Life's Unexpected Journeys

Thursday, July 20, 2023
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Rock Of Ages Cleft For Me"1 (Lyrics)

Dear friends, join me on a faith journey that will challenge my family to our core and bring us face to face with the reality of how fragile life is. We will encounter a crisis that tests our faith and gives us two choices: rely solely on our own strength or trust in God's strength.

Psalm 46:1-2a – God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear. (NIV)

Our journey begins as I enter the hospital emergency room doors due to a medical crisis, accompanied by my husband and daughter. Please wait with me for a gruelling 23 hours! Witness the sad plight of our homeless, seeking refuge from the ice storm outside. Join me as I count my blessings, for a home and a loving family who never left my side.

Listen, friends, as my name echoes through the room, and feel the adrenaline rush as a nurse leads us through the next doors. Check how quickly my pulse races as the attending doctor assesses my condition and immediately sends for the surgeon. Witness the whirlwind of activity as the medical staff responds to the surgeon's orders and rushes to care for me. Laugh with me as I inwardly wonder where that staff was hiding during the last 23 hours! Sit with my family and me as the surgeon describes the potential worst-case scenarios of this type of abdominal surgery. Relish the Lord's peace that washes over me, erasing any fear that might try to take hold. Be ready to catch my poor hubby, who looks like he might faint after hearing how serious the surgery will be. Now close your eyes as I leave all modesty aside and lie on the operating table like a Thanksgiving turkey about to be carved! Sorry, but I can't resist the imagery. As the anesthetist asks me to count backwards, I can hear myself whisper, "I trust in You, Father."

My beloved friends, when confronted with the prospect of my own mortality, I believed that when I awoke, I would be with my God either in this world or in heaven.

Well, obviously, I didn't wake up in the hereafter. Instead, I found myself in intensive care, complete with a breathing tube, a feeding tube, and other tubes that I choose not to mention. One week in the hospital and two months of daily homecare nursing allowed me time for deep soul-searching.

Dear friends, Scripture warns us that God will test our faith, like He tested many heroes of the Bible. Satan may try to convince us that it is punishment, but it's not! Quite the contrary, it's the ultimate test of faith bestowed upon us by a loving God! Experience the ultimate fulfillment of loving God with all your heart and soul, which is His heart's desire. Unleash your full potential as you embrace grace and draw nearer to Him. Faith is trusting God's purpose without knowing why. A strong and mature faith brings God glory!

Friends, life is unpredictable, so remember that the next faith journey could be yours!

As Oswald Chambers wrote, "Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One Who is leading."

Prayer: O God, our strength, we praise You because You are faithful and trustworthy. We praise You for Your unwavering love that sustains us in times of trouble. May we rely on You as our source of strength whenever we falter in our faith or allow things to weaken our dependence on You. Give us the power to resist Satan's lies and rely solely on Your Word. In Jesus' precious name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Lois Macdonald <>
Oshawa, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks, Lois, for the encouraging words.

    Thank you for sharing.
    God bless you.

    Thank you, Lois, for those inspiring words. May God bless you with continued good health!

    Thank you for sharing this encouraging devotional with us today.

    Crises like these bring us closer to God, strengthen our Faith, and give us Hope for today and tomorrow.

    Excellent description of your journey. Your love and trust of our Father is very evident in your beautiful words. Thank you for sharing your story with us through your writing.

    Thank you for your inspiring devotional and heartfelt prayer. May your health continue to improve.

    Thanks for sharing your incredible journey of faith, Lois. It was so encouraging. May we all be so brave in our faith challenges. Very inspiring, may God continue to bless you and your family!

    Lois, as you guided me along your faith journey, I identified with some of your thoughts and observations. Faith trips can come up suddenly or can be long continuous meanderings. Thanks for the reminder to trust our Lord through them all.

    Thank you for this very moving and thoughtful devotional.
    AND gratitude for your recovery.

    Dear Lois:
    Thanks for your powerful devotional! What an experience! What a faith!
    Many blessings.
    In the Lord.

    Thank you, Lois, for your encouraging and inspiring devotional today. Your faith surely got you through a very serious health circumstance. Praise the Lord. May your faith stay strong and may you enjoy great times ahead. Blessings for your special writings.

    Good morning,
    Thank you for this interesting faith journey. I am happy that stayed faithful To Him and He saw you and your family through.
    God is good.

    Good morning, Lois.
    Thank you for the vivid description of your surgery. Psalm 46 is my favorite, read it when our little girl died, God was and still is our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble.
    Blessings Lois.

    Dear Lois,
    Thank you for sharing this experience: what a story, so well told! I’m thankful you awoke in IC, to continue living by faith, and sharing your faith with others.
    Blessings as you journey with Him today.

    Dear Lois, I pray that God will give you comfort as you heal.
    Your humor and trust will sustain you as you convalesce, and thank you for your writing…. even though it brought a serious message you caused me to smile along with you.
    God bless you.

    Wow Lois! That’s quite a journey and so vividly expressed. Thanks for sharing and encouraging us. Your warning is so true! “Friends, life is unpredictable, so remember that the next faith journey could be yours!”
    I sure identified, having experienced my own faith journey when my husband had a fatal heart attack as our cruise ship was entering the port.
    Thank the Lord, the Oswald Chambers quote is so true.

    Good morning, Lois,
    Your powerful devotional made me feel that I was on this journey with you and your family. Your honesty of how you were feeling is moving. Your faith is strong and mature.
    Thank you for the reminder of how fragile our lives are, but our faith in our Father is stronger for all the unexpected challenges He guides us through. People sharing their faith journeys helps us to think about our own faith journey and to inspire us to want to help others learn about Jesus.
    May God continue to bless you as you connect with others. Blessings.

    Hi Lois!
    Had a wee touch of your incredibly horrible journey. I am so sorry for what you went through.
    Every year, we have most of our grandchildren stay with us for the week. It’s hard work, but they are very good kids, and we are blessed. One of the activities we do daily is to go tubing on the quiet side of the island. I was sitting in the bow of our small boat when one of the boys hit a huge wave. I went flying straight up and came down hard, hurting my back. A couple days later, I was in agony. The pain grew much worse, but I just didn’t want to sit in emerg. Know that feeling?
    Turns out, I had an infection. But it could have been something intestinal… an injury from that boat incident. I was so very worried. I too trusted our Lord and knew He would see me through. All is well now.
    I thank you for sharing your story. And you are an excellent writer.

    Thank you, Lois. What a wonderful testimony of faith and God’s protection!

    What a beautiful story – victory of Faith in the Lord and medical science – Amen.

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