- Do you usually have an idea how life is supposed to play out a few weeks in advance?
- If life veers off in a different direction from that vision do you have a contingency plan or do you just roll with making course corrections as you go hoping to get it right?
If asked, my answer to both questions would be “yes”, which makes for an adventurous way to navigate life.
In the introduction to this series, 7 Days 7 Influences, I mentioned how I found myself in the ER within 36 hours of learning my chemo regime was complete and after being told I could finally start living life on the other side of treatment. Vision and reality were drastically different places as I learned that life on the other side of treatment now included having a rod inserted into my leg to stabilize what the cancer had weakened. While I knew this surgery would produce long-term benefits, I couldn’t get past that feeling of, “when will this ever end?”
It’s like watching a film and suddenly the film breaks with only the last image still frozen on the screen. You’ve lost sight of everything leading up to that point and can’t see anything moving forward.
Be on guard because this can be the point where our faith drifts as current circumstances eclipse the past faithfulness of God. Usually the anxiety we face is a result of the frustration we are left with when our solutions falls short of the peace God has provided in times past when trusted Him with the outcomes of our circumstances. Such was the case for me as it took an email, a comment, and a phone call to remind me that in the midst of my circumstances, God was still at work in my life and it was in Him I needed to put my faith and trust on a daily basis.
I received Ann’s email early Friday morning, the day after being in the ER. Ann has been a friend of the family for number of years and plans were made for Shari and I to get together with Ann and Todd, along with my sister Molly and her husband Jeff now were in jeopardy because of my injury. Ann has always had a knack for saying the right thing and the right time, and never one to mince words, so when I received this email at 7:01 am I had to chuckle.
Tom, I spoke with Molly yesterday and she told me about your leg. I should probably say something positive here, but first, let me tell you how sorry I am and that it really sucks. I pray for you often, but last night and first thing this morning, my prayer was for total healing and that God would give you SOMETHING today in the middle of the suckiness to let you know that He is still in control and with you in that same suckiness. Who cares if suckiness is not a word, I think it fits. And I think God is still honored when we let Him know that you’d rather your circumstances were otherwise even if, deep down, you really do want His will above all else. He’ll help you work it all out. He always does. Sometimes He just takes His sweet time about it, dang it. Still hoping to see you and meet your bride tonight, but I certainly understand if not…Ann
That is typical Ann and I appreciated her message on so many levels! First her humor about my suckiness made me laugh and went a long way to improving my attitude, and second, her wisdom about His will above all else reminded me how spiritual maturity is a work in process.
I think as we mature spiritually we recognize we can only go so far on our own, and it is the point in our circumstances when we say and truly mean “Thy Will Be Done” peace is found and growth occurs.
But even as we grow spiritually we all have a desire not to feel alone in our struggles. We want a sign, some reassurance, maybe even a God Wink to let us know that God is with us. And for me that reassurance came two hours later when I received a notification that someone has commented on my post from the night before, Your Prayers – Friday Favorite:
Hi Tom. SQuire Rushnell, author of WHEN GOD WINKS and I (Louise, SQ’s wife) have been trying to reach you. Could you write to us at ………..! Bless you, Louise
I had to read Louise’s comment several times before I realized what was actually taking place, Ann’s prayer about God showing up in the middle of my circumstances, my “suckiness”, was answered later that same morning and my blog played a roll in it.
If you have spent any time on Leveraging Life you already know that SQuire Rushnell’s book When God Winks has played a prominent role in several posts on my blog like, God Winks on Career and God Winks on Love. I’ve come to believe God blesses us with “Winks”, affirmations that help paint the picture He is painting in our lives. So when I saw Louise’s comment on my blog with a request to connect with SQuire only a few hours after receiving Ann’s email, it affirmed I was not alone and helped me look past my current circumstances and lean into God’s past faithfulness to find the peace I need to go on.
Thanks Ann, and thanks SQuire & Louise for the role you played in the God Wink which helped me look past my circumstances and reminded me of His past faithfulness! Oh yeah, details about our converstation will play out later this year.
trusting God period!
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