Romans 8:28 – And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called to His purpose. (NKJV)
I had led a blessed life, until depression robbed my husband of his very being. For 18 months, he suffered unbearably. God seemed oblivious to our prayers as my dear husband bounced in and out of hospital. On numerous occasions, in complete despair, he tried to take his own life. I dreaded coming home for fear of what I would find. Inexplicably, he died in a car accident. Then, within the next five months, my father, up until then an active, healthy 75-year-old, died. Many people draw closer to God during suffering, but I was angry at God. If I'm honest, I would say that I found today's Scripture not only unhelpful, but also dismissive of my losses. Thankfully, God doesn't give up on us, and at some point, I remember telling God that while I still didn't understand, I wasn't angry any more. A friend asked me, "If you understood the reason behind your losses, would it help?" I thought that it would.
Fast forward to January of this year. I was on day 2 of a 6-day, 3,500-mile journey to Yuma, Arizona, USA, determined to drive almost 600 miles each day. Imagine my displeasure when, early in the day, an "Interstate closed" sign routed me off the freeway into rural Pennsylvania. I called my trusty OnStar advisor to ask for the shortest route back to Interstate 84. I was in the Pocono Mountains, beautiful in the summer, but not so much on narrow and icy winter roads. Later, I realized that this was not the shortest route, but turning back then would waste more time. Finally, I returned to the Interstate. I saw 30 rescue vehicles and realized that this was the scene of an extremely serious accident. I stopped for gas, intending to make up time, but back on the highway, my system repeatedly told me, "Make a legal and safe U-turn"!
The rest of the day, I called OnStar every 45 minutes, waited to be transferred to Technical Assistance, and waited again while they reset my system. This involved pulling over, turning off the ignition, waiting for one minute, and restarting the vehicle. Inevitably the result would be the same: "Make a legal and safe U-turn!" It wasn't long before I figured out that (1) there was no way to make up the lost time, and (2) for whatever reason, God did not want me to make the progress that I had planned that day. Imagine my distress when I was told that because the last reset had failed, my dealership would have to upgrade the hardware. WHAT!! I'm outside a city of two million that I have to traverse at rush hour without technical assistance! I pulled over, studied the map, and said a prayer.
That night, I thanked God for keeping me safe. I actually stopped praying when I suddenly realized that the reasons behind my continuing grief were exactly like the roadblocks that I had encountered. I knew that God had reasons for impeding my travel plans. Perhaps it was to avoid accidents, or perhaps to put me in a certain place to wait out the impending ice storm. I would never know, but I did know that it was for His purposes and my safety. I still have difficulty, eight years later, comprehending how God will work good out of my grief, but now I realize that I do not need to understand — I just need to trust Him.
The next morning, I discovered that OnStar was working perfectly, and has ever since then! I smiled as I realized the miracle that I had encountered both in my car's system and in my own healing.
Prayer: Dear God, we are so blessed that You never give up on us, despite months or even years of anger and questioning. Help us simply to be still, to listen for Your voice, and to trust that You are in control. Amen.
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