Encouragement for Today
December 17, 2012
The Hardest Days — God Uses Them for Good
“You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.” Psalm 77:14 (NIV 1984)
Our Christmas festivities came to a halt last year when a speeding car slammed into us at a stoplight. Presents, goodies and Christmas lists crashed to the floor. Thankfully the rescue squad and police arrived quickly and requested we go to the hospital.
However, we were hours from home and had a million things left on our holiday to-do list. With reservation, and minimalizing the bumps and bruises, we agreed we felt fine, and the emergency crew let us leave.
But my husband Dale really didn’t feel well. By the next morning that “not right” feeling took center stage. We sensed something was seriously wrong with his heart.
In less than one full day, we ended up calling 911 twice. Again they responded quickly, sending a rescue team to our home. My husband Dale, with me by his side, was rushed to the emergency room.
Thankfully we weren’t alone. My brother-in-law Tom followed behind the ambulance with our daughters. And our friend Todd heard what was going on and also headed to the hospital.
While waiting in the emergency room, Todd and Tom talked about the mission Tom leads in East Africa. He explained how he was looking for resources to help put wells in place for thousands who don’t have access to clean water. Todd recalled a conversation he’d had with a friend just the night before. Amazingly, she’d shared her deep desire to fund, of all things, wells in Africa.
Without missing a beat, Todd called his friend and explained Tom’s needs for the people of East Africa. This generous woman immediately gave money to dig wells that would serve 5000 people.
While God was orchestrating the miracle of clean water, He was also performing a healing on my husband. The doctors recorded that Dale had suffered a heart attack caused by the car accident. Our family and friends prayed over him and incredibly he began to feel as good as new. The next day the diagnosis “heart attack” was wiped off Dale’s chart and the doctor’s released him to go home. He was healed!
What a whirlwind of activity! In less than 24 hours we’d been in a wreck, Dale was admitted to the hospital and diagnosed with a heart attack, a connection was made that provided thousands with clean water in Africa, and Dale was released from the hospital with a clean bill of health, completely healed!
I’ll be honest—those 24 hours were awfully hard to endure and totally derailed my holiday plans. I wouldn’t want to go through them again. Car accidents and emergency hospital visits aren’t something anyone ever wants, especially during Christmas. It’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year!
In the moment it was incredibly difficult, yet in hindsight it all actually was wonderful. During a time of the year when we celebrate one of God’s greatest miracles—the birth of Jesus—we got to witness several awe-inspiring miracles. God used the very hard circumstances we went through to display His power … not only in that local hospital to save Dale’s life, but also to people across the world, saving many lives in Africa through clean water.
Let’s be on the lookout during this holiday season to see the Lord at work. His Word promises in Psalm 77:14 that God performs miracles and shows His power. How is He doing those things in your life today?
Dear Lord, open my eyes to what You are doing in the middle of circumstances that are outside of my plans. Help me to keep my eyes on You and Your power over all things. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.