Daily Reflection
July 9th, 2001
Daniel Patrick O'Reilly
Registrar's Office
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Genesis 28:10-22
Psalms 91:1-2, 3-4, 14-15
Matthew 9:18-26

Today's scripture readings are about trust.  Putting your faith in God.  Completely.  An easy thing to say, a hard thing to do.  In Genesis, Jacob says, "God, if you take good care of me on this trip, I'll trust you when I get back."  Conditional trust.  It's probably what I do most of the time.  I'm one of these guys who has a hard time just asking for help, let alone putting my trust in God to help me.  I always want to do it myself.  Only when I realize that there's no way I can do it myself do I ask for help.  Not what I'd call absolute trust.  The psalmist says "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."  In Matthew, we are given examples of absolute trust.  The man kneels before Christ and says that if Jesus will just touch his daughter, she will live.  The woman who has been afflicted for twelve years knows that if she can just touch Christ's cloak, she will be healed.  What amazing trust and faith.  I'm probably more like the crowd that laughs at the notion that Jesus will bring the girl back to life.

I've recently been lucky enough to witness an example of absolute trust.  I've known Jeff most of my life.  We played trumpet in high school together and now Jeff and I go to the same church.  Several months ago, Jeff was diagnosed with inoperable cancer.  The tumor was so intertwined with Jeff's circulatory system that it could not be removed without Jeff bleeding to death.  Jeff started on a regimen of aggressive chemotherapy.  He went from a full head of hair and beard to a billiard ball with a face.  He went from a vital, robust man to a man with no strength or endurance.  The transformation was shocking to me.  I asked Jeff how he felt about what was happening to him.  He said that initially he had been worried, but that now he knew lots of people were praying for him, he had placed it in God's hands and he was completely at peace, whatever the outcome.  I looked at him for a moment and realized that he meant it.  Shamefully, my first reaction was a desire to shake him.  "You have a wife and kid and your odds of survival are not good.  If ever there was a time for anger and panic, this is it!"  Thankfully, I didn't say this and simply told Jeff that I would continue to pray for him.  Well, guess what.  Last Sunday Jeff stood in church and announced that he was officially "in remission."  Jeff has provided me a living witness of the power of trusting God.  Not just the fact that he survived, but the peace and strength that God granted Jeff in the hardest of times.  My prayer would be that I could be more like Jeff.  That I could be bold enough to put my complete trust in God.

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