Wouldn’t it simplify our lives if God would just send us a letter in the mail, leave a post-it note on the bathroom mirror or maybe send us a text message when he has advice or comfort for us?!? Well, he may not choose such straight forward methods, but he sends us answers just the same.
Back in December one of our children had a health scare and at the time I was really quite calm about it. In fact, one of my friends asked me if I was scared. Scared?!? Should I be, I thought….”No!” I answered her. That was honestly how I felt. Confident, faith-filled and sure that my God had a plan and that He had my son in the palm of His hand. There couldn’t possibly be a bad ending to this story.
Fast forward a few weeks, Christmas had come and gone. Our family New Year’s Trip had come and gone. School was now back in session. I am on the interstate heading back from Lincoln after helping our oldest daughter move some furniture into her new place and my phone rings…it was the school nurse. “Jackson is fine now.” she says. Then she went on to tell me that he has had another episode of elevated heart rate at school. This time she was able to get it to return to normal. I think to myself, “Okay, we only have a few more days until we meet with the cardiologist from Children’s Hospital. He’s going to have answers and Jackson will be fine.” To be honest, I still wasn’t really all that nervous or frantic.
We were in Mass that Sunday morning and I was struggling to fight back the tears. I prayed for healing, I prayed for peace, I prayed for answers, I prayed for God’s grace to remain calm and confident. After Mass that same friend that asked me if I was scared came up to me and asked how I was doing. I began to tear up. She immediately said, “Let’s just pray right now.” I was comforted by her words, by her thoughtfulness and by the calm that God graced me with.
When I walked out of our church and joined my family in our Suburban, I told my husband that Kami had prayed for me, for us and for Jackson and his doctors. I told him that the words she used really resonated with me. He said I should ask her what they were and read them and repeat them often. I sadly went about my day and never checked back with her to find the source of comfort she had shared with me.
We met with the cardiologist just two days later and his exact words were, “I am 100% confident that the structure of Jackson’s heart is completely sound.” I don’t know that I had ever felt more comfort at any moment in my life! He went on to explain what Jackson was experiencing and we left and resumed our normal lives, confident that Jackson would not face this issue again. The doctor felt that when “perfect” conditions existed, he could have an episode, but that it was likely he would NEVER experience a problem again. Even if he did…it wouldn’t be life-threatening. Praise God, our little boy is healthy and fine.
Exactly one week later, I was sitting with my women’s bible study group and someone said those same words my friend had prayed for me after Mass. I asked her what verse it was and could she please repeat it. No one in the group knew exactly what the verse was, so we decided to Google it.
We found our answer. Great, I will be hanging that up at my desk tomorrow I thought to myself! So there I was the next morning sitting at my desk reading the book, “Praying for Your Husband from Head to Toe” by Sharon Jaynes. Imagine my surprise when I read the following:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
The exact verse my friend recited at bible study the night before, THE EXACT VERSE my friend had prayed after Mass. God had sent these words to me when I needed them most. I had probably read that same verse a number of times over the course of my life, but NEVER had it had so much impact. I texted my friends from bible study a picture of the verse in my book. We all knew it was something God needed us to hear.
A few days later while working with my husband at our shop, I received a text from one of the ladies in my bible study. She opened an email from a devotional that she subscribes to…yep, you guessed it! It was Philippians 4:6-7 Another one of the ladies commented and said, “Seems to be a trend. Maybe God is trying to tell us something 😉 Give your day to God ladies and have a great one!”
Later that day a situation arose that might have normally caused a derailment for me. I normally would have been so consumed with frustration and anger that I would have found it difficult to regain my composure, but there was that sense of calm. God was guarding my heart and my mind. As my husband and I drove back to Kearney after working in a nearby town, reflecting on our day and the events that had presented themselves, we simply laughed. He rubbed my arm and said, “I like you.” and I replied, “I like you too.” I looked out the window at the peaceful Nebraska landscape and I told him that I am confident that God has got our backs and that we can’t let the actions and choices of others cause us to step away from our faith.
I am so grateful to my friend Kami for sharing those comforting words and to the ladies of my bible study and to my husband and partner in life. Listen for His messages, He IS sending them, you just have to be receptive. God is good, all the time!