Do you remember the theme song from “Jaws”?
Duunnn Dunnn….. Duunnn Dunnn….. Duunnn Dunnn…..
Just two little notes repetitively played over and over again warning that danger is near.
If you were inside my mind as the beginning of June approached, you’d have probably heard this theme song playing.
Duunnn Dunnn….. Duunnn Dunnn….. Duunnn Dunnn…..
Even though I am in no way superstititious, and I don’t believe in days being evil or cursed, or anything like that, the sheer coincidence of events that happened in the past two years at the beginning June had me a little worried and praying, “Please God, don’t let it happen again.”
Allow me to explain:
On June 2, 2013, I was diagnosed with a severely infected right foot. I was told that keeping it elevated and taking high powered antibiotics were the only hope I had of staying out of the hospital. The rest of that month was pretty much defined by catering to the infection, then addressing the allergic reaction I had from the antibiotics, and then getting over the reaction I had to the allergy medicine. (Not a fun month and definitely not something I want to ever repeat.)
On June 2, 2014 I dislocated my knee and spent the better part of that month using a walker. This injury was worse than the year before because I couldn’t really do anything. Even the simplest tasks like going to the bathroom, taking a shower, or fitting through my bedroom door (the door opening was smaller than the width of the walker) became a challenge.
Even though I won’t give place to superstition in my life, I still breathed a sigh of relief when June 2, 2015 passed without any injuries. (Hallelujah!!!) The next day as we headed off to meetings and ministry errands, I was feeling pretty happy that I didn’t wake up to the physical pain and restraints of the two previous years.
And then it happened. I was walking out of Staples and heading back to my car when my right foot caught something and I went flying through the air.
Crash! Bam! Boom! In a flash, both of my knees went slamming down on the cold hard cement.
Almost instantly, I was overcome with fear. Not knowing if the knee I’d hurt the year before could stand the weight I was putting on it and not being sure I had the strength to get up, I instinctively turned onto my backside and sat paralyzed with fear. In those 5 seconds all I could think was, “Could I get up? Had I reinjured anything? Was my best pair of black pants torn?” (Believe it or not that last thought actually did go through my mind.)
As I sat there in shock and fear, a little old lady—a complete stranger--- rushed to my side and said, “No, don’t get up. Let me pray for you first.” She wasn’t through more than two lines of her beautiful, heartfelt prayer when I started to cry. It was as if a dam of fear, pressure, and stress broke inside of me and in that moment I knew that I was not alone, God was right there with me controlling the whole situation.
After she finished praying, she started telling me about Jesus and witnessing to me telling me how much Jesus loved me and wanted to help me. I told her that I know---I am a Christian minister--but then I shared with her very, very much her prayer meant to me. I told her how afraid I was and how her prayer touched me and helped the fear to go away.
By this time, my brother had arrived on the scene to help me get up, and someone passed by with something I could lean on to get up. In the end, I hadn’t dislocated anything or torn any new ligaments or muscles. I walked away with a few scraped knees and a twisted ankle. We said “goodbye” to my new friend, and once again I thanked her for being right where God wanted her that day.
As we got in the car and headed toward my chiropractor’s office (to realign the twisted ankle) I could feel God’s presence all around as I realized that even though the thing I’d been fearing for days had happened, God was right there and He had it all under control.
Then as if the Holy Spirit was walking me through a slide show, I could see God’s hand on each of the injuries I’d gone through. I remembered that in 2013, my infection kept me from walking into a situation that had disaster written all over it. Although it would be months before I could see the danger I’d avoided, God saw it ahead of time and allowed a foot infection to keep me safely far away.
In 2014, a dislocated knee forced me to slow down (dramatically) and ultimately kept me from running full speed ahead down a path that was not God’s will. Looking back, I can see that the injury that I hated so much actually took us to the right path and began setting things in order for the beautiful plan that God unfolded in the year to come.
Now, in 2015, when there was no purpose for an injury, God provided me with protection and the ability to get back up and move forward. He held everything in place, and allowed me to walk away from a potentially damaging fall with just a few scraped knees. I didn’t even tear my best pair of pants. Then, just to show me how great He is, He used the sweetest little old lady to remind me, “Hey ‘Dess, I’m right here---I’ve got this. Everything is going to be okay because I’m in control and I’m right here.”
Through the calm and through the storm---He’s right here.
Because of this I can say, “I will fear no evil, for You are with me” (Psalm 23:4)
Today, I don’t know what you’re going through. I don’t know what God’s protection and provision look like in your life right now. Perhaps it’s leading you through an unexpected trial, a detour, or even an injury. Maybe you’re struggling with your own fear that the past will repeat itself even as you’re trying to move into the future.
There’s no way I could know exactly what each individual who reads this is facing, but there is one thing I do know.
If you are a daughter of God, doing your best to follow in the Heavenly Father’s footsteps, HE IS THERE.
You are not alone.
He has a plan and a purpose for whatever you are going through right now, and if you’ll trust Him and keep following Him, there will come a time when you’ll look back and see that He was right there providing, protecting, and loving you all the time.
There’s no need to fear. You’re Heavenly Father is holding you in the palm of His hand saying, “I’ve got this. Trust me. I’m right here. It’s going to be okay.”
Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the Lord will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared.