By Alex Florez
I was born in Bogotá, Colombia, to a young woman from Rhode Island. She gave birth to me at a government-sponsored clinic. The way my mom describes the experience, there was a large open room full of new moms on cots, holding their babies and recovering from the heroic act of giving birth. There was no private room and no call button to summon help.
The limitations of the clinic dictated that they could not give food of any kind to the newborns. When a baby gets hungry, mom is right there, ready to dispense the life-giving milk required to sustain new life. If for some reason mom isn’t producing milk, the baby does not eat. Such was the case for my mom, so I started my life hungry. I wailed for nourishment but received none; my mom was frustrated, afraid, and alone.
It was there, more than twenty-four hours later, that I experienced my first miracle. A nurse whose name my mom never learned approached quietly in the middle of the night. She brought my mom a bottle of warm sugar water. . In hushed tones, she urged my mom to feed me the bottle, but she emphasized that she could lose her job if anyone found out. She left the bottle with my mom and disappeared from our lives, forever. I emptied the bottle and was placated for the moment. Before long, my mom’s milk came in, and I started my journey of voracious eating that continues to this day.
My life is marked by miracles such as this. I have been spared, protected, and provided for since my first day of life, and I believe God orchestrated all of it for my good and His glory.
Yet I still struggle with anxiety, fear, and doubt. There are moments of panic that make me want to escape my own skin; I’m afraid of silly things I’m too proud to list here; and, I must confess, there are times when I look to heaven and feel skeptical about the very existence of God.
“Even though he had performed so many signs in their presence, they did not believe in him” (John 12:37). That phrase “even though” haunts me. God has done many wonderful things in my life—even in the years when I wanted nothing to do with Him—yet there is a germ of unbelief that persists within me.
When I ask, “Are you really there, Lord?” it’s more of a rhetorical question, for I believe that He is indeed there. Even though it appears as doubt on the surface, I think that in my greatest moments of anxiety, fear, and doubt, I am crying out to the one thing in my life that I unequivocally trust: the presence of the Lord Jesus. The question reveals the deep need I have of Jesus, and it comes from a place of not wanting to lose sight of the One whose hands have wrought countless miracles in my life.