I’m currently sitting in a hospital room. My husband had his second back surgery yesterday. That makes two in less than a year. 11 months apart to the day, if we want to get technical. His back ‘went out’ a few weeks ago mere days after we got home from another hospital stay. That stay was for my daughter, who had an allergic reaction that we still haven’t pinpointed, that went south very quickly. But God. The day we got home from the hospital with her, we found out my best friend’s daughter had leukemia. She was soon sent to a hospital to get the best care possible. For that I’m thankful, but my heart aches for their family and my arms ache to hug my friend. It feels extra offensive to walk hard roads separated from my friends, who are more like my sisters.
I look around, and I see so many circumstances, so many battles being fought. Battles fought by people IN the church, but these battles are taking them AWAY from the church. Some of us seem to be scattered about, and so many of us are missing services. We feel disconnected, we feel our hearts being pulled in so many directions. We feel disjointed and wonder what in the world is happening.
I can’t answer those questions. I don’t have any special spiritual insight or mainline that allows me to see and know exactly how and why some of us are going through such hard times. I didn’t share my current situation to elicit sympathy, but instead I want to use my current circumstance to help someone else. Someone who may find themselves walking a similar road, or someone who is in the midst of their own struggle.
Here’s what I can tell you, friend, and what has brought me more comfort than I can explain.
No matter what we’re going through, no matter what battle we may be fighting, God has a plan.
I don’t care if the devil throws everything he can think of in our way, God has a plan for that, too. He takes what the enemy intends for evil, and He works it out for your good. For my good. For the good of His people.
I’ve been given almost the same word of encouragement this week by three different women that I look up to spiritually. These women have shaken the gates of hell with their faith and their prayers, and I take nothing they say to me lightly. They all told me that someone in this hospital, someone that I’m going to come in contact with, needs to see God’s presence in me. Maybe someone who needs some encouragement, to see a strength in me that doesn’t make sense in the physical. There may be someone in my path that might not be exposed to God’s goodness any other way, so God has positioned me to share that with me.
This is not about me. It’s not about what I can do, but about what God can do through me if I’m willing. The enemy thought that by throwing all of these things in my path that he would destroy me, drag me down. Well, hell, I may be down but I’m not out! God can take a major back surgery and turn it into an opportunity for a Bible study. He can use a chance meeting with a tech taking blood pressure into a moment of shining His light. I may never know who I’ve impacted by being here, in this hospital, hours from home and my babies. But God knows. He knows where my feet go, He’s in charge of the path that I take. Even though this isn’t what we wanted, all along the way we’ve seen God move. Situations have been reversed, decisions have been expedited. It’s only by God that my husband and I have seen things change and happen, both in his situation and the situation where our daughter was hospitalized.
I say all of that to say this: God knows where you are, God knows who you are, and God has a plan for you. Whatever situation you’re in, whatever hell you may be fighting right this moment, God has a plan. He WILL take what the enemy meant for evil and turn it for good. We may have to walk some tough roads, friend, but the only way to reach hurting people is to know hurt. We can’t minister to those that we can’t relate to. That’s what I’m trying to do today, with these words. You may feel disconnected and stretched about as thin as you can go. I understand that, I’ve felt that way many times the last few weeks. We’re human, not machines, we have feelings and fears. Take those moments and let them be the times when the Holy Spirit swoops in and overshadows you. Let God fill in the broken and unsure places in your heart and life. Trust God to use you right where you are. You don’t know who is watching. You don’t know who is hurting. WE don’t know who is going to walk across our path and need to see Jesus in us.
Your battle isn’t for naught, friend, and God hasn’t turned His back on you or me. We’re simply soldiers who have been called upon to step to the frontlines and fight this good fight. I pray that this helps someone. I pray that someone reading this is encouraged, and fights the strength to dig down deep and keep pressing on. I pray that you and I are ready when the opportunity arises to shine the love of Christ, pushing back the darkness and turning the tables on the enemy. What he meant to take me out, will actually put me in a position to accomplish good for the kingdom of God.
*The photo is my husband’s prayer cloth from church that went through surgery with him. I shared it as a reminder that no matter where the path leads, God is always with us.*