On January 14, 2020, I received news that has changed my life and the lives of many other people forever. My 49-year-old son, who was very physically active and fit, suffered a cardiac arrest and went home to be with Jesus. Through all of these months, God has been ever present and active in my life. He has left no question that He has never left me nor forsaken me. This post will be the first of three in a series I am calling “But God…” My son was a pastor and he always loved the words “but God” in scripture because we know that what follows was God doing something big. My prayer is that things I have experienced will be a blessing to any of you that may be going through grief or hard times right now (including the virus), or that my thoughts may prepare you to help someone else who needs God’s hope and presence in their lives. Most of all…I want you to experience the mighty God we serve.
GETTING THE NEWS
My husband and I had purchased a new travel trailer before Christmas and had not had a chance to take it out yet. The weather had turned cold and snowy off and on, but we braved the weather and headed for Lincoln City. The second day we were there, we had just returned from dinner, when I received a call from the gym where David regularly worked out, saying he had collapsed and EMT’s had been called. She had little information and said she would call me back. Our get-away had just turned into a nightmare. I don’t know if it’s a mom’s intuition or what, but I knew this was serious and immediately panicked. Being two hours away was the worst feeling a parent can have when their child is in trouble. When I got a return call, the tone in the woman’s voice told me he was not breathing and was in transport to the hospital.
It felt as though my own heart had stopped. I immediately notified family and friends so they could pray. As I was throwing things in a bag to leave, I got two text messages from my daughter-in-law. There was no cell service and she had to contact us by text. The first text read “come to Good Sam now!” The next was “David has passed.” I fell on my knees and all I could do was scream out to God. Oh my God, oh my God. No…this can’t be. Why David?
Somehow, we managed to get into the truck to take the longest two-hour trip of our lives. The weather was freezing, it was foggy, there were snow patches on the road, and it was dark. We sat in silence, unable to find any words to say. Ken was trying to navigate the drive, and I was numb. BUT GOD…. gave me His breath. My chest felt like I hadn’t taken a breath since the first phone call. I felt His presence in the truck all the way to the hospital. He directed us, kept us safe and gave us the strength to keep going. I was praying that it was a mistake, but heard His voice saying, “I have you and WE will get through this together.” Deuteronomy 31:8 says “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid; Do not be discouraged.”
Looking back, we hardly remember the trip or how we found the hospital when we weren’t sure where we were going. We had no strength of our own, could not think, and we were helpless to accept or understand what had transpired that night. Our hearts were broken. BUT GOD…. did exactly what He promises He will do. He had gone before us and did not leave us:
- We felt His presence even when we could not feel anything else
- He directed our trip home through all the weather elements safely even when it was so foggy, we could not see.
- He gave us His strength
- He gave us peace to face what was ahead of us.
You may not be grieving the loss of a loved one, but most likely you are or will be facing trouble of some kind. For me, this is the deepest pain I’ve faced in my life. Through this I know, and trust God’s promises are true because only God could bring me through this. He has gone before you as well and will give you what you need for every situation that arises if you just seek Him. Max Lucado said, “We have a God, who while so mind-numbingly mighty, will come in the soft of the night and touch us with the tenderness of an April snow.”
If you are struggling today, seek Him, cry out, or just be silent and wait for Him. God hears us; loves us; has given us the Holy Spirit’s power in us; grants grace for our sins; gives direction at every turn (even if you aren’t sure where you are going); He is a light to our path; and an anchor in the storm. BUT GOD…. gives us all we need. Friends…dwell on this; take it to heart; and trust in it being so. God is God and He cannot lie.