It is very strange how our God manages to put us in certain places, and even stranger how we respond to His obvious challenges. I have found myself facing a few challenges over the past few months, and when I look back, I see evidence that God had His hand on my shoulder every step of the way. When we are in the middle of these strange or demanding situations, we sometimes do not feel God’s presence, but rest assured that He is with us regardless of the outcome. It’s only when we reminisce about these situations that we finally realize that God was with us the entire time, and that we can be assured of His presence in our daily lives.
One example deals with my decision to return to school after 23 years at the Chesterfield County (VA) Sheriff’s Office. This decision was a difficult one to make, but still a choice that needed to be resolved in my mind sooner than later. God had been sending me small signals, tiny little shoves that I chose to ignore. God’s perseverance paid off once again and I submitted. Its funny how once we do submit to His will, things start to fall into place. I have learned to trust God with all I have, giving everything to His will and hoping that He is watching over me. When I do a quick review of my life over the past few years, it is obvious that God has been tapping me on the shoulder and asking me to change into something more useful for His purpose. We all need to pay more attention to these little signals, these small signs that God has something in mind for our lives.
The second example is the fact that He has seen me through 5 brain surgeries, knee surgery, shoulder surgery and a bout with kidney stones. This is just amazing when I look back and witness God’s awesome power in my life. Was this just part of His plan to teach the doctors and nurses a better way of dealing with these issues? We all have these stories to tell, and tell we must. This is proof of our God’s existence and His mighty and awesome power over this universe. No matter how much doctors know, perform or diagnose, they have to admit that they are not in charge. It is our God that calls the shots. I truly believe that God has called many of my “shots” (no pun intended) and that I’m blessed because of this.
A third example came at me Sunday evening as I completed a 50 mile bicycle ride through Chesterfield County. I was only three blocks away from completing this unplanned ride and was feeling very tired, but better now that I was almost finished. As I coasted down the final hill and towards my final turn, a young teenager simply drove out of his driveway and into the path of my bike. I did not even have time to react before I was sailing over the hood of his car and on to the pavement. I landed about 20 feet on the other side and was about to get up when a caring neighbor rushed over to hold me down and keep me from further head or neck injury. Luckily, the accident occurred in front of an urgent care center and a fire station. Now tell me, is that pure chance or God’s plan, you make the call? The Emergency Medical Technicians were on the scene in less than 30 seconds. As they secured me on the backboard, my only concern was for the driver and my bike. My bike did not survive the crash. The driver, a young teen, had just gotten his license three weeks prior, and was visibly shaken. I wanted to assure him that I was fine and that I was not angry. I was very surprised at my response to the entire incident, where I should have been upset at the driver, yet I was more concerned about his obvious reaction to the entire scene. Its funny how God’s Holy Spirit has taken up residence in this meek, battered, banged up body, and is working to change me into something more, something better, something filled with love for my neighbor. I was genuinely concerned for the teenager, and for his parents who were visibly upset, and was not even thinking about my injuries. It was amazing to see God working in and through me. The next day, I contacted the family to make sure the teen was doing better, and that the father was looking after his son and not concerning himself with the accident, because that’s just what it was, an accident. I believe this incident was just one of God’s methods to teach. I just can’t figure out who is on the learning end, me or the driver?
When we consider all of the adverse events in our daily lives, we need to take a moment and look around to see where we are, and how we managed to get there. God has interesting and sometimes baffling ways of teaching us life lessons about who we are as children of God. I firmly trust in His Holy Word which tells us over and over that He will be there for us, if we only choose to believe. I, personally, would like to think that accidents are a big part of God’s plan to put us in the very spot He needs us, always in the right place, at the right time.