Life can change dramatically in a few moments.
A phone call from my parents this past weekend informed me that a close cousin of my father’s had been in a serious accident. As she was riding her bicycle she was struck by a truck and had to be flown by helicopter from their small community to a trauma hospital in Omaha.
By all physical evidence, my cousin Glenda should not have survived the accident. In one moment, she was enjoying a beautiful morning on her bicycle; in the next, she was in blinding pain, being shuttled through hospitals and helicopters and medical procedures.
Though God’s grace, Glenda is awake and alert and still praising her God with her lips. She knows she has been given a gift of life – but she knows that broken and crushed bones and a damaged body will lead to an altered and long road ahead. When I was able to visit her, hoping to encourage her through the pain, I was encouraged by her faith.
Where has your life taken an unexpected detour into painful territory?
- Was it the sudden loss of a family member who you never expected to be gone so soon?
- Was it a troubled marriage or divorce that weighs on your entire being?
- Was it the diagnosis of cancer or disease for yourself or others?
In this life, we have all experienced detours – maybe terribly serious to the outside world or maybe more significant to us personally. No matter the nature of the detour, the greater question is how we deal with the change in course that inevitably will occur in this life.
Maybe it seems cliche, but I think one of the best tried and true passages of scripture that can guide us through the painful detours is Psalm 23:
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
The passage doesn’t promise no dark valleys – we still have to walk with them. Evil is still there – but we don’t have to fear it. We ARE promised rest, refreshment, a guide, comfort and love. I can think of no better things to help equip each of us to get through those difficulties and challenges of life.
Just like this weekend’s events reminded me how quickly life can change and how I should savor each and every moment that the Lord provides to me, I pray that you are able to do the same during the detours you face in life.
– Jen Clark
– I write this for post for Glenda, who has always been a writer of poetry that graces cards for the special moments of life for her family and friends.