1 Peter 5:6-7 “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”
Only six days into the year and, can I say, what a year it has been!
I am a director fo a faith-based addiction program; RU Recovery. Last night, we held our annual Christmas party. Much of the day was filled with intense activity trying to cram 29 hours worth of work into a 24 hour day. Stress and tension were their ever-present selves.
We had two separate home projects going simultaneously and were providing fifteen pounds of whipped potatoes for the evening’s dinner. How we made out the door in time, intact and still civil to one another was no less than God’s hand.
The evening began as I prayed for all the stress of whatever any of us had brought to be given to God so we could enjoy the fellowship and friendship we gathered to celebrate. The meal and the program went on beautifully.
Then it happened.
One of our members suddenly slumped to the floor and the wonderful evening turned surreal.
911. CPR. Police. Medics. Use of the church’s AED. Paramedics. Ambulance.
Shock. Worry. Fear. Tears. And then prayer…
As the emergency people do what they have been wonderfully trained to do, I saw our people gather in different groups to pray. Some crying out loud. Others; tearfully, privately and fervently to God.
Calls and texts went out to those in the church to pray and we saw social media light up to call a church to prayer.
We were told that could not move him until he was stable. Suddenly, we saw the gurney being rolled down the hall.
Prayers answered. There was a heartbeat. He was breathing – with assistance, but breathing. As we comforted the family and began to clean up from the evening’s events, we all seemed to be operating in a fog. Could this be happening? Did we do all that we could to save him?
We still have many unanswered questions, but are certain God has been present with the man and his wife throughout the night. Those who stayed with them throughout this whole ordeal are probably exhausted as well and feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all.
While everthing is still fresh and raw and we’ve not yet reached an end, one thing has buoyed each of us through this night – the presence of our Almighty, Heavenly Father who has His hand on the man’s wife as the barrage of “What if”s flooded her mind.
My Father has promised His care for us through thick and thin. News of his progress is slow to come – but it is coming. Having a shoulder to lean on; arms to gather me in and the knowledge He will never leave, nor forsake calms us all.
Whatever happens to him – or to the man in our church who will have life support removed this week… My previous frustrations and stresses are nothing compared to what has brought these folks to this place today.
To all who are struggling, trying to make ends meet; trying to battle back from injury or illness; or devastated by news of losing someone close, may God hold you today. May He give you some respit from the barrage of scenarios that have yet to play out or wave of emotions that can’t seem to come under control.
God is Sovereign. That doesn’t mean He removes situation or circumstance or buffer our way through life. He does promise that the control He wields is all for a better good.
Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
It may not bring the comfort now, but it can help to change my perspective and bolster my faith to just lie in His arms and watch and wait and pray.
Happy New Year.