Generally, I am an orderly person who leads a decently
well-ordered life. But then things happen…
It started about 2.30 am Sunday in small-town New Hampshire. Danny’s* Boston roommate of four years was transferring with Adidas to Tampa, Florida—so excited to experience something different than the harsh Northeastern weather. He was going to break up his long drive by spending Sunday night with me in North Carolina. Up early, I finished writing and was podcasting a little after 7 a.m. when my phone rang – ‘uh Christine…its Noah—I’m not going to make it. See I’m in the hospital…’ At that point, his mom explained that Noah (25 yrs. old), had turned on the shower water, and shortly thereafter, she heard several bumping, thudding sounds, and then nothing. After Noah’s dad broke down the locked door, they found an unresponsive Noah. What in the world? Hospital tests ruled the episode a seizure – first time event, no known cause.
James’ words ran through my mind – words I had memorized at 11 years of age: “Now listen, you who say,“Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow.”1
I was able to pray with Noah and his mother, who was instantly worried.
Two days later—Tuesday afternoon, I sat down to finish the next Morning Briefing when my phone rang again. ‘Hon, where are you? Are you driving right now?’ It was my husband, Dean, who stopped off in Utah en route to California to see our boy Dylan for a couple nights. The pair were standing in a thrift store about to purchase a couch for Dylan, when he said, ‘Uh, Dad--!’ Dean looked up in time to see Dylan’s limbs grow taut and then watch as he fell down face first. Now get this—healthy 28-year-old male has a first-time ever seizure, broken teeth, dislocated shoulder and more. I am 2200 miles from him. Ugh.
And again, I thought, “why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow”! And then from the wise writer of Proverbs, “You can make your plans, but the final outcome is in God’s hands.”2
I would like to tell you that I did not worry or cry, but just like Noah’s mama, I have worried and at first, I cried—okay, hard.
->And then, I did what I knew to do—I turned to God, asked him for mercy.
Here’s the thing: when things go wrong, especially then, I am so thankful I am on a first-name basis with God. See, I talk to him—just him—every morning while the birds chirp in the trees nearby. I know what it is to praise and thank him, ask him for forgiveness… and I also know what it is to cry out to God. Did you know the Bible notes that every time the children of Israel ‘cried out’ to God—he came and answered? [Starting each day with God is the most worthwhile discipline you will ever cultivate]
And then I remind myself what I know to be true.
Because I am a child of God, I remember:
->God loves me, and he is faithful. His heart toward me is always GOOD.
Scripture says, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness…The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”3
->Whatever tragedy or trauma has occurred in your life has not caught God off guard. Because God never slumbers nor sleeps!4
->When we pray, he promises to give us his peace.5
It was more than 35 years ago, I took to heart and stored in my mind the words Jesus spoke to the disciples, words meant for you and me too:
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.6
How tender is Jesus’ heart? He was about to suffer and die, yet he was concerned that the disciples be at peace.
Grant us your peace, O Lord. Thank you for your goodness to us. Amen!
Listen to this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xle0Cf9acGM
*Danny is my youngest son
1 – James 4.13-14
2 – Proverbs 16.1
3 - Lamentations 3.22,23,25,26
4 – Psalm 121.4
5 – Philippians 4.6-7
6 – John 14.27