“…Take away my difficulties, that VICTORY over them may bear witness to those I help of Your POWER, Your LOVE, and Your WAY OF LIFE.”
This is part of a prayer I pray every morning. If you notice, it does not suggest that God not allow difficulties. Just by asking Him to “take them away”, I am assuming that they are present or are en route.
There are a couple situations I want to share with you about how God showed up in my own difficult circumstances while I was helping my son recover from being hit by a car last month. It’s not a topic to unpack today, but soon I will share with you how him being left unconscious by the side of the road and also his leg injury coincides with a story from the Bible about the Good Samaritan and the healing of a man’s damaged leg. But one story at a time!
I had spent the morning trying to get an appointment with a Sports Medicine Orthopedic surgeon for Berkeley. This is no easy task, in case you are wondering. Talking to an actual person is the first obstacle. After being transferred by the electronic voice several times, I finally got connected to a human. She got me scheduled for an appointment on Monday at 11:00 at their office, which was about 45 minutes from Berk’s home. This was Thursday.
I was grateful for her assistance and positive attitude that I thanked her for being so helpful and asked her for her name, something I never do. “Joanna.” I wrote it down. Bless you Joanna.
On Monday we showed up to our scheduled appointment. When I checked in they informed my that I did not have an appointment that day. I had missed my appointment that had been scheduled for last Thursday.
I calmly checked my notes and told them they were wrong. I said I had scheduled it with someone on Thursday but was certain we were not to be here until Monday.
Now, I had been through a bit of trauma, and in even in my normal state I can get confused about times and dates ( not comments from friends or co-workers, please ). But I knew that I knew that I knew I had written it down right.
After a few minutes of sweating, they finally asked me if I remembered who I talked to. And, because she had been so “helpful”, her name was on the tip of my tongue…”Joanna”.
The receptionist looked up at me with a new awareness and understanding of the debacle. “Ohhhhh…..Joaaaaaaannnnnna. Ya, she tends to get confused.” It was clear that they now believed it was not my mistake.
Of course, the doctor we were supposed to see was in surgery, so I strongly encouraged them to find me a Sports Medicine Ortho Surgeon to see STAT, because we were not leaving.
And they did.
Within a half hour we saw a new surgeon (whose name was not even on the list we had been given by our insurance) we felt confident with. He also just happened to be the one on-call during Christmas and would be able to help us if anything came up after Berk’s surgery, which he scheduled for the following week.
As I mentioned, I spent hours on the phone with insurance agents, doctors, detectives, police officers, pharmacists, etc. One day, I made a call to Blue Cross and after asking a few questions, the agent said she needed to put me on hold. She never came back and I was eventually disconnected. There was no way to call that specific agent back because unlike in the story above, I did not ask for her name. 😉
I called back, pretty frustrated as I was running on almost empty by this point. I got ahold of a new agent, who I now know as Debbie. I know this because after I shared my frustration with being disconnected and that I was calling because my son had been hit by a car and couldn’t make the call himself, she said, “Well honey. Sounds like you got ahold of the right person because I am a prayer warrior! It was God’s plan for you to be talking to me instead!”
We ended up talking for about 20 minutes. We covered our trust in God’s plan and power in tough situations. She shared about her 20 years of sobriety and how God has used her to serve Him while answering insurance questions like mine on a daily basis. Before we got off the phone, she prayed over me and Berkeley and thanked God that we had “locked shields”.
I hope I see her again someday. It’s possible because I invited her to my women’s event I am doing in Northern California-where she just happens to live.
I tell you these stories because it gives evidence to God redeeming the “bad stuff” and turning it into “good stuff”. Or “God stuff”.
I had difficulties. He took them away and gave me victory over them so I can point people to how He works all things out for good if we trust Him.
And to be clear, the circumstances do not always feel good or work out the way I want them to. But my heart, your heart, will be taken care of regardless of those circumstances.
Berkeley’s leg still needed surgery.
My baby boy was still left for dead in the middle of the street in downtown LA.
I still washed blood out of my son’s coat in his kitchen sink.
His fiancé still sat in her living room for 2 hours wondering why Berkeley wasn’t answering her calls or texts after telling her he was on his way.
They still had to stay in California for Christmas while all of their family celebrated in Illinois.
Berkeley still has to pay $100 in Uber every time he goes to class at USC because he can’t drive.
All these things are inconvenient. Expensive. Frustrating. Disturbing. Heartbreaking.
God is still working. He is providing. He is giving us peace and perspective and almost more gratitude than we can handle.
He knows and sees us. He knows exactly what we need from Him.
He also knows and sees you. He knows exactly what you need from Him.
My reading from “My Utmost for His Highest” (Oswald Chambers, p22) sums it up for me in a few sentences. I hope you will be mindful of how God brings victory out of your difficulties. He wants you to not only celebrate, but to “bear witness of His power, His love, and His way of life.”
“The great difficulty spiritually is to concentrate on God, and it is His blessings that make it difficult. Troubles nearly always make us look to God. His blessings are apt to make us look elsewhere…Rouse yourself up and look to God. Build your hope on Him. No matter if there are a hundred and one things that press, resolutely exclude them all and look to Him.”