My Facebook status the day after my dad woke up and began speaking again in the hospital:
This is going to sound melodramatic, but do me a favor: give your dad a huge, long squeeze. Tell him you love him. Have a long conversation with him, just to hear his voice. Today I’m crying and grateful because my dad couldn’t stay awake even a minute yesterday, and couldn’t say anything more than two words. I went to sleep praying that God would just allow me the opportunity to have a conversation with Him today. He answered that prayer. Things are getting better, so thank you for all the prayers! But if this has taught me anything, it’s that life is fragile. The little things-like hearing your dad speak-are the big things.”
So many times in life tragedy hits our blind spot, and we never realize it’s coming until we hear the crunch of metal and recognize we’ve collided with it.
It’s then we learn the fragility of life. But it’s also when we learn to treasure time as well.
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve written and re-written this blog post. I feel as though the message is such an important one, and it’s been burning in my heart to share for quite a while now. I can never say it the right way, so I finally decided to share it anyway. This may be messy and not the most well-written piece, but maybe that’s sort of fortuitous. Because life is sometimes messy, and it doesn’t always look good or make sense on paper either.
Some of it started with the wildfires. As I watched the wildfires in Colorado take in a matter of minutes what others had spent years building, the injustice of it all shot through my heart like an arrow.
Fire doesn’t play favorites. It doesn’t care how greatly we treasure something, nor how closely we guard it. I heard the phrase over and over again as I watched the news, “You never think it’ll happen to you.”
I really began to learn the lesson when my dad went into the hospital. The day before my dad landed in the back of an ambulance, I could have never imagined him unable to stay awake for even a full minute or say more than two words.
But here’s the thing: none of us are guaranteed tomorrow. We’re only given today.
It’s a terrifying feeling when you realize just how fragile life really is, am I right? Suddenly the whole world feels about as safe as an abandoned alleyway.
It’s one of the most painful lessons to learn. Fire burns mercilessly and leaves scars. But it also teaches us a very important lesson we wouldn’t learn any other way.
Though we may consider something as sacred and untouchable, nothing in this life is truly sacred and untouchable except for the Lord Almighty.
That’s not necessarily a comforting thought. It may not seem like the price we pay to receive that revelation is worth it. But there is deep comfort in knowing the truth: though life can change on a whim, the Bible tells us the unfailing love of God never changes.
Maybe you know what it feels like to have something burn. Or maybe you live in fear of a coming fire. Either way, if we stare into the fire too long, it can begin to look hopeless. It stings the eyes and scorches the soul.
But dear one, listen to me: our hope is not in this world. Our hope is in Him.
He came to deliver and rescue you from the fire. Not only that, loved one-He came to walk with you through the fire: “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.” (Isaiah 43:1-2.)
Whoever or wherever you are today, please know I am praying for you. Please know I care for you and whatever fiery trial you may be going through.
But also know this: you can meet with the Savior today. In the very middle of your pain. In the very middle of the fire. And when you do, He will have healing for your hurts. Peace for your pain. And He will have love to wash over your fear.
How do I know? Because like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, He was with me in the fire, too:
So touched by God’s abundant love, mercy, and grace. A week ago today my dad couldn’t even get a straw to his mouth, let alone stay awake for a few seconds. Circumstances said he should have died, gone into a coma, had a seizure, or suffered brain damage. But God said otherwise. Today he defied the odds and walked into church to praise his God, raising the same hands that could barely move last week. The same voice that couldn’t say more than two words, and the mind that kept shutting down. I don’t know about you, but that sure sounds like a miracle to me. He is all deserving of praise!
(My Facebook status a week after the first.)
I Hear Ya: Please share how I can pray for you today, or about a time when God delivered you from a fiery trial, and let’s lift up and encourage one another today!