All Possible Outcomes
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. -Ephesians 3:16-19 (NIV)
Looking back, I'm grateful for the experience of my back injury, because it changed me and taught me some deep lessons. At one point, I had to face the reality that I might be permanently disabled, that I would never walk again. That terrified me. Could I trust God with that possibility?
I realized I was setting myself up for potential disappointment. You see, I was trusting God for healing. God was asking me to trust Him with any outcome, including disability. We trust in the wrong things. We trust God for a job, a place to live, a breakthrough, a healing. God doesn't want us to place our trust in a specific outcome. He wants us to place our trust in Him and Him alone, to believe He will take care of us and has our best interests in mind. We trust God with all possible outcomes, not just the ones we want.
Once, during prayer, I fell into a waking dream, a vivid trance. I found myself in a dark parking garage. I was tied to a pillar and two men were torturing me. The men forced me to swallow gasoline that burned my throat and insides. They shoved long nails up my nostrils, and hot blood gushed out. I didn't know these men, nor could I understand why they were doing this to me. I prayed that God would rescue me, but the torture continued. When God didn't show up, I began to doubt and despair. Eventually, someone entered the garage and shouted at the men, who ran away. The vision ended and I was shaken and deeply disturbed that God would put me through an experience like that. Then God said as clear as ever, "Do you trust Me with your life?"
I have pondered that question ever since. What God is asking us is: Can you trust Me with sickness? Can you trust Me with loss? Can you trust Me with humiliation? Can you trust Me with the thing you fear the most?
About the Author
Rick Hocker is a game programmer, artist, and author. In 2004, he sustained a back injury that left him bedridden in excruciating pain for six months, followed by a long recovery. He faced the challenges of disability, loss of income, and mounting debt. After emerging from this dark time, he discovered that profound growth had occurred. Three years later, he had a dream that inspired him to write his award-winning book Four in the Garden. His intent was to illustrate one's growth toward deep communion with God, and to share the insights he gained from the personal transformation that resulted from his back injury. Rick lives in Martinez, California, with his husband, Mark. Find out more at rickhocker.com and at amazon.com/dp/0991557700.