My CSI husband, our two year old son, and I had just stepped into an elevator to take the grand tour of our county’s newly built Sherriff’s office and jail. It was the first time the little guy had ever been in an elevator, and unfortunately, we never thought to tell him the crowded, little room would move. When he felt it begin to rise, so did the decibel level; he screamed all the way to the 5th floor.
The other passengers, mostly policemen and their families were kind and understood why he was frightened. Isn’t it ironic that the child was terrified in the safest place imaginable? He was with his Daddy, several off-duty policemen, and in the most secure building in the county. But he didn’t know that.
Fast forward several decades and now it was my turn to be terrified. Recently retired, my husband and I tried the “snow bird” thing and headed to
for the winter. He
became deathly ill shortly after arriving, and soon I feared for his life. It
seemed every time it looked like he would improve, another complication would
set in. Florida
I called his doctor back home. I called our friends and family. I prayed — a lot. I found peace during Sunday services at the church we had discovered a few years before.
One Sunday, a woman introduced herself before the service and asked how I came to be there. I poured everything out and the congregation prayed for my husband that day. The people from that church stood by me for the rest of my husband’s hospitalization.
As I was living through this, God’s people surrounded me with his compassion. Every time I needed someone, the perfect person would appear. There was the chaplain who put her arm around me when I was struggling to communicate with the hospital staff, and said, “Before I was a chaplain, I was a masters prepared nurse, and you are absolutely correct.”
A woman from the church sat with me in the hospital and gave me the backbone to intercede for my husband at a pivotal moment.
In moments of prayer, I wondered why God held me so close and, at the same time, allowed my husband to suffer so much. It then occurred to me that the sovereign God of the universe does not owe me any explanations. I recalled how Job had responded to his friend Zophar’s assessment of his situation. In his suffering, Job remained faithful to God and declared, “Though he slay me, yet I will hope in him.” (Job 13:15 NIV). Now that’s faith!
Even if God had given give me an explanation, I may not have understood it anymore than my two year old son could have understood how an elevator worked.
In the end, God was merciful and my husband made a full recovery.
Looking back, I realize that when I thought my husband was going to die, God was holding him in the palm of his hand. Like my son years ago, he was in the safest, most secure place possible. But I didn’t know that.
Since then, I have learned how faithful our great God is, and like Job, I will put my hope in him no matter what.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 NIV)