Listen to this devotional:
About six years ago, when I was nineteen, I was in a serious car accident, and survived by a matter of centimetres. I broke a vertebra in my back, and was forced to lose a semester at college. I later caught up, finished my year, received my diploma, and healed physically. However, I was left with a lot of anxiety, and was too traumatized to drive by myself for a long time.
About ten months after the accident, I'd been back behind the wheel for only a short time, and was rear-ended, suffering whiplash from that, in a domino-effect accident that included about five cars. Five months after that, I was nudged again. Needless to say, I hated driving for a very long time, and it messed me up — a lot!
It's difficult to thank God in the midst of the bad things. All I wanted to do, and did for a while, was cry and scream "Why!?" Honestly, three accidents in a little over a year!? I was ticked!
To this day, I still struggle with anxiety. I have sought counselling and relaxation therapy, and have taken medication. My doctor is also a wonderful Christian woman, and has been a blessing. She told me something that I will never forget. Sometimes when it seems our faith isn't strong enough, God is just asking us to put our faith in Him and the plan He's constructing for us. I realized that it wasn't that I didn't have enough faith, but that I wasn't placing it in the proper places. I needed to open my heart to trusting Him, that He would use these people and doctors He'd brought into my life.
Sometimes I still ask why: Why won't God just take this away from me?
When I'm in the midst of a panic attack over something that I've done a million times before and is now for some reason an insurmountable task, I definitely wonder what the purpose of all of this is. And I'm still searching for that "peace" a lot of the time.
I was reading from Exodus the other day. I remembered how when God spoke to Moses from the burning bush, the first thing Moses did was basically what I do: get anxious and begin to question God. "Me, Lord? But I stutter! They won't listen. Isn't there someone else?" I began underlining a particular phrase from the passage that recurred straight through the ten plagues to the time of the exodus. Over and over this phrase appeared: "Just as God had said". That really touched me. These people had been imprisoned and mistreated — (that word just doesn't seem strong enough) — for hundreds of years, and still everything was done and fulfilled perfectly "just as God had said".
Exodus 7:13 – Yet Pharaoh was as stubborn as ever — he wouldn't listen to them, just as God had said. (MSG)
Exodus 8:15 – But when Pharaoh saw that he had some breathing room, he got stubborn again and wouldn't listen to Moses and Aaron. Just as God had said. (MSG)
Exodus 8:19 – The magicians said to Pharaoh, "This is God's doing." But Pharaoh was stubborn and wouldn't listen. Just as God had said. (MSG)
Exodus 9:12 – God hardened Pharaoh in his stubbornness. He wouldn't listen, just as God had said to Moses. (MSG)
It reminded me of the faithfulness of God. When I'm freaking out over things that don't matter — really, in the long run, they don't most of the time — God is still there, and He's still ultimately in control.
I am always grateful for the reminder when people tell me, "It's a miracle you weren't killed. There must be something else God has planned for you."
Prayer: Father God, we know that all things work according to Your perfect plan. Help us all to open ourselves to this completely, in body, mind, and spirit. Strengthen our faith in You, and help us to remember what You told us in Jeremiah 29:11, that You know the plans You have for us, and they are nothing but good! Thank You, Father, for You promise to carry us through all things, always, just as You have said. In Jesus' precious name, we pray. Amen.