At 3:00 p.m., yesterday, I was crying and praising the Lord down the halls of the hospital, and by 7:00 p.m., I was embracing my friend who lost her 48-year-old husband in a freak hydroplane accident, an unthinkable tragedy that also injured her daughter and grandchild and killed the other 18-year-old driver. That call you never want to take. Why is it that bad things happen to good people? Why is it that the car that hit him did not move even one foot in another direction, perhaps missing his car entirely? Why is it that dad is improving so miraculously from his stroke while his lifetime friend lays in a nursing home, never seeing any improvement or movement from her stroke?
One of my other miracle stories was about mom and dad having a hydroplane incident, coming home from Parkersburg and within a split second, twirling and spinning in their lane, in the median, ending up going the opposite direction on the other side of the interstate, heading back to Parkersburg just like nothing happened. Didn’t hit anyone, didn’t even injure the car. One of our friends at church less than a month ago praised God for her safety in a very similar hydroplane incident in which she had headed for a tanker truck, just knowing her time had come and she was going to blast right into it, when just a little extra twist and she ended up totally fine as well.
Yet my friend’s husband is taken in an instant. Why did God not redirect that car headed toward him? I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. I got into an argument with a minister of ours years ago about what God controls or directs or what He just allows. He said that because of sin, the devil is in the world and bad things just happen and that God really didn’t direct those things. I was saying, “Yes, I believe that, but I also believe that if God did not want a bullet headed toward my head to kill me, that bullet would be redirected or stopped or something and it wouldn’t happen; therefore, God made a choice to let it happen.” Who knows what the truth really is? All I know is I cannot live without the presence of God, so I will not blame Him when I can embrace Him and cry in His arms instead.
One of our children had a blame problem. You name it, it wasn’t their fault. Their sentences would begin frequently with “Why did you;” very rarely beginning with “I shouldn’t have.” We worked and worked and worked on that, and finally got them to see that this habit was destructive not only to them but to their relationships, as people don’t like to get blamed for things that aren’t their fault, or even if they were somewhat responsible, playing the blame game gets you nowhere. And fast.
Pastor James Wright preached an incredible sermon several years ago about praise. It truly changed my life. I don’t know that I was a complainer before then – I sure hope I wasn’t – but that sermon helped me to see that in EVERY situation, praise to the Lord is applicable. There is always something to praise about, even in the midst of the awfulness that can be this world. One of Talia’s best friends lost a child last year, a fully developed perfect son, dying after living only one day. This couple illustrated the grace and peace that only God can bestow. They thanked the crowd at their son’s funeral, they praised their Lord, they accepted His wisdom and direction in their life, and they turned their grief back over to Him. It was an amazing picture of what a Christian life truly meant for service looks like. Hard, hard, awful stuff that can be walked through in one of two ways: Misery and criticism or peace and praise.
But I do know that no matter what we walk through, if we CHOOSE to praise the Lord, it diminishes what we are going through and it changes our outlook totally. A friend of ours has recently gotten saved and then right after getting saved, he got diagnosed with a million things: Diabetes, lung disease, cancer in his bones, in his blood, in his organs. You name it, it piled on him – all within about a six-month period. He was telling me the other day about how when he started getting all these awful diagnoses, with every doctor visit or hospital trip, the nurses would witness to him, or the doctor, and he would be able to talk to them about the Lord and would come out of this place of terrible news feeling uplifted and part of a huge family of God.
I asked him how he would have dealt with people witnessing to him before he was saved. He said, “Oh, I wouldn’t have gotten mad or anything, I would have just blown it off and gone on living my life.” He is a former drug addict and alcoholic who is one of the most changed people I’ve ever seen. He can’t stop talking about the Lord and how good He is to him. And he’s dying. He knows it, the doctors know it, and there’s nothing that can be done but the Lord healing him. His attitude is so positive, I can’t wait to talk to him just for ME to feel uplifted. Only praise for the Lord gives that to you. It’s like a balm of the spirit. Praise, praise, praise!
My name is Teresa Evans. I am a wife to Tom, a retired Circuit Judge, and I am a court reporter by trade, a mother by God's grace and a lover of Jesus Christ. I've grown up in a family blessed with many miracles, and have received multiple miracles myself.