Yes, they do.
Unexpected, unannounced, uninvited.
Just like last week…
So, I was down visiting family again. "The Hub" was with all of us for a few days, but then journeyed home.
I was spending a very nice evening with my youngest son, when my phone starting ringing. I looked at the number, and not recognizing it, I did not answer. (I've been getting a LOT of unsolicited telemarketing calls lately…GRRR!)
Fast forward 2½ hours…
At a lull in the evening, I glanced at my phone and saw that the unknown number had left a voice mail.
Hmmm, that's unusual.
So, I checked the voice mail.
That's when I heard a very familiar voice speaking:
"Hi, it's me. Don't freak out, but I'm at the hospital…"
Yes, it was "The Hub."
I did my best not to freak out, but the word *hospital* did drive my adrenaline into overdrive!
As I listened to the rest of his message, I found out what had happened.
"The Hub" has been doing some wonderful woodwork on Manzanita branches.
He chooses the dead and fallen branches, and brings them home. Then he begins the time-consuming work of sanding them until they are smooth as glass. After the sanding is done, he applies tung oil to them, and rubs them until they have a low gloss.
Oh, what beauty is restored!
Lately, he's been making chimes out of them, by adding *icicles* of stained glass. Or he makes candleholders out of the larger branches.
This is where the trouble started.
Because, in order to make candleholders, you have to drill out little *wells* to hold the glass votives.
And that drilling requires a 2" drill bit. (That's TWO inches round, folks...)
You do see where this is going, don't you?!
The drill bit caught, and then skipped out of the hole.
And sliced open two of "The Hub's" fingers.
It was over two hours before I finally heard from him again. (You see, he had called me using someone else's phone, and told me not to call back).
I knew he was "OK" because he was chuckling. But still…tough guy that he is, I knew the cuts had to be bad for him to decide he needed to go to the hospital.
Finally, at about 10:20 PM, he called me.
Around 4:00 PM, the accident happened. He said that he immediately put his hand behind his back, because he knew it was bad. One look confirmed that he needed help.
He first went to a local clinic here in town.
There was no one there except the receptionist. And even if the staff had been there, she informed my husband that there wasn't anyone there who could stitch him up.
From there, he went to our local fire department.
They didn't have anyone to stitch him up either. But they did help disinfect the wound and wrapped it up. (Which was a whole lot better than the bloody towel "The Hub" was sporting at the time!).
And, since the wound was on his right hand, and his Jeep has a stick shift, he couldn't drive himself to the hospital – which was an hour away.
So, he got a personal ambulance ride to the hospital.
After getting x-rays to confirm that he hadn't done any damage to the bone (he hadn't), and getting stitched up (14 total on two fingers), he realized that he didn't have a way to get home.
So, he got a personal taxi ride back up the mountain.
(Which cost $150...yikes!)
Fortunately, he wasn't in any pain, and has only needed antibiotics as a precaution.
(For the record, I try not to think about the scarcity of medical help up here on the mountain. And I try not to freak out that the nearest hospital is over an hour away. Thankfully, our fire department and the local EMT's are wonderful – which was proven in this little escapade!)
When I returned home a few days later, I got my first look at his fingers.
It was brutal.
I won't go into details, and I have not included a photo of the damage (you're welcome), but let me just say this – "The Hub" is VERY lucky that he didn't lose one of the fingers, it was that deep and that bad.
He's healing well.
And I have nicknamed him "Dr. Frankenstein." (That's Franken–"steen," in honor of Gene Wilder!)
It's just one of the hazards of living in a broken world.
And sometimes, one might be tempted to live in fear of all the bad things that could happen when we venture out the front door (not to mention all the things that could happen inside of our own houses!).
I know I am tempted to live in fear.
Some people think that things just "happen" – willy-nilly – in a world gone mad.
They speak of coincidence, or chance, or luck.
Some people think things are pre-determined, and we have no choice or will in anything.
They speak of fate, or kismet, or destiny.
What should we believe as followers of Jesus?
I begin with Scripture, and specifically this:
"Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed." (Psalm 139:16, NLT)
I don't know about you, but this verse puzzles me in some ways.
I know that God lives outside of time, and is completely and perfectly omniscient.
Therefore, every moment of my life was known to Him before I was even born.
But then, we are also taught about the concept of free will.
Therefore, are my days "chosen" by God, or do I do the choosing?
Sometimes, in my mind, the truth of God's sovereignty butts up against the idea of free will – and vice versa.
I have met people, and have done it myself, who attribute everything that happens to either the devil or the Lord.
Did the enemy cause my husband's accident? Did the Lord?
And some people say that many things happen just because of the inherent danger of living in a sinful world.
Was my husband's accident just one of those things?
I don't know the answers.
And when I don't know the answers, I rely on these verses (which are my life verses):
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take." (Proverbs 3:5-6, NLT)
"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."
(Romans 8:28, NASB)
So, here's my conclusion…
We live in a sinful world – full of disaster, disease, and death.
And yet, God is in perfect control.
And nothing happens outside of His knowledge, His permission, and His ultimate purposes.
My free will and His sovereignty somehow both exist.
And I can exercise my will to dovetail into His – continuing to yield and surrender my wishes to His plans.
Things will happen in this life, and we may not ever know "where" they originated, nor "why" they occurred.
But this is what matters to me…
God knew about it ahead of time – He is never surprised.
God is in control, even when I don't understand what's going on.
God's ultimate purposes and plans will be accomplished.
God can and will work all things for good.
God is with me, every step of the way.
And when all is said and done, that's all I really need to know!
Have you ever had an *accident* – what did God teach you from it?
Sticks and stones
may break my bones,
But drill bits
will always hurt me!
"You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book." (Psalm 56:8, NLT)
"Perhaps the LORD will look on my affliction and return good to me instead of his cursing this day." (2 Samuel 16:12, NASB)
"You scrutinize my path and my lying down, and are intimately acquainted with all my ways." (Psalm 139:3, NASB)
"Doesn't he see everything I do and every step I take?" (Job 31:4, NLT)
"For God watches how people live; he sees everything they do."
(Job 34:21, NLT)
"For your ways are in full view of the LORD, and he examines all your paths." (Proverbs 5:21, NIV)
"The eyes of the LORD search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him." (2 Chronicles 16:9, NLT)
"I know, LORD, that our lives are not our own. We are not able to plan our own course." (Jeremiah 10:23, NLT)
"We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps."
(Proverbs 16:9, NLT)
"The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives." (Psalm 37:23, NLT)
"The LORD directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?" (Proverbs 20:24, NLT)
"…O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We all are formed by your hand." (Isaiah 64:8, NLT)
"Acknowledge that the LORD is God! He made us, and we are his."
(Psalm 100:3, NLT)
"Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails." (Proverbs 19:21, NIV)
"…the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations." (Psalm 33:11, NIV)
"'For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, 'My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure'…" (Isaiah 46:9-10, NASB)
"Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan." (Ephesians 1:11, NLT)
"Your word, LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens."
(Psalm 119:89, NIV)
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