I was walking in our neighborhood this morning after finishing the Cultural Commentary, praying for our son. Ryan is scheduled to begin radiation treatments at M. D. Anderson on March 19; we are asking God to use this regimen to remove the cancer completely and restore him to full health. It is so hard to watch your child suffer; Janet and I feel so limited in what we can do for him.
As I was praying for him, I rounded a corner and watched as two parents put their small children on the bus for school. I doubt they know the bus driver’s name or much about him. However, they trusted their most precious possession to him, anyway.
In that moment I heard the Lord say to my spirit, “If they would trust their children to someone whose name they don’t know, can you trust your son to One whose name you do?” I began thinking of all the ways God has proven himself faithful to Ryan and our family across these weeks. His wife insisted on the sonogram that led to the diagnosis. The Baylor surgeon did an amazing job in removing as much of the tumor as possible; the Baylor pathologists were able to diagnose this very rare cancer and prescribe next steps. Proton radiation is the best way to treat acinic cell carcinoma; M. D. Anderson happens to have one of the few such units in the country. In so many ways, the Lord has already provided for our family. Now I must trust the future to the One who has never failed us in the past.
I know his name: YHWH, which is translated “I Am” and means “the One who was, is, and ever shall be” (Exodus 3:14). Helen Mallicott’s poem is an appropriate insight regarding his name and nature:
I was regretting the past and fearing the future. Suddenly my Lord was speaking: “My Name is I Am.” He paused. I waited. He continued:
When you live in the past with its mistakes and regrets, it is hard. I am not there. My name is not “I Was.”
When you live in the future with its problems and fears, it is hard. I am not there. My name is not “I Will Be.”
When you live in this moment, it is not hard. I am here. My name is, “I Am.”
I know the Name of the One to whom I am trusting my son. But what’s infinitely more important, he knows mine.