have been a better testimony of God’s power. But, as it was, I was a testimony of God’s grace, of how He shows compassion on the weak, the helpless, the undeserving.  Psalm 138:6 (NIV) says,

Though the LORD is exalted, he looks kindly on the lowly

Even fearful little souls like mine.

About the Author
Becky Grosenbach and her husband, Doug, are the parents of three college-aged children. They live in Colorado Springs where Becky serves as communications manager for The Navigators.