My visit with Jasmine last night was the most difficult. I planned to leave at about 8:00 pm but left after the close of visiting hours of 9:00 pm. For 2 ½ hours, they had difficulty stabilizing her and when I left, she was not yet at a comfortable place. I witnessed her oxygen level drop from 92%, which is okay down to the low 80s, which is not okay. The ventilator setting was at 100% for the past 24 hours. Prior to that, she was stable at 40% so this was concerning to me. I don’t know what she was feeling or comprehending because she is unable to communicate. I can only judge by the numbers on the monitor that measures her vital signs that her system is declining.

I left the hospital with angst in my gut. While driving on the freeway, my mind was elsewhere. An unexpected thought rose that must come from the culmination of the past four difficult weeks.

There are three ways that we can raise our hand to God. We can raise it with an accusative finger, blaming Him for what we perceive as unnecessary pain or unfulfilled promises. We can raise an angry fist in His face because we feel He caused the bad stuff that has happened. Or we can raise an open hand, offering up anything that we are holding onto and receiving whatever He decides to replace it with.

In my lifetime, I have probably done the first two; I know for certain that I have done the second. There is no joy living like that, only the misery of self-centered arrogance. God has His ways of humbling us. Sometimes the things that we are accusing Him of or are angry about are the very means that He brings across our path to break our hardened hearts so He can remold us into the character of Christ.

True humility is not a natural human trait. It is the product of God working in a heart that is willing to let the Holy Spirit do whatever it takes to transform from the inside out. Only through a humble heart can we have a growing intimate relationship with God. I am not there yet. He is teaching me. I am receiving. It starts with raising an open hand.