Day 3 – The Wakeup Call
After what only seemed like a few moments, I woke up. Laying in the hospital bed I could hear family talking near me as the sounds of the machines keeping me alive were humming around me. As I awoke from multiple surgeries to steel plate my broken ribs and repair my torn aorta, my nightmare had only just begun.
As I lay there on a ventilator, totally unable to move, I remember seeing my older brother for the first time since the wreck. As he came and gently held my hand and explained a part of what had occurred, I could see the heartache in his face. In that moment no one had shared that my daughter Brynleigh had died during the initial wreck (although I already knew she was with the Lord).
Thinking about it now, it all seems like a bad dream. Did I have brain damage? Would I ever be able to walk, talk, and live a normal life again? Would I even survive the next few days and months? In that moment so many questions remained unanswered. I remember feeling so helpless and overwhelmed. Was my wife OK? Was my son OK? Would I be OK?
Because of the velocity of the collision, I had extensive nerve damage in my hands. Because of being on the ventilator and the nerve damage, I was unable to communicate with family or doctors. I can remember spending so much time praying (God was the only one I could communicate with!) But also feeling so alone (as if even God had forgotten me).
I can say with certainty that it was God alone who would help me endure the painful recovery over the next few months. They say that “hindsight” is 20/20. It is so easy now looking back and seeing God sustaining me. Slowly over the months and years after the accident I can see God teaching me to trust Him (even in the most desperate circumstances).
If you find it hard to trust God right now, don’t deny it or try to hide it. He knows… confess it. I know it seems impossible in the midst of whatever desperate situation you find yourself in, but it is our deepest despair that our intimacy grows and we become closer to God. You may not believe me now but there is coming a day where you will look back and see that God sustained you just like He sustained me. Go to Him again and again for peace, He gives us peace, wisdom, and strength to help even (especially) in the midst of great trials and doubt.
As we close today’s devotion, we will look at several reminders in Scripture that should give all of us hope. Remember these promises in the midst of your own pain and suffering:
First God is near to the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18). As we saw during the first day of our reading plan, Jesus knows exactly what we are facing. Because Jesus (God with us) lived a life as a man, we are assured that He faced every temptation, trail, and suffering imaginable to us. When you feel alone, remember that if you’ve placed your faith in Jesus, you are never alone (Hebrews 13:5).
Second it gives me great hope that even when I don’t have the words to say (or can’t say them!) that God hears my prayers (Romans 8:26-27). Even when I don’t know what to pray, the Holy Spirit takes my prayers to God. Remember that God promises peace that passes understanding (Philippians 4:6) and wisdom to those who ask (James 1:5).
Today’s Prayer: Lord, we admit: our hearts are broken. Lord the grief feels overwhelming, overpowering, and we feel helpless to break out of these chains. We are surrounded by a world that continues like nothing has changed, but Lord everything has changed! Help us Jesus, we need you. On the promise of Scripture we know God that you are near to those who are brokenhearted, that you promise peace that passes understanding, and you give wisdom to those who ask, let us feel your presence. Holy Spirit fill us with the peace that we only have through faith in Jesus, it is in Jesus name we pray.