Faith Column: The year that was…
From the late 1960’s through the early 1980s there was a weekly comedy called That Was The Week That Was, a satire on current events (and people). Not sure why, but that title has come to mind a lot lately! While certainly nothing to laugh about, this has been a “year that was” full of challenges and frustration as we tried to cope with isolation, depression, division, chaos, and disorder. A year that was like nothing we’d experienced before.
Those long days of isolated shelter in place gave me time to slow down and really pray and think things through. I believed none of what we were going through came as a surprise to God, but while reading the Bible one morning, I wondered: “Do I really believe what I’m reading, and if so, why am I so angry, frustrated and fearful?” Philippians 4:6-7 was the catalyst:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Why couldn’t I hang on to that peace when I needed it so desperately. I finally realized deep down I didn’t believe God was taking care of all the circumstances and situations that had been cascading on and around me.
In May I learned He actually had been all along. Throughout March and April I was fighting a non-COVID infection that would not go away. I experienced periodic spells of feeling so cold I couldn’t stop shivering. One night I had a really bad spell – I was shivering so much the bed was shaking, and I could not get warm. That really scared me. The ER team came and got me to the hospital.
When I had a follow-up visit with my primary care doctor in early May I discovered my real problem had been sepsis. Somehow the infection had run wild throughout my whole system. My doctor explained what my blood work showed and said that being cold and shivering indicated my body was on the verge of shutting down.
Throughout my infection, I kept returning to Romans 8:11: But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you.
I only wanted the infection to be gone. God wanted me to understand the depth of His commitment to my wellbeing, and that He DOES mean what He says. My doctor said recovery from that degree of sepsis takes at least 6-8 weeks, and people don’t always get back to full health. That follow-up visit was 2 weeks after the trip to the hospital. I was already back to my normal healthy condition. My doctor was astounded…I was shocked to the core of my being.
Too often we attribute God’s care and provision to luck or coincidental happenings. Over this holiday season take some time to reflect on your own circumstances and situations during the year. Ask the Lord to help you recognize His hand in those times you credited luck or coincidence. Then praise and thank Him and let His love and peace fill you!
Victoria Van Couvering is Executive Director of Hope Pregnancy Center. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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