The question is not, will God keep his promises, but, will we build our lives upon them?
I have many quirks, not the least of which is a shaky left thumb. For the last decade or so, it has quivered. It’s as if my thumb lives on a caffeine drip. Were I to secure a glass of soda left-handed, I would slosh it everywhere. But I’m not left-handed, so the quiver doesn’t bother me. I actually use it as a conversation starter. (“Hey, can I show you my shaky thumb? Now you show me your oddities.”)
I’ve grown accustomed to the localized tremor. At first, however, I wasn’t so calm. The shaking shook me. I thought something had come unwired. Because my father passed away from ALS, my imagination assumed the worse. The situation was especially unnerving because my left thumb follows me everywhere I go. When I comb my hair, there’s Old Wobbly. When I putt, guess who can’t settle down? If I raise my left hand to make a point in a sermon, you might not trust what I say because of the knockety knuckle.
I set up an appointment with the neurologist and entered his office with a dry mouth and dread. He reviewed my blood work and examined me. He had me walk, balance, and spin a few plates on my finger. (Just kidding. He didn’t make me walk.) He tapped my knee with a rubber hammer and asked me some questions. Then after an interminably long time, he said, “No need to worry.”
“Nope, not from what I can see.”
He then did something profound. “I promise,” he assured me. “The tremor in your thumb is nothing to worry about.”
So I hopped down and thanked him and walked out. I felt better. I climbed in the car and began the drive home. While stopped at a traffic light, I noticed my left hand on the steering wheel. Can you guess what my thumb was doing? Yep. It was shaking.
For the first time since the tremor had appeared, I had the opportunity to look at it differently. I could ponder the problem, or I could remember the promise. I could choose anxiety, or I could choose hope. I opted for hope. As corny as this might sound, I can remember saying to my thumb, “You’re not getting any more of my attention. The doctor made me a promise. You are harmless.” From that moment on, each time the thumb has misbehaved, I’ve thought of the promise from the doctor.
What is shaking in your world? Not likely your thumb, but possibly your future, your faith, your family, or your finances. It’s a shaky world out there.
Could you use some unshakable hope?
Max Lucado, Unshakable Hope: Building Our Lives on the Promises of God (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2018).