Can you recall a time when you’ve had a great day and everything is going your way? You ate the best breakfast you’ve ever had then headed to work with no traffic jams making record time. You walk into your office to find your boss smiling at you, then he hands you the bonus check you’ve been waiting for rewarding you for the amazing job you’ve done. You both sit down expecting him to elaborate on why you are getting the bonus only to discover he’s handing you your severance check.
Talking about a bomb being dropped!
After returning from a vacation in Virginia I reported to the Test Floor, a coworker of mine approached me asked, “Hey, what are you doing here?”
“I work here.”
“No you don’t,” he exclaimed. “You were laid off last week.”
It happened. Life threw me a curve ball when I least expected it. It didn’t go over home plate, it hit me smack in the middle of my head, and I was wearing no helmet. After 19+ successful years with the company I went from hero to zero, from champ to chump. After a brief meeting with HR, I was escorted out the door, left standing alone, wondering what was my future would hold.
I called my wife (at that time) to let her know of the shocking news. “Guess what, after almost 20 years with the company, I was just laid off.” She responded, “Well you’re of no use to me.” Months later we were divorced. In the process, we had to sell the house we built.
Three weeks after being laid off, I was driving home after attending a class on résumé writing and networking in hopes of finding employment. My arrival at the house was delayed because a woman was focused on her mobile phone conversation than traffic. She broad-sided my truck causing it and me to roll one and a half times, sliding over 130 feet down the street on the roof of the truck. This is a picture of my truck.
After my truck came to rest, I struggled to unbuckle my seat belt landing on my head. After climbing out the passenger’s side window I sat against the truck and asked God, “What more could go wrong?”
All I asked God for in my prayer a few weeks before was, “Lord, do what you need to do to me to bring me into the center of your will.” I didn’t expect he would allow all of this to happen, seemingly all at once.
A couple weeks after the roll-over I started having migraine headaches – the first time in many years. I started taking my migraine medicine, but the headaches continued and worsened. After several days of increasing pain I decided to go to the emergency room at the hospital near my house. The ER doctor order x-rays and a CT scan. Surprisingly the hospital did not have a radiologist to read the images that night, so they sent the electronic images to their sister hospital, Barrow Neurological Center at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix on the other side of town (which happens to be the top neurological hospital west of the Mississippi).
The radiologist at Barrow told the ER doctor to, “Put him in an ambulance and get him over here NOW.” In a matter of minutes I was listening to the sound of an ambulance siren above my head and the continuous beep of the heart monitor attached to me. Needless to say I was way beyond worried. I was scared!
I was transported to Barrow’s intensive care unit with a skull fracture, subdural hematoma and epidural hematoma, all because of a woman’s screwed up priorities. A nurse started IV’s as I was examined by the attending physician. Blood draws were taken in preparation for cranial vascular surgery and morphine drip started to ease my pain. The doctor informed me the mortality rate of acute subdural hematoma (SDH) range from 36% to 79%; for ages of 40-80 years (that would be me) the mortality rate of about 65%.
The next morning I awakened to a visitor in my room. He was the resident priest presenting me with DNR (do not resuscitate) paperwork asking me about my next of kin and my religious preference. My heart started racing as I finally connected with the severity of the problem. I asked him to leave the paperwork as I needed time and help in some decision-making.
When he left, I questioned G_d, “Lord, is this really part of your plan? Haven’t I been through enough? I lose my job, marriage, house, truck and now my health? Besides my clothing and a few dollars in the bank, all I have left is my breath! You want that too?”
I had nothing to offer to anyone or to G_d. Nothing – except my breath, that’s it. But that’s all G_d wanted. He wanted my breath. He created me to call to Him, worship Him and love Him. He allowed these circumstances to enter my life to remove anything that distracted me from focusing on Him and what He wanted for me, rather than what I wanted for me. It wasn’t until I relinquished everything to Him, listen to Him and obeyed Him that my life would turn for the better. I had to be laid on my back in order to look up.
My brothers and sisters in Christ prayed continually for me. CT scans of my head were taken every 6 to 12 hours for several days to determine if and when vascular surgery would be performed. By day four, the hematomas both started to shrink in size. Through no effort on my part and by His grace I avoided surgery. Prayer truly worked.
My focus was reduced to two things. Getting physically stronger and spiritually stronger by studying G_d’s word and seeking first His kingdom. Everything I needed to know was and is contained in the pages of His book – The Holy Bible. His love letter to me, His instruction book for life, the Bible.
Unless we are in a posture of looking to Jesus as a source of strength, hour by hour, minute by minute, praying ceaselessly, and clinging to Him – we are not going to walk in the fullness of Him. Power comes out of dependency on God. I have to keep reminding myself of this truth. Consider these scriptures.
Jeremiah 33:3 says, “Call to me and I will answer you, ….”
2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4 NASB)
Psalm 118:24 says, “This is the day which the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
What circumstances are you in that might be opportunities for spiritual maturity and growth? Are you able to experience peace and joy in the midst of difficult times? If so, please comment and tell us about your experience.
Be well and be blessed, David