How’s your blood pressure doing now?
The past few years have been insane & so incredibly stressful, but God has used it to teach me some incredibly important lessons & to grow a spirit of dependence on Him through it.
The beginning of His lesson began in 2020. My husband’s business was mandated to be closed for 163 days. He was self-employed. The day it closed my gut tightened & felt queasy. I breathed, prayed, but also sought comfort in the fact that at least my job was stable. The next day when I got to work I found out my employer was shifting our schedules to work one week on then one week off. With everything that was going on, that stability I was depending on shattered. I lost it & had an actual breakdown at work.
In the middle of it all, a friend of mine from high school who was a foreign missionary that had to come back home due to the pandemic, was targeted & shot while jogging on the side of the road for absolutely no reason. This is going to sound crazy…& don’t take this in any negative way, but God actually brought my heart comfort through his situation…
I know, that sounds incredibly horrible, but you have to hear the rest of his story.
Let me start by saying this: my friend survived. He was shot multiple times & one bullet was millimeters away from hitting a major artery. He was jogging on the side of the road when a total stranger pulled up near him, got out, shot him multiple times, then drove away, leaving him to bleed to death on the side of the road. Passengers in another vehicle witnessed all of this happening & they immediately stopped to help. The amazing thing in this? The driver of the aiding vehicle was a Christian & the week before someone had just randomly given him a medical-grade tourniquet. He didn’t really have a need for it [yet].
That tourniquet? It was still in the car when my friend was shot.
The driver & passenger called 911, were able to apply the tourniquet, load him into the vehicle, & get him to the hospital in time to save his life. They didn’t just get him to the hospital, they prayed over him the whole way.
So where is the comfort in this, you may ask, because how is it comforting that God could allow this missionary to be shot? The comfort & encouragement is in the details. No, God didn’t prevent this from happening, but He also wasn’t surprised that it happened, either. He supplied a medical-grade tourniquet to the exact person that would need it at the exact time & place it would be needed to save his life.
Okay, cool, good for that tourniquet…still, where is the comfort?
The peace is in the conversations, relationships, & testimony that has come from all of this. My friend has connected with the shooter & his family, he’s forgiven him, he has shared the Gospel with them. He uses his story even today, to connect to the hearts of people he meets in his new mission field. A man that was shot & left for dead, who shouldn’t be able to walk normally or be athletic like he had been before is now alive & well, still playing sports, loving his wife & children, & still being active because God was not surprised, but provided & prepared.
All of that to say, I found comfort in his story because it taught me if God wasn’t surprised or caught off guard by my friend getting shot, if He was prepared, if He put steps in place to not only protect my friend’s life but also use it for His own glory, & to bring other people to Christ, then there is NOTHING He is unprepared for. There is NO THING that catches God off guard, & there is so so so much peace in that.
Infertility? God is not surprised.
Job loss? God is not caught off guard.
Disease? God is not shocked.
Loss of a loved one? God is not unaware.
Financial crisis? God is not oblivious.
In whatever situation you face, God is not heedless. He knows your need. He is there. He is trying to get your attention. He wants you to rely on Him. He is prepared. He is present. Rely on Christ, He is a rock, He is a solid foundation that cannot & will not be shaken. His path for you may not look like what you hoped, planned, or dreamed, but I promise (coming from someone who tried her own way, someone who God pulled through, & someone who is looking back from the other side of a really really dark time), His way is FAR better than what you can ask or imagine. Yes, it is likely harder, but look for the Lord. Look for what He is doing in your life, look for what He is teaching in your heart, lean on Him, & He will not fail you. He will be glorified. Others will come to know Him through your story.
My friend’s story is not the only one like this. My own testimony reflects God’s hand. There are so many others, too, whose story reflects God’s provision & preparation: Corrie Ten Boom, George Muller, Elisabeth Elliot, Joseph (Genesis), Esther, David, Ruth, & so so many more.
If God is prepared in each of these testimonies, He is prepared for yours, too.
God’s Word says this:
“We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. For those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, so that he would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.”Romans 8:28-29, CSB
“But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You planned evil against me; God planned it for good to bring about the present result — the survival of many people.”Genesis 50:19-20, CSB
So pause. Breathe. Remember that He is El-Roi, the God who sees you (Gen 16). Find peace in His preparation.
Be blessed, friends.