Last Monday I boarded a plane to spend the week with my daughter who had just had her fourth child, our 20th grandchild. She and I both had big plans for the week which included lots of cuddling with the precious newborn. On Tuesday night my husband arrived, ready for the much-anticipated day to come. Reading books to little ones, belated birthday presents for the twins, and a visit to an ice cream shop were all on the agenda.
But it was not to be. When the sun rose Wednesday morning my husband woke up sick and with a bad case of vertigo. By dinner we were headed to the ER for IV fluids and meds and an overnight hospital stay. By Thursday noon it was my turn to be sick though without the vertigo.
What are you up to, God? I wondered knowing He is sovereign. Then I thought, How interesting … I only ask that question when circumstances are not what I want or expect or hope.
Yes, God, I know that “all things work together for good,” but what’s so good about exposing our daughter, son-in-law and grandkids to a bunch of germs?
Gently God reminded me where is more important than why. “I will never leave you or forsake you,” and “I am with you always, even to the end of the age,” said Jesus. Yes, Lord, Your presence is more important than my plans. Always.
Sadly and yet rightly that truth spoke to me again as Little Rock suffered another devastating tornado outbreak last evening. Three years ago a tornado damaged our house and flattened 30 trees before moving across the river to create more havoc. Last night’s storm followed an eerily similar path, this time claiming the life of a friend and co-worker and two of his teenage daughters.
Where was God last night? With my husband and me as we huddled underneath the stairs. He was also with our friend and his family as they hurried to a safe place. His presence ushered the three into heaven and will remain with the survivors. Seeing photos of their now destroyed house, it is a miracle any survived. We are all heart-broken.
Hard times are the moments that matter most in life. Will I complain as I did last night when our power went out as it seems to do too frequently? Will I remember and focus on what I know to be true about my God in any and all circumstances? Will I allow Him to grow my faith every day instead of me feeding my disappointment and self-pity?
Dennis and I could have been casualties last night; it was that close. Even so, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Where matters more than why.