“You mean more than a wife and more than children? Do you mean more than cuddling and Eskimo kisses? Do you mean more than family campfires and sing-a-longs? Do you mean more than long walks hand in hand with my beloved wife and children? If you mean more than these and porch swing conversations, then yes.”

“Yes, Lord, You know that I love You more than these.”

Adam was told to tend the Garden and I was told, “Trust me.”

He asked again, “Hudson, do you truly love me?”

“You mean, Lord, more than sharing life with someone and learning to love her faults? Do you mean more than the joys of Christmas morning and giving gifts to my children? Lord, if you mean more than tuck-ins and bedside prayers, then yes.”

“Yes, Lord, You know that I love You more than these.”

Adam was told to name the animals and I was told, “Trust me.”

The third time He said to me, “Hudson, do you love me?” I was hurt because He asked me the third time, “Do you love me?”

“Lord, if you mean more than quiet moonlit evenings counting stars with the wife of my youth, then yes. If you mean more than birthdays parties and sleeping-in on Saturdays and breakfast in bed, then yes. If you mean more than making up after foolish words were said, yes. If you mean more than falling asleep in the arms of the woman I love, then yes—a thousand times yes.

“You know all things; You know that I love You.”

He said simply, “Trust me” (John 21:15-17).

No answer is as simple or reprehensible as the one we do not want to hear, the one we already know. It is my desire to master these years of longing that have tempted my sanity. Faith will have none of it. Faith demands my allegiance while much is still in the balance, while much of the puzzle is yet unfinished. Faith demands that I love and follow not because of what I have, hold, or see, but because of the guarantee. Faith calls me to trust. Faith is the currency of the kingdom of God.

Faith is not a force. It is not a tool by which we manipulate God into our own fulfillment. Faith is the confidence that allows us to walk through the valley of the shadow of death with stiff backs, firmly resolved to fear no evil.

There is a God who, even in the midst of our longing, calls us His own and loves us. The only answer that really matters is the question asked by the disciples, asked by Martha, “Lord, don’t you care?” (Mark 4:38, Luke 10:40). He cares.

Look! Even now if you ask Him He will rise, speak, and calm the storm. We are free to mourn to our loss but we must do so in trust. We must show that we love Him by letting faith blossom in hope until hope radiates to a lost and dying world. 
 

 
Hudson Russell Davis
was born on a small Island in the West Indies called Dominica, and this is only one reason he does not like cold weather and loves guava.  He is a graduate of James Madison University with a B.A. in Graphic Design and earned a Masters in Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary.  Currently he is a Ph.D. candidate at Saint Louis University studying historical theology.  Hudson has worked as a graphic artist and worship leader but expresses himself through poetry, prose, photography, and music. His activities are just about anything outdoors, but tennis is his current passion.

Got feedback?  Send your comments and questions to Hudson at hudsondavis@streamsinthewilderness.com.  If you don't hear back within a few days' time, please try again.  Hudson would like to respond to all reader feedback.