It’s Only In Hindsight…

…that we often see God at work in our lives.

There are probably a million examples of this in my own life, if I could only see them all. But after the experiences of this week I will share just a couple to illustrate what I mean.

Something happened in my brain when I had my stroke in 2008, causing it to feel like it spins out of control when there is even minimal sensory overload. Meanwhile, down in Texas there was a puppy born whose earliest life experiences made him particularly sensitive to the emotions of the people around him. He was brought on a long trip across the country when he was quite young, finding his way to a family in Michigan. However it was only a matter of weeks before circumstances demanded that this family find another home for him. And it was a highly unusual thing that, late one night and on my way to bed, I got the urge to get online and look at Petfinder.com. And it was equally “coincidental” that my eyes fell upon this little dog immediately, and I was driven to write to the family, and that, though I was near the end of the list of dozens of people who wanted this little dog, the teenage daughter “just happened” to look over mom’s shoulder to see my email and said, “This is where I want Chuy to go!” And so mom told me that, though she had intended to contact people from the first to respond, she decided to follow her daughter’s wishes and write first to me…

Within days of picking up Chuy I started to overload. And instantly he was on my lap, front paws applying pressure to my chest (this is a technique that service dogs are trained to use), and looking steadily and calmly into my eyes. Almost like flipping a switch the chaos in my brain began to deescalate. And this was no fluke. It happened again and again and again. And then, as Pete, a Vietnam veteran, started dealing with his PTSD in therapy, Chuy started attaching himself to Pete, being a very present, available, and calming influence to him. Whatever Chuy’s early experiences (which obviously included abuse), they prepared him perfectly for the eventual life he would have thousands of miles away, as God’s instrument to bring peace and emotional healing to people who needed his love and his touch. Every single step along the way, from the time he was born, brought us all to this place. Only a loving God could make all of these pieces, across all of these miles, involving all of these people, join perfectly to accomplish His purposes.

And so it was this week when, a few days ago, I saw my doctor for a followup appointment for my neck pain. And I mentioned that my “hockey stick” leg (bent outward at the knee, unstable and painful for years) was particularly painful and had started letting me down so frequently that I was afraid that the time was getting closer that it wouldn’t hold me up at all. And she suggested a steroid injection for pain control, to which I agreed, that could also help me to walk more normally on it, possibly allowing for a degree of healing. And then only two days later when my fears came to pass and that knee became non-weight-bearing, it was just hours before I was going to the hospital anyway for the radiographs of that knee that had been ordered 2 days earlier…I was able to get those done before even scwalking into the ER, and the doctor had access to the results already. (And with my scwalker, that I’ve been using for mobility for several years due to my spinal issues – I was already set up to get around with only one usable leg!) Plus, I already had the steroids on board to assist with the inflammation!

These experiences, as well as more – many of which I’m sure I haven’t even seen – are 2 of the most brilliant examples of the truth of His Words in Deuteronomy 31:8 – “The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” and Isaiah 45:2a – “I will go before you and make the rough places smooth…”

His hand is in every area of our lives, if we will only see it.

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