If someone had told me that three weeks ago a crazed drunk person would chase my car up the street with a crowbar, or that a year ago I would survive a head-on collision leaving me with injuries that would require weekly treatments, I think I would have been tempted to curl up in a ball and never leave the house.
I am glad I am unaware of what is going to happen ahead of time because perhaps if I did, I don’t think I’d have the courage to face it.
Watching television at the age of thirteen, Ben Weekes never imagined that the pins and needles sensation he was feeling, would turn out to be a blood clot in his spine causing paraplegia. Nor, at the age of fourteen, did Daniella Di Toro know that a wall would collapse on her at a school swimming carnival leaving her also a paraplegic. Brendan Hall didn’t know that a bout of chicken pox would lead to hearing impairment and an amputated leg( www.paralympic.org.au/ ).
However, Olympians like Ben, Daniella and Brendan are made from such things. Ben, a champion tennis player – as is Daniella, and Brendan, a champion freestyle swimmer, are all proudly representing Australia at the 2012 Paralympics in London.
Does this take courage? Definitely, and qualities such as determination, a good attitude and knowing that there is more to come is what seems to drive these heroes of the sporting arena.
And there is more to come. As Isaiah 61:3 says that God will – ‘provide for those who grieve… To bestow on them a crown of beauty for ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair’.
Life is definitely uncertain. We don’t know from day to day what challenges await us but we do know who holds our hand. Like a little child holding their parents hand with an unquestioning assurance, we need to hold on to our Heavenly Fathers’ hand in this way.
It is a lesson I am forever having to re-learn, for as soon as life starts feeling in control again, I tend to fall into the trap of trying to take back the reigns. Then my heavenly Father gently (sometimes not so gently), reminds me that I am not in control at all. That someone stronger, wiser, more powerful, omnipresent and all seeing is in control of my life and has His hand on everything that happens to me – the good and the bad.
It was His hand that steered my car out of the way of the crazy drunk and put my foot to the ground just before the crowbar could go through my daughter’s window. It was His gentle voice that woke me out of unconsciousness in the car accident and gently whispered, ‘things will be different for a while, but you’re alive’.
I don’t always understand why things happen but I am so grateful that He is the one in control because I know He also has a plan – ‘all things work for the good of those who love the Lord,’ Romans 8 verse 28.
Even when it doesn’t make sense to us, it makes sense to God. ‘He is my God and I trust Him,’ Psalm 91 verse 2. So when things seem out of control, remember the one who is in control and rest securely knowing that he wants you to lean into Him so that he can carry you.
When you watch the 2012 London Paralympics this August – September remember the adversities each Olympian has gone through to get to where they are now. You can read their profiles at www.paralympic.org.au/.
You never know what is around the corner…it may just be wonderful!
‘He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge,’ Psalm 91 verse 4.
First published Christian Today Australia 28 August 2012
Republished in Encounter magazine 2013 and issue 2, 2014